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Have you ever wondered why you’ve kissed so many frogs and still haven’t found your prince (or princess)? Do you think to yourself “maybe I just attract jerks or “I’m convince I will just stay single?”

Begin to think about how you’ve developed into the person you are today. Consider the relationship your parents had when you were growing up. Consider the values you were taught and the things you witnessed. Now, think about how all of those things influences who you are in a romantic relationship. Ask yourself: “Would I date me?” By understanding your relationship patterns and where they are rooted, you will begin to heal and find more doors opening to new and healthy relationship opportunities.

Some of the questions we have to face head on make us uncomfortable. When we think about dating and romantic relationships, we want to be able to find a pre-assembled Mr. Right (or Mrs. Right). The reality is, we are all works in progress and dating to seek to find the right partner is scary. We don’t want to get hurt. It’s a hassle trying to get to know someone all over again. We don’t want to feel as if we are wasting our time and we just don’t want to play the dating game.

Fear takes over and paralyzes us into the same old patterns. I have 4 tips on how to better navigate your journey to love:

1. Accept That Healing Yourself Is a Prerequisite to Dating

You have to unpack that emotional baggage you are carrying around and heal so that you can not only be free from it but so that a potential suitor can see the awesome person that you are.

2. Become Aware of Your Triggers

Triggers are those behaviors or comments that typically have you running for the hills or holding on tight for dear life. Whether it be that your phone call or text message isn’t returned right away or it could even be something superficial like he’s just too short.” Becoming aware of your emotional reactions to the things you thought of as your “standards” or deal breakers could get you one step closer to finding the love you want.

3. Evaluate Why You Think You Are Ready to Find Love

If you think a relationship will make you happy, will complete or validate you, think again. You must change your perspective on dating and enter into a relationship whole and emotionally healthy. We all have insecurities. But we must deal with these insecurities in a healthy way and not allow them to effect our budding relationship with someone.

4. Allow Yourself to Be Emotionally Available

That means, doing all of the above and severing all ties with all ex’s and friends with benefits. Can you think of one really good reason to keep them around? If they were so worthy of your time, why don’t they hold the official place in your heart of boyfriend?

It’s time to take charge of your love life. Time will pass anyway so why not start now. Take control and free yourself of unhealthy patterns that has led you nowhere. No excuses.

Darylevuanie Johnson, LPC

I am a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in Washington, DC and helps others heal from past relationship patterns and guide them into creating the love they deserve. I help couples and individuals experiencing relationship difficulties.

I provide therapy in the correctional system, I have my own private practice called In Session Counseling & Consulting, LLC and I am a college psychology professor. I am also a PhD candidate in the research dissertation phase where I am conducting research related to healing emotional wounds after infidelity.

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