Stay true to yourself.
I can't tell you how many times I've ignored red flags in the name of love.
From guys saying they were "scared of me," to never inviting me on vacations to every other little ut-oh you could think of. I saw it, knew what it was and made the responsible choice to look the other way.
Because of this, I've wasted many nights upset about a relationship that was never going anywhere or a crush that was just never going to happen. It's not that I didn't anything so wrong, but this naive way of dating has been a huge disservice to myself.
Nobody is forcing me to go along with this charades and pretend there will be a happy ever after. These mistakes, are all on me.
But I don't consider my efforts to be entirely wasted, because I have learned the following lesson a lot, and many times: if a guy wants to be with you, he'll act like he wants to be with you.
Even despite knowing this golden rule by heart, women continue to chase or wait for men that are just in it for the short term. We ignore their age, what they do for a living, how they spend their Friday nights, the fact that they STILL haven't deleted their Tinder or introduced you to their mom. We hold on to this sliver of hope we found either in a romantic night together or some bullshit they said, and say the rest is just our imagination.
And then we complain that we're not happy.
In all of my failed relationships and almost-relationships, I had a feeling from the very beginning that it wouldn't work out. There was something about the way he acted or how he treated me that caused an alarm to go off in my brain that shouted "nope, nope and nope." But he had nice eyes, made me laugh or some other silly, unsustainable quality that I held onto with a grip so fierce even a lingering ex-girlfriend couldn't make me let go.
But once I finally did, I saw that I was right all along. I'm always right, and it makes me question why I don't listen to myself more often.
Instead I listen to fear, from myself, my friends, my parents. I trust the panic that I'll never find someone over the voice in my head that says, "This guy hasn't had a job in two years. Please for the love of god walk away."
While it's important to date people and experience relationships and the lessons that come with them, why waste your time if you don't have to? Listen to the little voice in your head, and trust you initial gut feeling.
Don't worry about missing out on the right guy. Trust me, you'll know who he is.