By Jacquee Kahn
My mother always told me to work on myself first, and from there, everything else will follow. Little did I know that this would become a practice for me as I became a relationship “guru” for my friends (and later, clients).
News flash ladies: If you’re having a hard time with dating and relationships, it’s not about the men. It’s not because they’re players or commitment-phobes. It’s about YOU.
I meet incredibly smart, beautiful and talented women who have completely lost themselves in relationships. When they were single, they were confident and independent. But once in a relationship, those attractive qualities dissolved and these same women became needy, insecure and emotionally broken.
It’s time to stop undermining your relationship by first working on yourself. Here are five ways to get rid of those bad habits that sabotage relationships:
1. Be Yourself: Don’t be so eager to please your man that you lose yourself and become completely disempowered. Tom Cruise’s line in the film “Jerry McGuire” may be “You complete me,” but it’s simply not true. You don’t have to be in a relationship to be a complete person.
Related: Simple Ways to Please Your Man
2. Know You’re Worthy: We often become so desperate to make relationships work that we do whatever it takes to please our partners, much to the detriment of ourselves. So, don’t be needy, clingy or desperate. These behaviors are a huge turn off and usually create the opposite effect.
3. Keep a Loose Grip: Refrain from holding on too tight. If your man pulls away, let him go. Don’t show insecurity by begging, pleading or trying to manipulate him to stay. If he comes back, it’s because he wants to, not because you forced him to.
4. Don’t Accept Less Than You Deserve: Don’t accept crumbs by allowing yourself to settle for a “friends with benefits” or a “booty call” situation when what you really want is a committed relationship.
5. Save Yourself: Don’t look outside of yourself to be rescued. Take ownership of your personal happiness, because all relationships start and end with YOU.
Jacquee Kahn dispenses “Super Nanny”-style tough love to women in need of relationship help. The author of Girlfriend 911: Decoding Dating and Rescuing Relationships One Girlfriend at a Time, her no-nonsense, straightforward advice points toward the foundation of the book.