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6 ways your friends are preventing you from finding "the one"
Believe it or not, your friends may be the cause of your questionable dating life. - photo by Melinda Fox
You're a likable person. There's no question about that. You have friends you care about and who care about you.

In fact, investing in "Best Friends Forever" bracelets is no challenge. You know that you want to braid each other's hair, and gab about your mutual love of obscure modern jazz music for the rest of your lives.

So why is it so hard to find someone to date? Or to find that person you'd be willing to hitch your wagon to forever?

Believe it or not, your friends could be what's stopping you from finding "the one."

No growth in the comfort zone

For most people, getting up the courage to talk to a stranger is a challenge and turning that conversation into a new friendshiplet alone a romantic relationshipis like trying to beat Michael Phelps in the swimming pool.

This is why you waste valuable meeting opportunities like parties huddled in the corner telling your friends how datable they are rather than actually going out there and being datable. The comfort of your friendships can hold you back from finding a partner.

Instead, use your wing-women to make goals together to help maximize the people you meet. Working together (instead of unknowingly sabotaging each other) will help you be successful in the dating world. When youre with people who already love you, youll feel more confident while getting to know new people.

Comparing the relationship

Youve probably said ridiculous things for years, but your friends are still around and, whats more, they love you in spite of it.

This time and experience have built a trove of trust in those relationships. On the other hand, when you start a relationship with someone new, you dont have that accumulation of trust to rely on. Therefore, if you start comparing your relationship with your boyfriend to your relationship with your best friend of several years, its no wonder he falls short in multiple areas.

Instead if you choose to evaluate your relationship from a perspective of potentialor what your relationship could becomeyou will have a more realistic scale on which to measure the quality of your romantic relationship. If you continue to say things like, this doesn't feel the same as it does with my friend you need to remember to think of the potential the relationship could have.

Comparing yourself

Of course you think your friends are great; thats why theyre your friends. But you can get into the habit of deciding they are better than they actually are, read: better than you. Therefore, when you and your friend are chatting to an attractive young man, you assume that shes the one hes going to go for because shes prettier, funnier, or smarter than you. Doing this is detrimental for so many reasons but above all, you are devaluing all of your great qualities by overvaluing her positive qualities.

In other words, you are comparing your strengths to her weaknesses.

This is harmful to your dating game because if you dont believe youre worth dating, no potential partner will believe it either. And frankly, just because she has hair that shines like its been infused with diamonds, and yours is a frizz fest, it doesnt mean shes a better match for this guy. Maybe your friend doesnt share the same ethical values with him and you do. And honestly, maybe hes into frizzy hair.

You attract who they attract

You like your friend; yall share the same love of over the top music videos and can discuss the benefits of recycling for hours, but your friends friends are another story.

If you find yourself repeatedly hanging out with friends of your friend, and you're doing nothing more than smiling lightly as the group guffaws, you are wasting time building relationships that aren't valuable to you. That is to say, you're investing in relationships that won't pay off in the dating world because you wont want to date them or the people you would meet through them.

I don't mean to suggest that you ditch your friend, but you might want to consider putting some of the time you spend with her friends, and put yourself in situations where you'll meet your kind of people.

Theyre your first priority

Relationships vs. friendships can go one of two ways:

First, there are those fair-weathered friends who are only there because they don't have a plus-one. Thats no bueno.

But on the other hand, there are also people who prioritize their friends over their significant other. This is easy to do.

Your friends have racked up some serious points on your personal VIP scale, and your man simply hasnt had enough time to do the same thing.

While it's important to schedule time with your best mates, and while it's equally important to give your friends the support they need, being your bae actually means he's "before anyone else."

The opposite gender

When a guy walks in a room with another girl, what is your automatic assumption? That shes his sister? Yeah, right! Automatically, you believe they are a couple.

The same goes for you. It doesnt matter that youve known him since you were 4, and that you couldnt be interested in him if you tried. If your profile picture is of the two of you at a baseball game, the cute guy that looked you up on Facebook is going to believe youre taken.

No matter what, your friends are important people. There's no doubt about that. But don't let them get in the way of finding your number one important person. Support each other in everything, including dating.