Dating in the digital age can be a bit daunting and at times feel unhealthy, but Joanna Coles, a former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, offers some solutions in her new book, "Love Rules."
"I think of it as a diet book for love because food and love are two things we cannot do without," Coles said on "Good Morning America." "We have enormous appetites for both food and love and yet there's junk food and also junk love ... You need a nutritional love diet. Don't put the junk stuff in your body -- it's not going to do you any good."
Coles, now chief content officer of Hearst magazine, has 15 different rules for women to follow. She talked specifically about her first three.
Rule #1: Establish your ideal love weight
"One of my first rules is you have to establish an ideal love weight," Coles said. Going into a relationship without a foundation of realistic goals will result in "a complete meltdown," she explained.
"You want to reset your metabolism with a goal in mind," she said.
Coles suggests asking yourself the tough questions first -- do you want love, marriage, children -- and from there seek out a relationship that will fulfill that goal. "You have to think 'what do I want' and find someone that wants the same things at the same time," she said.
She continued, "You have to be honest if you reach the point that you think they're not going to [fulfill] that. And you have to be able to walk away."
When it comes to dating apps, Coles said they "can be fantastic, but they're a bit like a Costco, you can also be overwhelmed with options." So she suggests figuring out "which is the fresh produce aisle and that's where you need to spend your time."
Rule #2: Put the work in, get out there and take it seriously
"The treadmill won't run on its own, you have to put some work into this. If you're going to lose weight you have to apply yourself," Coles said. She suggests that in addition to dating apps, make the effort to meet people through clubs, organized sports teams or other events.
"Get out there and meet people and that will lead to meeting other people. Look around see if there's anyone hiding in plain sight, there may be friends that become more than friends. But take it seriously and get out there," she urged.
Rule #3: Don't give into your cravings
Some dating and dieting habits, Coles said, may feel great in the moment but ultimately lead to a crash.
"I think hookups are like French fries or like doughnuts," Coles explained. "They are fantastic in the moment -- and you think they don't have any calories, but they do and often you wake up the next morning thinking, why did I do that?"
She added, "Yes, it's OK to have them but not every night and maybe not every week."
She also said to figure out how you feel afterward and understand your trigger points.
Coles pushed the junk food cravings comparison one step further and explained that giving into junk love will only leave you unfulfilled and wanting more.
"I think of a doughnut as sleeping with an ex," she said. "You're hungry, you want something comforting and then 45 minutes later you are like why did I do that and you're still hungry and you're still hungry."