If you’re looking to date the right way and find the love of your life (or just an actual good date for that matter), it can seem like you’re prepping to climb Mt Everest. And you haven’t even been to the gym for two weeks. But if you start cultivating healthy dating habits, you can build a solid foundation for creating a fantastic relationship.

Just like cultivating your physical muscles, you also need to develop your dating habit muscles

If you want to get that “beach body” in time for summer, you’ll want to start working out well before the third week in June. Because it won’t give you enough time to get those abs to look like they’re not covered in a juicy layer of Krispy Creme donuts.

If you want find the love of your life, toning down your bad dating habits and not working out your dating muscle will keep you single. You know you’ve got to do the work. Like learning how to text a man.

You’ve got to know how to date the right way. You need to cultivate good dating habits and start dating like a grown up. There are lots of things you need to do to get your dating muscle in good shape first.

You need to get ready for dating by prepping yourself up

Whether you’re old-fashioned and want to meet the love of your life while you’re disco bowling, more power to ya. If you can meet a man while wearing those shoes, you’re a step ahead of getting thee strikes in a good way.

Or if you’re coming into the modern era of online dating (my fingers are crossed you are getting up to date finally), you’ve probably got some work to do. If you need help with first date convo you can learn some of these tips here. Knowing how to ask the right questions is one of the keys of knowing how to date the right way.

I know, I know it would be great if your new next door neighbor was the hottie you’ve been waiting for. But more often than not, you’ve got to leave your apartment complex unless you’re doing dating the cyber way.

So let’s say you’re going to to get online (I really think you should!) you want to know how to date the right way

There are some things you’ll need to do first to get ready to meet the man who doesn’t wear Christmas bulbs in his beard (unless you’re into that kind of thing). You’ll need to make a stellar online dating profile like this. You can check out my blog for tons of information on how to attract a man online.

However, if you’re feeling stuck and don’t know how to create an online dating profile, I’m helping a few select ladies increase their online sexiness with online dating profile makeovers.

But I’m sure you can do it all by your bad self. But if you’re too busy, or just don’t want to write it, click this link and I’ll do all the work for you so you can put your best foot forward and stand out in a sea of women. I’ve helped hundreds of people with their profiles, and I’m confident that I can help you attract the right kind of man online as your dating coach.

First things first. Get your dating profile up to par. You need to have great photos

At the bare minimum,  you’ll need one headshot and one full body shot. Smile into the camera. These are the basics of healthy dating habits online.

Or even ask your girlfriends to take photos of you. Get a professional if you have to (but you totally don’t have to do that!).

Having lovely photos online is one of the incredible dating habits you must cultivate!

I also have a sneaky tip for you (more than one can be found here). If you update your pics online, it will show the sites or apps you’re an active user. This one simple action can push you to the top of the feed!

The next dating habit is to create a fantastic headline, description, bio and all the good stuff there. Keep things positive and talk about your passions, whatever they may be. Like attracts like, so be attractive.

The next dating habit is to like, swipe right or message people you’re interested in connection with. Dating is like working out, you have to keep doing it (no matter how long it takes to see results). But when you are proactive with healthy dating habits, I promise you WILL see results!

You have to make a habit of dating for it actually to work

This means swiping, liking, winking, messaging phone calls and going on actual dates. Some people think dating is exhausting. You might say, all I’ve been doing is dating a nothing is working! I’m still single!

Even if this is the result, you must keep your eye on the prize!

If you’re shooting a bow and arrow and don’t know where to point it, you’ll never hit your mark. So you’ve got to clarify the kind of guy you want. Wait there’s more!

Notice what kind of chatter is going on inside of your mind

Are the things you say to yourself about finding a good relationship positive or are you going down a losing path? The things you tell yourself will manifest in your life.

If you say things like “There are no good men online,” then guess what? You will probably meet douche bags.  On the flip side, if you say things like, “I meet the most amazing people on my dating journey,” good men will be attracted into your online playground.

When you’re dating look at it as a picnic and don’t focus on the ants. Focus on the good cheese, the champagne the sun and your fantastic date. Who cares if there are ants around. They are so small, and if you make them a big deal, they will multiply in numbers and carry off your sandwich.

People with healthy dating habits also trust their intuition

Trust your feelings to know if someone is a good match for you or not. Be willing to put your ego aside and listen to not only your heart. You have to be quiet to hear it sometimes.

It may feel like knots in your stomach. A clenching of your throat. The feeling could be feeling very nervous around someone. If you feel like you have to become someone different to be with this person, they’re not right for you!

