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We all know that love can make us crazy sometimes. It can seduce even the smartest girls into doing the dumbest things. Things we never would’ve done if we hadn’t fallen hopelessly, helplessly in love.

When I first met my husband-to-be, I was a confident, creative, career-driven, college-educated woman who was going to set the world on fire. Six years later, my self-esteem was in the gutter and my career was gone. This all evolved so slowly that I didn’t even notice what was happening. When my marriage ended, I was completely lost. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

Relationships and Deal BreakersSo how did a smart girl like me get into a situation like this?

Before we start, keep in mind that stupid mistakes can turn into empowering self-revelations. So let’s get smart with this crazy thing called love.

Here are some relationship blunders that even the brainiest girls can unintentionally make:

BTW, this doesn’t mean you’re dumb—we’ve all done stupid things for love, so let go of any judgment.

Making Lame Excuses

Denial can cause any bright-eyed girl to turn a blind eye when it comes to her boyfriend’s bad behavior. She’ll make the excuse that his lack of attention is because he’s working too hard or he’s just too busy. Or she excuses him when he has to leave dinner early to take care of his sick canary…and he doesn’t have one…and he hates birds.

Smart move: It’s time to get savvy about his dumb excuses. He’s behaving badly for a reason. Find out why.

Foolishly Trying to Be Something You’re Not

Maybe you’ve changed into what you think your partner wants, or a less-than-cool version of yourself, or you’ve become this needy, insecure person you don’t even recognize anymore. Don’t let insecurity rule your life. He made the choice to date you, not a lesser version of yourself.

Smart move: Be more of yourself, not less.

Getting Dumb and Dumber with Your Deal-breakers

In the beginning, you set healthy boundaries and knew what you required in a relationship, but now that you’re in it, those boundaries may have become blurred, or you’ve forgotten what they are. Now’s the time to remind yourself why you wanted a guy who supported your career goals, a guy you could trust, or a guy who’d treat you with respect. If what’s important to you is lacking in your relationship, say something.

Smart move: Don’t lose track of your deal breakers.

Being Controlling

Relationships and Total Turn OffAre you allowing your partner to be who he is and not trying to make him who you want him to be?

Are you always expecting him to act a certain way?

High expectations lead to great disappointment. If you are expecting him to take out the trash, that’s one thing. If you are expecting him not to hang out with his friends, that’s something else. You’re not his mother; you’re his partner.

Smart move: he wants a boy’s night out? Go on a girl’s night out and give your self-esteem a reboot.

Having an All-Out Power Failure

Are you giving your partner all your power?

If you are, then that bright light inside you (called passion and purpose) will eventually go out. Don’t ever dim your light to please others, or because you fear rejection, or because you think someone else’s needs are more important than your own.

Selfish is the new black. It’s time to take your power back. And selfish means being true to you.

So don’t let Crazy, Stupid Love wreak havoc on your life (and BTW, Ryan Gosling’s abs can make any girl stupid. I’m just sayin’).Whatever foolish habits you may have adopted in your relationship, forgive yourself. Smart people admit their mistakes and do something about them. They learn and move on.

On the other hand, if your relationship just isn’t working and he’s trying to break free while you keep hanging on like a cat to a tree branch, stop. If he’s stupid enough to walk away, be smart enough to let him go.

Debra Rogers

Award-Winning Author, Relationship Expert, and Queen of Breakovers. Debra Rogers is your best girl expert in the school of love. With years of dating and breakup experience, including one crushing breakup at eight months pregnant (which evolved into a supportive divorce and loving friendship), Debras earned her relationship MBA.

Debra’s book He Did You a Favor has been featured in Shape Magazine and is the winner of the 2014 Independent Publisher Award, the Next Generation Indie Award, and the Indie Reader Discovery Award. He Did You a Favor is her recipe for success, so you can have the life and relationships you’ve always dreamed of.

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