Dating is always a big topic amongst us girls. Dating is meant to be fun, but many of my friends see it as a negative activity, something that they actively avoid. Why? Well, for many dating is an emotional minefield—is he the one? Why hasn’t he called? Not another first date disaster!  Although bad date stories are funny, they have a serious side. For some women, bad dates are par for the course because they are what therapists term “broken pickers” (or “bad pickers”) rather than “healthy pickers.” What does this mean? Essentially that broken pickers tend to go for the same inappropriate type over and over again, putting themselves in the same situation again and again. At the most extreme, it means that they are picking partners who become abusive and/or controlling, helplessly repeating a pattern of violence. Or it might be as simple as being a sucker for a pretty face and not looking past the surface to think about their suitability. Sometimes no-one is at fault in the relationship; they just aren\’t a good match.

So how can you stop your trend of being a bad picker?  To start with, learn from your past mistakes!  If a current date reminds you of a previous relationship that ended badly, then consider that you are repeating a pattern.   Think about what you really want from a relationship, be realistic and be honest to yourself. And probably most importantly, listen to your date.  Don\’t project attributes and characteristics that aren\’t there or hear things that he isn\’t saying.  Some women tune out information that should be a warning sign such as a man saying to them, “I never want to have children.” If having children in the future is important to you, then you should quickly realize that you don\’t have a future with this man.

And remember having bad picker dating skills does not equal bad relationship skills. Once you are able to identify the kind of man you deserve, you\’ll be more likely to enter a healthy relationship where you\’ll be fulfilled and happy. Then it\’ll be time to look back and laugh at those bad date stories!