"I think you can afford to do that in your twenties," she says."Those relationships, in fact, can teach you a lot."Now that you (hopefully) know a red flag when you see it, don't let that knowledge bank of toxic partners go to waste.Here's how to take stock of your goals, make some strategic changes and get long-term satisfaction out of love and life.
You could even have some sort of "list" for what you want in a guy.
But after a decade of missed connections or random encounters, it might be time to get real."If a woman is interested in marriage and biological babies, it's time to really take the reins of your love life," says Boston-based dating coach Neely Steinberg, author of Skin in the Game.
Most of us are probably a bit romantic about potential partners in our 20s.
Maybe we'll meet a brooding, handsome stranger in a coffee shop, or some witty guy will approach us at the neighborhood bar one night.
"You can't wait for serendipity to intervene or simply say, ' It will happen when it happens.'"What does that look like?
A heavy dose of soul-searching, and then pushing past roadblocks that threaten your success.
"You have to decide how much time you can give to each of your priorities, and how much of you want to give to each priority," says Carpenter.
"As professional opportunities start to arise, you'll have to make decisions.
CEO of a successful start-up, with your young-adult novel trilogy being turned into movies by your 35th birthday? It's great to, well, lean in—but many thirty-something women will admit that time seems to rapidly accelerate when in your 30s.
So while you should keep those sky-high goals close to your heart, you also have to hold yourself accountable for not missing out on something else you really want—like marriage and kids.
"It takes time to discover your feelings, for him to discover his, to build an emotional bond, and to see he's consistently trustworthy, reliable, kind, emotionally available and sensitive to your needs." If a guy obviously isn't? Think about what didn't work in terms of fostering personal and relationship growth. Get specific about the choices you made and what might need to change.