women dating cell phone Are you taking your relationship for granted? / Getty Images

Old habits die hard. But if your love life isn’t quite what you want it to be, you’ve gotta switch it up. Get out of your dating rut, get a new strategy, and ditch these habits once and for all!

1. Making excuses. Are you always making up reasons to not try your hardest when it comes to dating? Maybe some of these sound familiar: "I’m not going to find someone online, anyway." "I’m not going to date until I lose weight." "I’m doing pretty well on my own right now." Stop talking yourself out of taking the necessary steps to find someone. Admit to yourself you want a relationship if that's what you want, make the commitment to try to find one, and be proactive about meeting people.

 

2. Being too judgmental. Of course when you’re meeting people you have to be a little picky. But whether you’re deciding who to talk to at a bar or whose messages to respond to online, don’t pick people apart and discount them based on one feature you’re not that into —physical or otherwise. You have to give people a chance to win you over with the full package.

3. Staying in a relationship that’s going nowhere. Break ups are no fun. But you can’t stay in a relationship that isn’t right just because you don’t want to deal with a break up, are scared of being alone, or things feel comfortable. You deserve to be with someone who really makes you happy, and more than that your partner deserves to be with someone who actually adores them. If you haven’t caught the right one, you have to get back out there and try again.

4. Taking your relationship for granted. Relationships have to be nourished and protected no matter how long you’ve been in one. Regularly schedule a date night where you get out of the house and do something different with each other. Even when you’re busy and exhausted, make time to talk to one another about your days, what’s going on in your personal lives, and anything else that’s been on your mind. Yes it’s easier to get home from work and just plop yourself on the couch in front of your favorite TV shows. But just like you have to put effort into working out regularly if you want to stay in shape, you have to put effort into your relationship even when things are going well.

— Amber Madison is a nationally noted relationship expert and practicing therapist who lives in Manhattan. She is also the author of"Are All Guys Assholes?"for which she interviewed over 1,000 guys and found the answer to this question is "no." Follow her on Twitter@ambermadito get her latest advice.

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