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How to Move on from Past Dating Mistakes

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One of the biggest hurdles we have to overcome in order to find lasting love is our own dating history. Many of us have experienced heartbreak, which is a kind of trauma, and sometimes, you can get stuck in your feelings and apprehension without even realizing it.

The key to finding a healthy, lasting relationship and not repeating the same old mistakes in dating is to understand your past, and then to make a decision to move on from it. Easier said than done, because most of us have habits and patterns that are tough to break.

Following are some ways to help yourself move on into healthier dating patterns:

Date outside your type.

If you find yourself attracted to the same types of guys/ women, you might want to start dating someone you aren’t initially drawn to. Match did a survey of thousands of singles and couples, and found that over 35% of long-term couples did not experience love at first sight, but found that love grew over time. When you start to date people you normally wouldn’t, you find out more of what you really want.

Choose love over chemistry.

We often mistake instant chemistry for love, but they are not the same. Love is something that unfolds over time with deeper connection, whereas chemistry is an instant and fleeting experience. We tend to jump in fast and hard for those we feel “chemistry” for, without giving others a real chance. If you’re not sure, say yes to date number two and three, and see where things go.

Don’t accept bad behavior.

This goes along with chemistry – if we find someone attractive, we tend to forgive their bad behavior, like canceling last-minute or showing up late all the time, or not texting back. Instead of accepting this as part of the dating game, or thinking you did something wrong, try giving yourself a break. Don’t accept disrespectful treatment.

Don’t compare.

We have a tendency to look back on past loves with rosy glasses, and you might find yourself comparing your current date to a previous flame. When you do, pay attention to what’s happening, and why your mind wanders to your ex. Are you present on your date, or just passing time? What can you do to engage more? Then let it go and wipe the slate clean. Each date should be approached with fresh eyes, not a comparison microscope.

When you start to incorporate healthy changes in your life, you'll notice the difference when you date. You might feel yourself opening up and having more fun, and being more optimistic about finding someone new.