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There aren’t very many guarantees in life, but there is almost one, and that is that eventually, most of us go through failed relationships. While there are probably a few exceptions, the dating world proves to be a daunting one to enter, and many of us are left questioning ourselves.

If you have reached that point, you are probably asking yourself: am I toxic?

What is it about me that needs to be changed? Of course, we shouldn’t strive to change who we are as a first resort. But, when we have been dumped numerous times, and also dumped a handful, we may need to reassess what habits we have, as well as patterns, in order to stop even more heartache.

And while it may be hard to think of it this way, if you have reached this point, you may be onto something. I’m not saying that this makes us bad people, in fact, I think striving for positive change is a noble act. With that being said, it’s actually not that hard. According to various experts, if you follow these steps, you will be on the right track in no time.

1. Learn to forgive, especially yourself.

We have already covered that when we constantly fail in relationships that it may be time to alter ourselves. Don’t be hard on yourself, as this won’t help the situation at all. Instead, take a moment to remember that we all have reasons for our bad behaviors and that mistakes are normal during our life journey. Don’t reinforce the behavior and don’t lose hope. Move forward.

2. Take stock.

When you decide to date someone, sit down and think about the person without bias, and without the ‘love goggles.’ Make two columns on a piece of paper, then list everything you want from a good relationship. Then in the second column, write down the reality of your bond with them. Is there a HUGE gap? If so, rethink.

3. Learn to recognize warning signs.

Remember not to overlook the things you did in your past. If you notice bad signs, you aren’t bad for breaking it off at that moment. Don’t wait for the situation to escalate.

4. Clarify what you expect.

Before you start something that is serious, tell the person what you expect. Don’t be aggressive about it, but don’t be passive either. Know what you want, your limits and your expectations, and be transparent with them.

5. Understand that people make mistakes and that no one is perfect.

We all have bad traits and habits. Don’t completely dismiss someone for being human, but also, don’t be too accepting either. Find balance.