Looking back on my single days, there are so many things I would have done differently if I knew then what I know now. So many of these things we learn only from experience; from learning about life and love the hard way. But the reality is, when we’re in it, when we’re dating, when we think we’ve found someone who might be the one, when we’re feeling that incredible chemistry, when we’re so lonely we don’t know if we can be alone another minute, when he finally notices us and asks us out, when we feel like we can’t breathe if we don’t hear from him, when we’re so scared to lose him, when we feel like without him we have nothing, when we’re sure he must be lying dead in the gutter somewhere because that's the only reason he would've disappeared like that, we can’t see that we’re about to make a huge mistake.
When we’re in over our heads emotionally and can’t think clearly we’re not able to be objective about what we’re doing. And that’s why we do all of those crazy, unloving, disrespectful things we do to ourselves in the name of love (or at least, what we believe love to be). And while I'm a firm believer that our mistakes are actually rich learning experiences if we allow them to be and we choose to learn from them, there’s no denying that there are things we’d rather do differently if we had them to do all over again. Because I had no idea how much heartbreak and misery I could have saved myself if someone had only told me what huge mistakes I was making by doing some of the these things, I'm going to tell you about the huge mistakes you are making (and we all make).
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So here’s my list for you of what I consider to be the top five biggest dating mistakes.
1. Being exclusive right away.
I didn’t figure this one out until years later. At the time, I would have thought that dating more than one person at the same time was just downright slutty. But I’m talking about dating here, not sleeping with anyone. Just dating more than one person at the same time. Because the thing is that if you’re not dating exclusively, if the guy you’d really like to be exclusive with knows that he’s in the running but there’s others that you’re still considering too, that puts him in the best position possible – one where he has to prove to you that he’s worth going exclusive for. And that also keeps you in a place of high self-esteem and confidence knowing that if he really has that much potential you’ll know before giving too much of your self to someone too early, before you really know them well enough to make that kind of commitment.