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TaraRichterDatingCoach4When you apply the “3 Strikes, You’re Out” rule to dating, you lose the risk of being walked all over.

It’s hard to know right off the bat whether someone is marriage material or not. And that’s okay—you don’t need to know right away. Prior to contrary belief, you probably won’t have an earth-shattering, movie-like epiphany telling you “Aha! This is the one.” (Although, that would be nice, wouldn’t it?)

No one is perfect, and no one should be expected to behave as such all the time, either. But it is important that you recognize certain patterns of behavior in a person— especially if they affect you negatively.

For example, if you have caught a guy in a lie three times (regardless of how “small” of a lie it was) it’s time to kick him to the curb.

Sure, everyone deserves a second chance, and mistakes happen. Maybe they weren’t trying to stand you up and their car really did break down. Maybe that Facebook account really is outdated and he is no longer in a relationship with that woman. (Highly suspicious though, right?). But on the third offense, you need to realize these probably just aren’t coincidences. They are who the person truly is, or at least a reflection of how they view your relationship.

You teach people how to treat you. If you bend over backwards to make yourself convenient for someone they will remember this and continually ask you to do it. Don’t bend until you break. If someone does not treat you as a priority, they are not worthy of your time. There are plenty of people out there, though, that are. Move on. (Note: this applies to all relationships… even your friendships!)

The most important sign you should trust is your intuition because it rarely steers you wrong. People can tell us anything they want, and most of the time we will hear what we want. But that necessarily doesn’t make it true.

Sometimes it helps to make a list of the good versus bad. It may sound cliche—but that’s because it work with all areas of life! Writing things down on paper forces you to see, in black and white, what your mind processes as a mess of emotion. If you are torn about someone, or something, write down the pros and cons. I guarantee you will see something you didn’t before.

Just remember that a general rule of thumb for when you are dating: “3 Strikes, You’re Out.” The one major exception to this rule is if the person displays physical or verbal abuse. That is unacceptable and is mandatory grounds for a “1 Strike, You’re Gone Forever” rule!

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.