13 Things You Learn After Dating Way Too Many Douchebags

After more than a decade of crappy dates and disappointing relationships, you probably thought you would have found Mr. Right by now — and yet he remains elusive. All you have to show for your efforts in love are heartbreak and cynicism, plus a handful of lessons it took you way too long to learn.

  1. Don’t chase a guy if he’s not chasing you. You shouldn’t be chasing anyone at all, really, but especially when you’re the one putting in all the effort. There should be a mutual interest that you’re actually able to recognize and not have to stay up all night stressing about.
  2. Don’t date someone just for the sake of it. Just because you’re bored doesn’t mean you need to be dating someone. There are plenty of other things to do than dating. Don’t waste your time on someone who isn’t worth it.
  3. Don’t clear your schedule for him if he won’t do the same. You’re a busy woman with a full life, and you should never ditch plans for a guy. If it doesn’t work out with him, the friends, family, and career you sacrificed for that waste of space might not be there to pick up with where you left off.
  4. Don’t try to make pieces fit together. When you’re out shopping and there’s something that you like but it just doesn’t fit right, you don’t exert all of your energy into making it fit, you move on to something that does. That applies to your dating life, too.
  5. Don’t give too much too soon. The number one thing that you have to protect is your heart. Don’t show all of your cards too soon and don’t get too emotionally invested unless you are sure that something can come from it.
  6. If your friends or family seriously dislike him, that’s a BIG red flag. If your friends are suspicious about the guy you’re dating, you should probably take their concerns into consideration. Most likely, they’re just looking out for you, but don’t dismiss their opinions completely.
  7. If he didn’t truly knock your socks off, then move on. If you’ve spent a decent amount of time with him and you are still uninterested, then do yourselves a favor and just call it a day. You know what you like and if he wasn’t it, then move on.
  8. If there are problems in the beginning, there will be problems at the end. If you’ve completely bypassed the honeymoon phase and gone straight to the point of wanting to rip each other’s throats out, then that’s a major problem.
  9. Stop giving out second chances. As the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” After a certain point, and at a certain age, it’s time to stop giving people free rides and second chances. You can always give someone the benefit of the doubt upon first meeting them, but if they screwed up in the past, then just forgive and forget.
  10. You both need to be on the same page. One of the things that we dread most about dating is getting too deep into a relationship and realizing that you were never on the same page. You can never completely plan for the future, but you should at least have the peace of mind in knowing that you’re both seeing eye to eye on things.
  11. There needs to be a real emotional connection. Don’t get so carried away with the physical connection that you forget about the emotional one. At the end of the day, you want someone who can be there to support you, talk to you, and comfort you.
  12. You should never settle for less than you deserve. If you settle for someone you don’t truly love, then you’re hurting yourself and him. Make room for the one who truly deserves you and that you deserve.
  13. When you know, you’ll definitely know. There will be a moment when you just know in your heart that they’re the one. By the same token, there’ll be a moment when you know that they really aren’t the right person for you. Either way, recognize that moment and make the right decision when the time comes.
Lindsey is a Digital Advertising Professional and Freelance Writer based in New York City. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee. Follow her on Twitter @lindseyruns