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Posted on Sep 13, 2008 at 09:09 PM

Dating 101: Are Bad Dating Habits Keeping You Single? Five tips to free yourself from common dating traps By Lisa Steadman, The Relationship Journalist Special Updated: Aug 28, 2008 Dating expert Lisa Steadman RATING THIS ARTICLE Average (556 votes) stars Rate it: * * * * * * TOOLS * Email ArticleEmail Article * Printable ViewPrintable View * Add to del.icio.usAdd to * Add to DiggAdd to Digg In the search for love, it's all too easy to get sidetracked by bad dates, broken hearts, and bad love habits. And while bad dates and broken hearts are part of the dating journey toward happily-ever-after, bad love habits can and should be avoided at all costs. So what's a bad love habit? Any dysfunctional, destructive, difficult belief or habit you have towards love and relationships that's keeping you from finding, attracting, and/or maintaining a healthy relationship. The following are some common bad dating beliefs: * You choose potential partners who are incapable of meeting your emotional needs. * You think love has to be difficult, painful, and/or hard. * ?You think your potential partner is going to fix whatever you don't like about yourself or your life.? You think your potential partner is going to fix whatever you don't like about yourself or your life. * You believe time is running out on your search for love and/or your chance to have children. If any of the above sound familiar, don't worry. You're not a lost cause. In fact, with a little time and effort, you can turn things around! What follows are five simple and effective tips and techniques geared toward helping you break free of limiting relationship beliefs and bad dating habits. Practiced over time, you can and will kick any bad dating habit -- for good! 1. Identify the dating traps you're stuck in Think you've got to miraculously solve all your problems before you'll be deserving of love? Convinced there are no good "ones" left? Or do you believe that your perfect partner will one day swoop in and magically save you from your life? If any or all of the above sound familiar, chances are good that you suffer from some common dating traps. In order to become a successful single, you first need to free yourself from these traps. Acknowledging the traps you're stuck in is the first step. Next, you've got to break free of these traps, as well as any other limiting or destructive beliefs that are keeping you stuck. To find out how, keep reading. 2. Assess your excess baggage Next, it's important to get honest with yourself about what you might be lugging around with you on dates (or in life in general). What are you holding onto that no longer serves you? Rejection, disappointment, betrayal? This is from your past, not your present or future. If you've got negative or destructive beliefs or fears weighing you down, you owe it to yourself to dump that excess baggage! 3. Dump your excess baggage In order to have a happily ever after future, you have to first believe you deserve finding a mate. Gather those painful memories, that chip on your shoulder, any residual anger from past relationship experiences, and tell them they've got to go. Thank them for the lessons you've learned and tell them that it's now time for you to stand on your own two feet. In your mind's eye, give them the heave-ho! Next, start visualizing the kind of life you want to have, complete with your dream job, perfect partner, ideal home, etc. By getting clear about what you want, you give yourself permission to attract it. 4. Stop putting off your life and/or personal happiness So many of us put off personal happiness waiting for some external result like "I'll be happy when I lose weight, when I pay off my debts, when I get a better job." The truth is, you deserve to enjoy your fabulously imperfect life right this very minute! ?When you stop putting off happiness, you start attracting happy people, healthy relationships, exciting and new opportunities.? When you stop putting off happiness, you start attracting happy people, healthy relationships, exciting and new opportunities. Instead of postponing joy until something external happens, today's the day to start celebrating the joy in your everyday life. 5. Embrace a new dating vocabulary Now that you're baggage light and dating-trap free, it's time to introduce a new vocabulary to your dating belief system. Every morning and night for 30 days, practice the following exercise: Say to yourself "Love/dating/my ideal relationship is..." and then fill in the blank with the appropriate words (words like healthy, whole, loving, fun, etc.). By creating a new vocabulary for yourself, you may be surprised at how your outlook on dating and relationships changes, and as a result, you'll start attracting happier and healthier potential partners. Love that! So there you have it -- five simple dating tips and techniques to help you break free of limiting relationship beliefs and bad love habits. May you learn them, love them, live them. In doing so, you just may fall in love with your life all over again, not to mention exponentially increase your chances of future relationship success. Good luck and happy dating! More Related Dating Advice: * Dating 101: Debunking the Scarcity Myth * Four Tips for the Broken-Hearted * Six Dating Behaviors That Scare Single Men Away * The Worst Dating Mistakes by Men and Women It's A Breakup, Not A Breakdown Lisa Steadman, a.k.a. The Relationship Journalist, is an expert when it comes to matters of the heart. As creator of the popular blog The Breakup Chronicles, she dispenses advice, helps people heal their broken hearts, and coaches individuals on how to become successful singles on her site. She is the author of the book "It's A Breakup, Not A Breakdown: Get over the big one and change your life -- for good!" Lisa regularly appears in the media and has been featured on The Today Show, The Tyra Banks Show, The Huffington Post and Playboy Radio.

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