Cupid's Pulse Article: No More Excuses: 10 Ways to Ditch Bad Dating HabitsCupid's Pulse Article: No More Excuses: 10 Ways to Ditch Bad Dating Habits

by Suzanne Casamento for

How many times have you heard your girlfriends (or maybe even yourself) say, “All the good ones are taken,” or “There aren’t any nice guys in this city”?

Those excuses are ridiculous. The truth is, there are good men everywhere. And we women have opportunities to discover those men while going about our everyday lives. But first we need to shift our attitudes and strategies. Here’s how:

1. Stop listening to that negative inner voice. You know that voice that says, “You’re never going to meet anyone”? It’s lying. But the thing is, if you believe the awful things she says, other people will too. So when you hear that voice start, shut her down. When she realizes you no longer believe her, she’ll go away.

2. Stop making excuses. “I’ll start online dating after I lose 10 pounds.” “I’m too busy at work right now.” “After I get my raise, I’ll have more money to go out.” What’s your excuse? Whatever it is, lose it.

3. Stop doing the same things and expecting different results. Have you and your wing girls been hitting the same bar every Friday night for the last three years and wondering why you never meet anyone? You have to change your game in order to win.

4. Stop waiting. The man of your dreams isn’t going to suddenly appear at your front door. You have to invite him over first. In order to do that, you need to stop waiting and start dating.

5. Stop staring at your phone. There are good men everywhere. The key is putting down your cell phone long enough to notice. Imagine all the opportunities you may be missing because you’re busy scrolling through pictures of other people’s kids on Facebook.

Once you break all those bad habits, you’ll be ready to replace them with good habits, like:

1. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Compliment yourself. When your hair looks covergirl perfect, look at yourself and say, “Damn, your hair looks good!” And when you see your pilates classes are paying off, tell yourself you love your abs! Sounds silly, but the same theory about believing the bad applies to the good things. So tell yourself how awesome you are and others will believe it too.

2. Be honest with yourself. If you were making excuses about why you weren’t dating before, do some digging and work out the “why.” If you discover you’re afraid, that’s fine. Then be kind and gentle with yourself and take things slowly.

3. Be proactive. Love is one of our most basic needs as humans, so feel free to go get it! Use your tools. Whether you choose online dating, match making, speed dating or going on that blind date your Aunt Martha has been wanting set you up on, just do something to move toward your goal of love.

4. Learn from your experiences. As you date, recognize what you like and don’t like. Do you like to test the waters with a coffee date before launching into a full dinner date? Are you more comfortable giving someone your number than asking for his? Do you like to communicate via text or by phone? As you discover what works for you, maximize those things!

5. Have fun! It’s flirting, not a funeral. Enjoy it! Make eye contact. Smile at strangers. Say, “Hi.” Introduce yourself to the hot guy at the dog park. Ask the hottie buying cauliflower if he thinks it’s worth it to go organic. Get caught looking.

Dare to date.