Whether it’s random dudes sliding into your DMs with some unwanted d*ck pics or finally finding someone you think could be the one for you only to learn he’s been cheating on you with three different women, it’s easy to get disheartened about dating. It’s obviously not a walk in the park to find a partner but there are many reasons making mistakes in love can ultimately lead you to find the person of your dreams.

1. You understand your needs in a relationship better. When an ex (or several exes) have disappointed and hurt you over and over again, you start to realize what really matters to you. Whether it be someone you can depend on to be there for you during your anxiety attacks or someone with a stable income, you know what you really need in a relationship and are more able to pinpoint what will make you happy.

2. You look for a partnership instead of a fling. You may start to realize that the flaky, toxic dudes you’ve been dating are no longer making you happy. To really fill that void in your life, you may need to find true partner; someone who will be your equal and will support you through thick and thin. Flings can be fun but when it comes down to dependability they’re usually nowhere to be found.

3. You see the red flags in potential mates faster. You know the qualities you dislike in potential partners because you’ve been building your list for years. The more mistakes dudes make, the more refined your red flag list becomes. For example, if he only texts you in the middle of the night, you’re able to recognize that he probably only wants 6ex and not something more. If he hides his phone from you and won’t ever let you see it, you can usually correctly assume that he’s up to something shady. When you start to see these traits coming out, you know it’s time to be cautionary or move on.

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