Date Responsibly: 12 Ways to Avoid Heartbreak

Say farewell to unmet needs and hello to true happiness by dating with your heart and your head.

Kevin Carr Mar, 12, 2013

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The plea to date responsibly goes out to women and men alike, although, ladies, this article is for you. Now hear me out. It isn’t my intention to pardon men from irresponsible behavior. Nor is it my goal to excuse their lack of commitment to you at times. The more responsibility you take for your own happiness, the more probable it is that what you seek will indeed come into fruition. Whatever your past or present, it’s important to focus on your future. Dating responsibly is the topic of my new e-book and I created it with your heart in mind. I encourage you to guard it. It’s more than precious, and each prick it endures leaves a scar. That’s why it’s so important to date with your head and your heart. Here’s how!

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It's that important. There is no better time than now to start dating responsibly. As far as the type of men you date, the goal should be to make good decisions from day one. This will help you avoid unnecessary attachments. Good dating choices lead to positive relationship results.

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Some men won't be up to the task of managing the responsibility that comes with your heart. However, one of the first steps in the process of dating responsibly is realizing that your fulfillment and satisfaction ultimately begins and ends with you. Taking charge of your happiness changes everything.

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Nothing in life should be left to chance. (Especially not matters of the heart.) Every attachment, detachment and reattachment takes its toll on your overall emotional well-being. It’s in your best interest to be intentional in choosing the men whom you give your time to.

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Many don't know what they truly want in life; let alone whether or not they want a relationship or not. This sometimes means they’re frustrated by what they receive. I encourage you to discover your ideals and goals. It will ultimately simplify your dating experience.

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It's Friday night and I am writing this article. When finished, I'll move from my office to my couch to watch re-runs of The Wire. That makes me happy! Find out what does it for you, even right on down to the simplest of things. (How do you take your coffee? What’s your favorite seat in a restaurant?) This will aid you in realizing who does and doesn't fit into your happy equation and whether or not their interests mesh with yours.

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Your standards are everything! However, they are merely an outline of how you would ultimately like to be treated by the man you love and who loves you. They give the men in pursuit of you something to live up to. Set them and, most importantly, maintain them.

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When two people aren’t on the same page while dating, future disappointment looms. For instance: You may not want to get married today, but it's definitely a goal in the future. He’s ready now. Now what? This situation doesn’t end well. I know it’s an extreme example, but knowing what you want can keep you from having to end something that should never have gone that far.

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Car? Check. Degree? Check. Job? Check. But does he share your morals and values? I support having wants and requirements, however, if his value system isn't in line with yours, you will undoubtedly run into problems in some very major categories (marriage, parenting, etc.), and sooner rather than later.

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Standards only work when you maintain them and ideals can't be realized until you go after them. It's your life and your heart. Why should he have everything his way? Stand firm!

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At the end of the day, people are going to do what they're going to do. With that said, for your heart's sake, it's important for you to realize that nothing “just happens.” Many times there are red flags that present themselves in the very beginning. I know you “looooove” him and all, but don't be blinded by the lights. Watch his most consistent and revealing actions because they will unveil his true character.

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Life is too short to spend time playing games. Although I’m not suggesting that you rush into something, taking a little extra time will help you make a better decision. Be open about your feelings and encourage him to do the same. His ability to be open and honest about his feelings, or lack thereof, will help you determine whether or not you should continue to invest your precious time and energy into him.

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Nothing is worse than the uncertainty that comes with not knowing if the feelings that you have are mutual. Ask penetrating questions and have transparent conversations so that you are informed, and as a result, empowered to make choices that will prove beneficial in the long run.

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Relationships expert and author Kevin Carr