Why It Never Works Out

Sometimes the old breakup truism "It's not you, it's me" isn't all that true. Sometimes, when a budding relationship fails, it really is you.

If you're tired of first dates that go nowhere and relationships that end before they really begin, ask yourself if you're guilty of any of these secret saboteurs.

You're Making the Wrong Choices

Can't seem to find someone that doesn't fit the Bad Boy (or Girl) stereotype? It's not that good, decent, dream-worthy dates don't exist. You just need to learn to recognize - and desire - them. Do some soul-searching on why you seek, or settle for, dates who treat you like dirt. Then maybe you can learn to appreciate those who don't.

Or maybe your problem is that you're finding good mate material - they're just not good mate material for you. Look beyond your big must-haves list and make sure you two can click on other levels, like lifestyle (you're both homebodies or share the same wanderlust) and character traits.

You're Not Really Trying

Maybe you're keeping potential paramours at arm's length - by either having someone already sort of in your life (that ex you still sleep with, for example) or by sabotaging budding romances - because you're just not quite ready to be in a real relationship. There's a lot of pressure out there to be paired up; it's easy to get so caught up in the idea of being a couple that you force yourself to play the part.

You're Too Unrealistic

Do you size up your potential mates with a mental checklist of specific requirements? Are you waiting for the right love to come along and finally make your life perfect? Looking for someone with whom you'll spend hours talking about your hopes and dreams (and never arguing about the little stuff, like who forgot to buy toilet paper)? Perhaps it's time for a reality check.

You're Not Asking for It

Don't assume that you'll find someone who can read your mind. If you need something to make your relationship work - you need your date to call you more or be more supportive, let's say - you need to speak up and ask for it. Don't confuse having needs with being needy. It's far better to ask casually for something early ("Hey, I'd really appreciate it if you'd hear me out about this situation I'm having at work") than wait until you're frustrated and seething ("You never listen to me").

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