As you’ve probably noticed, there’s no shortage of relationship advice for women on how to get a boyfriend or deal with relationship problems. The lack seems to be somewhere in the middle: how do you avoid bad relationships in the first place?
Know who you’re looking for
When it comes to our love lives, most of us spend way too much time trying to be attractive to men in general and not nearly enough on deciding what type of man we’re really trying to attract. I’m not counting those fantasies about the tall, dark, and handsome wealthy investment banker who spends his weekends pirating on the high seas, either. I mean really thinking about the important character attributes of your ideal guy.
Watch out for major contradictions in your expectations, too. For instance, if you love the strong silent type, don’t complain when your macho man has a hard time sharing his feelings.
Establish your boundaries
Boundaries, popularly known as “deal breakers,” are your signals to leave a relationship ASAP. They’re things like physical abuse, criminal background, and addictions.
Here’s the thing, though: you need to decide what your boundaries are before you get involved with anyone. Once you’re romantically and physically involved—or even worse, financially entangled—it’s way too easy to start making excuses for his behavior.
One good piece of relationship advice for women is to share your deal breakers with a friend. That way, when you call her up to complain, she’ll give you a nudge by saying something like, “But didn’t you swear you’d break up with any guy who did that?”
Learn the warning signs
Tired of getting hurt by the same things over and over again? Most likely your man radar is broken. To fix it, learn the early warning signs that can
show you when your love interest is likely to be a cheater, physical abuser, alcoholic, or whatever else it is you want to avoid. This way you can filter out the noise and focus in on the good men. If you need pointers, relationship advice for women who’ve dealt with these kinds of guys can help you out.
Listen to your gut
How many times have you heard this one? Well, it’s one of the most often repeated pieces of relationship advice for women because it’s so true. In relationships, more than anywhere else, a gut feeling alone can tell you when things just aren’t going to work out. Don’t ignore your instincts.
Beware of instant attraction
Just about all of us have met at least one woman who swears she knew she’d found her soul mate the moment she set eyes upon the man who’s now her husband. It does happen. Chalk that one up to instinct, too, I guess.
More often, though, instant attraction eventually leaves you dazed and miserable from a whirlwind affair that crashed in less than a month. If you feel yourself irresistibly attracted to a man you just met, take a step back and ask yourself why? If you can’t see any major stop signs, go ahead and get to know the guy, but take it slower than you normally would. A strong initial attraction should make you more cautious, not less.
Before you read any more relationship advice for women, take some time to get clear on your own needs and desires.
Decide what kind of man you’re looking for and set clear boundaries and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of avoiding heartache in the future.