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Seven Dating Lessons I Wish I'd Known Sooner

05/05/2015 12:32 BST | Updated 04/05/2016 10:12 BST

1) If someone keeps being flaky or says they are too busy, they are just not that into you.

There is one thing you should always keep in mind that: if someone really wants you, they will make time for you. If not, they will make excuses. No one is that busy to not even have five minutes a day to drop you a text, or at least follow through with your plan together if they truly care about you.

Even if they're genuinely that busy, a decent person will let you know about their situation and probably not string you along by half-ass dating. Also, if a guy keeps having his boiler broken and so he couldn't take a shower to go meet you (true story), it's definitely time to jog on.

2) How people treat you is how you allow them to treat you

I used to date this older working guy for two months. He usually cut short the date, planned everything around his schedule and put the blame on me if anything went wrong between us.

I should have let this guy go right the first time he bossed me around. I did not. Instead, I kept making excuses for his behaviours and looked past all the red flags. I even thought I was the wrong one and doubted myself.

In fact, the only thing I was wrong is for not standing up for myself enough. He could only treat me that way because I allowed him to do so and because he knew I'd put up with his bad behaviours. If I'd straight out told him I'd not agree to it, either he would have had to compromise with me or walk away, which would save me time wasted on a wrong person and failed relationship.

3) Believe people when they claim something about themselves

"I'm a terrible, average guy."

"I'm not dating material."

"I'm very busy, I might not have time for a relationship."

They say it. They know it. They manage your expectations. They don't care about putting you off. What's more to say about this? Run! (Unless you fancy some action and the offer is on the table, then do go for it.)

4) When a guy shows that he doesn't care about you, he really doesn't care about you.

When I first met this guy, I thought we had something. When he disappeared, I thought it was my fault for not showing enough interest for him. When he was back and was incredibly mean to me, I thought he just pretended it to cover his genuine liking for me.

Oh boy, I had never been so wrong. That boy was just mean and the only thing he was genuine about is that he genuinely did not give a damn about me. At the time I did not realize that if he had actually cared, he would have never disappeared the way he did.

After all, action speaks louder than word. Action is what counts. If you want to know if a guy cares about you or not, you should totally look at his actions, not his words or his excuses. What kind of noble love is that if all they do is being absent or treat you like nothing?

5) Too much alcohol on the first few dates (one or all) is never a good idea

Generally, a date with too much alcohol involved is likely to either lead to sex, come across as an invitation for sex or signal that you might look for a fuck buddy or friends with benefits situation. Also, when you drink past your limit, like me once (also true story), you might lose control of your behaviours, which is not attractive, and give an impression of a girl who's after short-term fun.

Ideally, the first few dates should be kept short, light and fun when two people are in their most natural state so that they would be able to have a fair view of each other and bring their chemistry to test.

6) Being honest and straightforward about what you want and expect will make your life much easier

And it also makes the lives of the people involved with you easier because they will know what to expect of themselves and of you. You will not have to worry about being the bad person or leading someone on because you have always been honest about your intention and made sure you communicate it well to the other person.

You will be most likely to get what you want and be satisfied with what you get because you have specifically asked for it from the people who are able to give it to you. It's basically a win-win situation for both parties.

7) If you want yourself or your love life to change, you need to start to do differently.

Life is a big experiment. People react to you differently when you carry yourself differently. You can't just keep doing one thing and expect the outcome to be different. You have to start to change from the small things, especially your mindset.

However, changing doesn't mean you will stop making mistakes and facing failures; you will still do. A lot, in fact. But it's good because mistakes and failures will remind you that you could do better next time and help you learn what works best for you.

My advice is that, be positive, stop crying over spilt milk and think about what could be done instead. Finally, embrace yourself. At. All. Time.

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