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man with crossed arms© Photo: Damir Khabirov / Shutterstock  

As we get older, we find more things changing around us without any real warning. Our priorities shift, our goals shift, and our desires for what to do on the weekends shift.

Suddenly, you realize your priorities are changing — and you have to change, too.

Change is hard because it requires losing people and things from our lives, often sacrificing aspects of ourselves, or parting ways with people or things that have been a big part of our existence for a long time.

But the funny thing is you eventually realize you're not really losing or giving up anything at all; you're simply shedding the skin of your life that no longer serves you

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Here are five things men need to 'give up' when learning how to find love

1. Bad habits

Maybe you're terrible at saving money. Maybe you're a poor communicator. Maybe you don't eat as healthy or work out as often as you should.

The point is, to be with the right woman, you've got to work to become the right man. It's true that the right woman will love you for who you are, but it's also true that she'll hold standards for herself and the man she allows into her life.

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2. The need to be right

No relationship is sunshine and rainbows all the time, despite the vision you may get from some of my other articles. There will be disagreements, there will be arguments, and there will be, above all, compromise.

When these situations arise, flexibility is key. You cannot always have things your way and expect a relationship to operate smoothly. It requires give and take from both people.

If either teammate feels the need to constantly be right, they'll be closed off to hearing and adjusting to their partner's opinions, and the relationship will implode.

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3. Ego

When we're in our early 20s, we're invincible. We don't need anyone. We're the crème de la crème. But with maturity comes the realization that nobody's perfect and we have a lot to learn.

Subsequently, we understand that many of these learning experiences come from the woman we will fall in love with, as she brings a fresh perspective to our lives.

But in order to open ourselves up to these experiences, we must leave our ego where it belongs — in the past — and open ourselves up to vulnerability. 

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4. Putting in mediocre effort

Maybe your avoidance of commitment or aversion to romance served you well when your weekends were full of bars and clubs, but when you're building a foundation for a future with a mature, established woman, you must adjust your approach.

Successful couples learn and grow together. They mature as individuals and as a team.

To be part of this team, you need to understand that growing up, women didn't dream of men who gave them mediocre efforts. Give her your passion, love, honesty, and energy.

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5. Short-term thinking

When we're younger, it's natural to think a little less about the future and a little more about the present.

The right woman will understand that it's difficult to plan a future with someone who has no future plan for themselves. She'll only want to commit to someone who will pledge to not only support her while she pursues her goals but who pursues his own as well.

It won't fly to just "see where things go." She'll want a man who she can count on as her teammate in life and in love.

The best part about giving up these things is that you aren't really losing anything at all.

In fact, you're gaining: wisdom, maturity, and the potential for more fulfilling happiness than you'd find if you held onto these limiting habits.

What are you really giving up? You're giving up the boy you were to become the man you were always meant to be.

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James Michael Sama is a relationship expert who writes about dating and relationships. He speaks on the topics of chivalry, romance, and happiness, and has been featured in news segments, talk shows, and mainstream radio.

This article originally appeared on YourTango

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