Everyone has intuition, but so many people ignore it. I know I have,  and you probably have too. A guy might look great on paper and have all the things you have on your boyfriend checklist, but something just doesn’t feel right. Trust this feeling. Your body doesn’t lie.

Another healthy dating habit is to look at what a guy really says and does

Most men (and women) are on their best behavior in the beginning. This is part of the courting process. If you notice a man starting to have less good behavior call him out on it. If he disrespects you when you first start dating, this will not change.

If he doesn’t respect you from the beginning, he’s not going to become the perfect doting boyfriend magically. Even if the guy you’re going out with is rich, gorgeous and good in bed, if he’s mean and doesn’t respect you, your self-esteem will be down in the toilet.

Paying attention to how a guy treats you and other people around is a good indicator of if he’s a good guy or not. Kindness, empathy, and respect go a long way in my book.

Don’t push for relationship status too fast

I know I’ve been this person in the past, and it didn’t go over well. I’ve changed my bad dating habits to good ones, and this is one of the hardest. You know when there’s great chemistry between you and a new beau, you want him to stick around.

Getting to know a man before you commit to him will give you time to make sure he’s actually a keeper. I was crazy about a guy once and committed too quickly. His MO was to try to get me to have sex with someone else so he could watch.

Every weekend we spent together, I would end up in tears because this was not what I wanted. I was happy with a two-person relationship. I held my ground and so did he with his pressure. I finally (thankfully) broke it off with him even though I loved him. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my days feeling pressured by a cuckold (that’s a man who’s partner sleeps with other people).

Letting your potential beau know you actually like spending time with him

Being cool is one thing, but pretending not to know if you like a guy is lame. If you like spending time with a man, don’t hide it. Tell him you like spending time with him. When he gives you a call, use your words to let him know you love to hear his voice.

Pretending to be aloof, or faking that you’re cool with a casual relationship (when you’re not) will only get you burned. Pretending you’re not lookin for the love of your life will waste your time and could break your heart. This leads me to the next point.

Create the habit of being honest

This is another one that is super hard for some people. Especially if in the past you’ve been a people pleaser. Saying yes when you want to say know will only hurt you in the long run. If a guy asks you out last minute after he’s been day drinking, and you say yes, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice.

For example, if your guy suggests a seafood restaurant and you’re allergic to shellfish, tell him you’re not really into it. But do give him suggestions of what you do like. Just say, “I love Italian, Thai food and burgers. Yum!” This is such an easy healthy dating habit for you to try. It can help you keep the love of your life.

If you want to find the love of your life, don’t pretend to be hunky-dory with something you’re not. A man can handle a woman saying no. It will make him respect you more. Being a doormat isn’t attractive. Having healthy dating habits will help you find a fantastic guy. On another note . . .

The art of being honest needs a solid foundation of self love

This is not only one of the best dating habits, but it will also help you succeed in every other area of your life too. Creating healthy dating habits will help you create a healthy relationship. It takes two healthy people, to begin with. A relationship can only be as healthy as the least healthy person.

So if your guy has mommy issues, or drinks excessively, there’s going to be problems sooner than later. Being honest about what you’ll allow into your life ties into your own self-love.

If you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see a guy will feel this (even if only subconsciously). He’ll know he can use you because you don’t love yourself. There are a few things you can to amplify love for yourself.

Talk nicely to yourself. Create boundaries and stick to them. Respect yourself and others. Be open with your feelings (in a non-dramatic way of course!).

Know what you won’t tolerate

If you hate smoking, but a guy is so hot and a great kisser, you go for it anyway . . . After your fun romp, you’re going to be sick after he lights one up immediately. Your hair and clothes are going to smell like an ashtray. The law of attraction is a real thing when it comes to dating.

Keep a list of your dealbreakers tucked away. These are often things your exes did that you hated. Deal breakers can be things like having anger issues, being clingy, no ambition, being irresponsible, drug use, different political affiliation and so on.

If you’re a bleeding heart liberal and an activist, you’re probably not going to be a fit for a super conservative person. Don’t forget to get your copy of the boyfriend checklist to help you figure out what you do want. If he’s a non-commital man, that’s a deal breaker. And last, but not least . . .

Stay positive, girl!

This is so important for you to do when it comes to finding a relationship. Because if you’re not confident it makes it harder for you to open your heart. Not only that, if you just talk negative talk to yourself and others, it’s a massive turnoff for everyone. Even you.

In closing, know what you want, know what you don’t want, stick to your guns and look at the good things in life. Your love life will thank you for it.