How to Stop Dating Bad-for-You-Boys for Good
1. Mix Up Date Locales
Don't waste too much time trying to make a poor match work and not enough time figuring out if he's even worth pursuing in the first place. Want a fast way to see if he's worth the time? Switch up his comfort zone. If he's a sporty guy, go watch a game one night, but then suggest a quiet dinner for two or a museum outing for another. Different situations will bring out alternate aspects of his personality and should clue you in on whether he's comfortable being with you in general.
2. Don't Be His Slave to Fashion
Got a man who's always asking you to change outfits (it took long enough to pick this one, thank you very much!)? Major red flag. Although a little fashion advice here and there doesn't hurt, if he's constantly telling you that what you wear isn't good enough, rethink him, not your clothes. "Don't make his insecurity your problem," says Nowinski. "Speak up and voice your opinion." When guys sense your sexy self-confidence, they'll want you just the way you are.
3. Stick to Safe Sites
If you decide to go the online dating route, trust your gut and post only on sites that make you feel comfortable. Another tip: "Don't re-create your profile based on someone else's suggestions," says Nowinski.
4. Forget About Changing Him — You Can't
5. Watch Out for Extremes
If Mr. Serious just broke your heart, it's normal to see if you'd have better luck with a guy who lives to party. The problem with this strategy? Your new party boy is just as extreme as your super-serious dude. It'll be the same drama, just a different twist on it. "Don't just look for a man who has qualities that the last man didn't have because you'll go from repeating one dangerous pattern to another," suggests Nowinski.
6. If He Won't Make Time for the Two of You, Proceed With Caution
A guy who's as generous with his time as he is with his wallet is, well, the Holy Grail of men. Strike a balance, and make sure he values your time together as much as you do.
7. Set Realistic Expectations
Be cautious if you ever find yourself thinking things are going to be different now that we're a couple. If you were uncomfortable with the way things were when you were nonexclusive, don't assume they'll be any different now that you've put a label on it.
8. Chemistry Does Not Always Equal Love
Yes, chemistry exists, and yes, it's important. But don't confuse those feelings with true love. "Really check the guy out and make sure he's got good values that you're attracted to as well," says Nowinski. And if it turns out McSteamy is your soul mate, well, you just hit the jackpot, lucky lady!