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Dating can be…quite the process to say the least. While there are definitely good things that come from dating and getting to know people, sometimes things don’t go according to plan. As I get older, I’m learning that when things don’t work out, it’s definitely for the better.

The last guy that I dated was a liar, he was emotionally manipulative, and overall just wasn’t worth my time or effort. What I can say however, is that I realized some of the things that I need to change about myself as I continue dating and living the single life.

Keep Your Options Open

All too often, when dating someone, I get to the point where I want to continue to get to know the guy I’m primarily talking to, so I get rid of all other prospects. I do this mainly because I used to have to tendency of connecting with someone and thinking that it would lead to something worthwhile. What I’ve now learned is to keep my options open until things are to the point where we both feel as though being exclusive is a feasible course of action, and not to be so hopeful with someone who I still don’t know that much about.

Date Someone Who Can Carry Their Own Weight

There’s nothing more annoying than dating someone who isn’t as financially stable as you are and always having to pay for dates and vacations. While I’ve dated men who were very financially stable, I typically date because of someone’s personality and how well I click with them. I ignored the fact that I made more than him and had more disposable income than him, but looking back, I shouldn’t have. I don’t mind paying for myself if I go out on a date with someone, but paying for myself AND them almost everytime isn’t acceptable. I also was stupid enough to spend $1200+ dollars on a getaway vacation for both of us, and you guessed it, he didn’t contribute anything, so…yeah.

Believe Someone When You Find Out Who They Really Are

Here’s one that I never thought I’d be writing. Usually, when a guy messes up or does something that I feel is unacceptable, I walk away with no notice or conversation. I believe there isn’t a need to discuss something with someone who will more than likely repeat the same crappy behavior.

The last guy that I dated was a compulsive liar, he used people for his own benefit, and would play victim when confronted about his behavior. One example: One morning I woke up and grabbed his phone to check what time it was, and saw previews of messages from other guys. His excuse? It was “innocent flirtation” and some of the guys contacted him out of nowhere without his consent. Of course, this sounds like bullshit because it is, but I was being too understanding (and stupid), and decided to let it go and keep seeing where things would go. Of course, a couple months later, I went through his phone (because he gave me his password on a drunken night out) and found nudes, messages from 15+ other guys, evidence that he had been meeting up with other people, and more.

All of that to say I should’ve removed myself from the situation when I saw the initial messages, regardless of his attempted justification of his behavior.

All in all, I’ve learned that I need to put myself as my main priority and to date someone who can understand that. Dating should be fun and should be an experience that helps you become closer to someone, not an annoying cycle of lies and peasantry. In addition to the 5 things I’ve learned, another good thing is that I didn’t sleep with him – I think that would have made things even worse.