My Relationships Never Lasted Longer Than A Month—Then I Realized What I Was Doing Wrong

I called them the “one-month wonders.” They were the guys who met me, fell for me, then bolted before I could truly call them my boyfriends. I didn’t get what was going on, so I took some time for self-reflection and realized I was practicing some terrible dating habits. No wonder my relationships were fizzling out so quickly.

  1. I started out anti-me. When I started dating someone, I put on a facade. I tried to avoid all my negative traits and hoped they wouldn’t show, like how I wanted to DTR as quickly as possible and could be a little anxious about dating. Instead of making guys stick around, this actually made them bounce because they could sense I didn’t have any self-love and was super insecure.
  2. I went with the flow. I told the guy I was dating that everything was cool and I was happy, when really I wasn’t, often because I wasn’t sure if he was as into me as I was into him but I was so scared to ruin things. Instead of saying what was on my mind, I went with the flow that the guys determined for our relationships. Sooner or later, my real feelings would come out and shock the guys.
  3. I wanted to be carefree. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the fun, carefree girl. I acted like I didn’t care about anything at all and was totally nonchalant about pretty much everything. I thought guys wanted that type of woman but I was so wrong. What they wanted was someone real, and since I wasn’t being genuine, they’d GTFO.
  4. I tried too hard. I was putting in way too much effort to keep the guys around. I regularly jumped through hoops, trying to fix their problems or show them what a nice person I was. It was exhausting and they could smell the BS from a mile away. Desperation is not a good look.
  5. I let rip with my feelings. I waited for them to make the first move when it came to expressing their feelings for me. When they did, I’d feel like I could finally express mine for them. The problem? I became so soppy about liking them, it was pathetic (and I’m still embarrassed about it). It’s one thing to say that you really like someone but completely another to turn the relationship into a real-life Disney movie out of nowhere.
  6. I tried to hide my clinginess. There was a period in my life when I was a really insecure dater. I was anxious, had low self-confidence, and was clingy. It sucked, but I didn’t want the guys to catch a whiff of this so I desperately tried to hide it. The thing is, the more you try to hide what you don’t like about yourself, the more it comes out. I knew I had to deal with my issues if I was ever going to move past them and have a healthy relationship, but that was easier said than done.
  7. I was lost without dating games. Once things felt a bit more serious, I stopped playing hard to get but then didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I had gotten the guy and had played some relationship games to get him, but now I was confused about how to proceed. From being a pro dater, now I just seemed totally clueless to the guys. They could clearly see I’d just been playing games.
  8. I didn’t trust myself. I was so worried about trying to figure out if I could trust the guys I was dating that I didn’t really focus on trusting my gut when it warned me about those guys. My intuition was trying to tell me that they wouldn’t stick around for long, but I just ignored it and kept choosing the toxic, commitment-phobic guys to date.
  9. I was dating out of fear, not love. Relationships never used to be fun for me. I was always an anxious, stressed-out mess. I was so afraid that the guys would lose interest in me that it totally sucked the joy out of dating them. I don’t know what the point was, really. Instead of focusing on having fun, I was a nervous wreck. That’s sure to put anyone’s partner off!
  10. I thought I had to be what they wanted. Sometimes this happened naturally without me even trying all that hard to become what I thought was their perfect girlfriend. If they were adventurous and spontaneous, I’d be those things—but it wouldn’t last. Sooner or later, they’d find out that I actually hated 4X4 trails, camping, and bungee-jumping. Instead of trying to keep them around by faking what I wanted, it would’ve saved me time to be who I was from the start. Ugh!
  11. I did the chasing. If a guy was taking things too slowly or didn’t seem that interested, I thought I could make him change by chasing him. Oh boy. The problem with chasing someone into a relationship is that they end up feeling cornered. Yup, not exactly the most romantic way to start a relationship!
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.