It’s September 1st– the start of a new month is perfect for creating new habits. What if you approached dating differently, just for one month? Texting impulsively is a habit, over thinking is a habit, deflating compliments is a habit, accepting last-minute invitations is a habit. Because a habit is something we do automatically, without putting much thought into it, we keep re-creating the same kinds of results ,most of which we don’t want. Like engaging in endless texting that creates frustration and confusion, getting mentally exhausted from thinking about something we have no control over, or rushing to get somewhere and being resentful of the person who invited us.

To change that, we must become aware of our habits and consciously choose to respond in a different manner. Here are the top 5 habits that you can develop to replace the old dysfunctional habits:

1. Communicate clearly. Suppose you tell a guy you don’t text and prefer that he calls you. Yet the very next day, he sends you a text that says “Good morning.” If you text him back, you confuse him. Not responding to his text at all would send a clear message that you meant what you said. If he’s smart, he’ll pick up the phone to call you.

2. Set healthy boundaries. If you tell a guy the best time to call you is before 9 p.m. but he calls you at 9:45 p.m. and you pick up the phone, you are telling him it’s ok to disrespect your boundaries. Instead, don’t pick up the phone. Send him an optional message the next day re-affirming your boundary in a playful yet clear manner: “You called me when I was deep asleep last night, but I would love to hear your voice before 9 p.m. tonight!”

3. Practice patience. Dating is like a rollercoaster of personal growth. With advanced technology, we want instant gratification. “OMG, you sent him a text 2 hours ago and he still hasn’t responded?!” You get frustrated, angry, anxious, but if you think about it objectively, you have a choice and an opportunity here. You can actually develop the most important trait to have if you want to be in a lasting relationship: patience. When you’re patient with yourself and others, you practice the highest form of self-love.

4. Stick to your vision. If you know that you are meant to become a mom and nothing can make you happier than the thought of your own baby in your arms, don’t waste your time on a divorced man who’s about to have the vasectomy. Even if he takes you on glamorous trips and promises you the world (minus children), don’t settle for less than your dream. We just went on a boating trip with our friends, who bought a new gorgeous speedboat. The guy who owns the boat told me it took him 3 years to get exactly what he had envisioned. He dreamed about it, searched for it, and saved for it. But we’re talking about your love life here, which is way more important than a boat, so don’t settle for less than what you really, really want deep-down.

5. Be consistent. You tell one guy you aren’t really that into, “If you want to ask me out, I need a few days’ notice.” But when that tall, dark and handsome dude texts you, asking, “What r u up to tonight?”, you jump in with an eager, “I’m up for anything, anytime.” That’s not right! Treat every man based on your standards (high, clear and fair), not on his physical characteristics or other subjective factors. That’s how you honor your integrity, and train men to perceive you as a high-value woman.

These are the top 5 habits you can develop. Practice these habits until they become a part of who you are.

Comment here and let me know what other habits helped you become a successful dater.