As they say, charge it to experience. The more you date, the more you’ll learn what it is you actually want in a relationship. Heed our advice and transform your dating life, stat.

As a 30-something-year-old, I sometimes cringe when I think about how I used to think about love, guys, and dating. That’s because knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t want to act like I did years ago.

There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to meeting guys you’d like to date. It can be through a friend, a speed dating event, through office connections, or even online. Nowadays there are even dating apps like Tinder to give a whole new dimension to socializing.

But there are ways of thinking and dating behavior that might actually be doing you more harm than good as you approach your 30s. Thankfully, we’re here to make sure you’re aware of them early on. Read on and be enlightened.

1. Thinking this guy is "The One"
Sure, there’s such a thing as an "instant connection" or "chemistry." He may be "just your type." But if you’re still in the early stages of dating, it might be premature to assume the two of you are destined to be together for eternity. He "could be" might be a better way of thinking about it. If he shows promise, go for it, girl!

2. Crying over unacknowledged text messages
Honey, dating is a game. Some guys will intentionally not reply immediately (or at all) to your texts depending on how much they like (or dislike) you. It should be very clear to you from the very beginning that every date could be your last. There’s no guarantee that he’ll ask you out again. That’s just the heartbreaking reality of dating (sigh).

On the other hand, him not texting back could actually be saving you from false hopes. He’s actually doing you a favor by sending you an early and indirect sign of rejection. But believe us when we say that there are good, decent guys out there who will not lead you on.

3. Being too available
It can give a guy the impression that you’re too eager to go on a date if you keep saying you’re free each time he asks you out. Guys like a good challenge, and are even more attracted when a woman shows she’s got other things going on in her life than being available 24/7 for him. Say yes sometimes, and no other times. Think of it this way; if he really liked you, you would know if he keeps persisting.

These tips aren’t meant to discourage you from dating, but to give you a more realistic perspective of the dating game. True, there are real connections that can be built overnight. But keeping these things in mind, we hope you’ll learn to manage your expectations and save yourself a lot of unnecessary heartache. Enjoy mingling, just be yourself, and you’ll find your perfect match in due time.

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SCREENCAP: Trainwreck/Universal Pictures (2015)

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