Want A Healthy Dating Life? Adopt These 11 Habits

There’s nothing more frustrating than going on one date after another and having every one end up more disastrous than the last. However, if you adopt healthy dating habits, you might find your luck (and your mood) begins to change.

  1. Watch for signs that the person you’re seeing is toxic. It’s easy to give the benefit of the doubt and to say something like, “Oh, maybe they’re not a drama queen/king but they’re just going through a tough time or lashing out.” But notice the signs that someone’s toxic and listen to your gut. It will save you so much time and energy.
  2. Don’t go on a date if you’re not 100% enthusiastic about it. If you’re not really looking forward to the date, don’t go through the motions! What’s the point? Besides, you’re obviously feeling that way for a reason. It might not be because the person’s not worth your time but because you’re not keen on dating right now. Either way, give it a miss.
  3. Be strict about second chances. If the first date was a disaster, chances are the second date won’t be much better. Sure, there are exceptions to this, but if you leave the date feeling frustrated or depressed, it’s a sign that the guy’s not worth it.
  4. Don’t chase him. This is a classic dating rule, but you should follow it so that you hold onto your standards and happiness, not to impress the person you’re dating. Let them prove what they’re worth.
  5. Remember that they’re not the last person on the planet. If you haven’t met someone you like in a while, it’s easy to think that you have to hold onto this one before they run away. But remember that you’ll never have to do that if the person is right for you. In addition, they’re not the only person left on the planet! Come on, there are many great people out there. View dating from the perspective of there being lots of decent people in the world instead of from a place of scarcity and you’ll be so much happier.
  6. Notice the little things, like what they say about other people. Yes, they might have some great traits, but don’t ignore the little things they do that are red flags flying for your attention. Maybe they’re always saying negative things about their friends or they keep interrupting you. These are important and will only become bigger problems if you ignore them now.
  7. Take a dating sabbatical every now and then. Dating a lot can be stressful and draining, so it’s really healthy to take a step back from it every once in a while. This gives you greater perspective on the whole thing and can help you to recharge your batteries while reminding you why your life is actually perfect without a relationship in it.
  8. Leave your list of perfect partner traits at home. You know the type of person you want in your life, but don’t stick to your rules and lists too much. While having standards is obviously important, you don’t want to rule out people who aren’t perfect on paper but might actually be better for you.
  9. Create a life that you love. This is one of the most important parts of dating, even though it doesn’t seem to be about dating at all! The thing is, when you love your life, you prevent yourself from getting caught up in toxic relationships because you’re less likely to sacrifice all the great things in your life for someone who’s not worthy of you. As a sidebar, it also makes you a great catch.
  10. Slow down even though it’s tempting to dive right in. You meet an amazing person with whom you click and fireworks go off in your head. You want to rush through the phase of getting to know them, but try not to. This isn’t to impress them (screw that once and for all), but really about making sure that you keep a clear head so you can make the right decision. 
  11. Avoid making assumptions. It’s easy to think that just because someone owns a cute dog that he’s kind, or that just because he’s such a great friend he’ll make an amazing boyfriend. The truth is that making such assumptions can cause you to create an idea of the guy in your head that isn’t true at all. Keep your eyes focused on what he’s showing you every day and use that to make a judgment about him over time. It’s so much better for you – you won’t risk dating an imaginary person and getting your heart smashed.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.