Red Flags and Green Lights

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How to Proceed with Caution

Keep these additional tips in mind as you get to know a new beau.

Trust Your Gut Does internal dialogue like Why didn't I see it coming? or I should have known better sound familiar? It means that you tend to internalize things and see failures as your own fault. First, quiet such harsh criticism (from yourself, of all people!) and learn to listen to your inner self. Women often have a strong intuitive sense, so if you think something is wrong, it probably is. Hone this instinct and you'll save yourself some heartbreak.

Get a Friend to Weigh In It's smart to bring a healthy dose of skepticism with you on a date. It also helps to bring a trusted girlfriend along too. "You may fall head over heels and miss obvious warning signs," says Mitchell. Set up a double date to see if your friend picks up on subtle -- or not so subtle -- clues that he may not be the one. For example, she may detect a tone of voice that isn't sincere or a bad habit that you're overlooking.

Take the Road Less Traveled Many women approach finding a man with a list of qualifications, says Thomashauer. Problem is, you quickly find that love has nothing to do with one's job, hair color, or social status. Strive to date a little outside your "type," she suggests. If you usually date tall men, go out with a shorter guy. Prefer older men? Try a younger one. Say yes to offers that normally wouldn't interest you. Mix it up and you may be surprised at what you'll find.


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