By Autumn Hamilton
Is dating starting to feel more like drudgery than dreamy? Feeling frustrated with the ups and downs of dating and wanting to just give up? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Dating can be disappointing, challenging and extremely exhausting, especially when you feel like you’ve tried everything with little to no results. But there’s hope for you! Here are 8 tips to help you get out of a dating rut, and enjoy dating again in a way you never thought was possible!
1. Calm Down
A lot of frustration with dating can come with unnecessary pressures and unrealized expectations you and others might have for your dating life. Who hasn’t had the dreaded questions about your dating life at countless family reunions or weddings? It can feel like dating is more of a chore rather than something enjoyable and potentially incredible. So, take a deep breath and relax. It’s okay if you haven’t been in a serious relationship yet, or if you didn’t get married in your expected timeframe, or if a romantic relationship you hoped would last forever, ended. Let go of past perceptions and find joy in your own dating experiences, no matter how different they may be from your friends or family members.
2. Make Dating Fun Again
Feeling sick and tired of endless first dates with only stale conversations and melting ice cream? Start going on more dates where you do the things that you love. If you love to read, suggest going to a library and picking out your favorite books and sharing excerpts together. If you love to be outside, try going for a hike, rock climbing, riding a tandem bike, or going on a picnic. If you love to cook, try planning different dates where you cook meals together from various countries. Dating can be so much more enjoyable when you are connecting with someone over something that you both have in common rather than sticking to the boring and usually forgettable dates of ice cream and movies. Whether you are the guy or the girl, you can make suggestions for a fun date that can ultimately put excitement and fun back into your dating world.
3. What Really Matters
When it comes to relationships are you focusing on the things that matter most, or are you getting caught up in details that don’t matter? Make a list of your top five qualities that you value in a companion and look for those qualities in potential dates. It is all too easy in dating to get caught up with being extremely picky, without really getting to know a person before deciding to give them a chance. While I’m not saying to settle or lower your standards, just reevaluate your priorities in a romantic relationship rather than fantasizing over unrealistic expectations and Hollywood-hotness. Identify what qualities are most valuable to you and focus on recognizing those qualities in people you would consider dating.
4. Treat Yourself
Frustrations with dating can leave you feeling broken, alone, worn out, and hurt. It’s okay to slow down and focus on yourself. Ultimately, you need to take care of yourself so that you will be ready for that amazing dating relationship. So, do the things that help you feel good! Eat well, exercise, spend time with friends, soak in a bathtub, read your favorite book, go on a road trip, do the things that help you to feel joy in your life even when challenges with dating arise. Treat yourself well and take a break from dating from time to time. A break to focus on yourself to recharge can be extremely beneficial in finding joy in dating again.
5. Keep On Swiping
Another great way to spice up your dating life is to keep up with Mutual. The Mutual app can help you meet people who are looking to date and can make it possible to connect with people you may not have spoken to otherwise! So, challenge yourself to get swiping every day to increase your chances of matching with someone who could quite possibly change your status from “single” to “in a relationship”. Be willing to put yourself out there by messaging first to start up a conversation. You don’t have to wait for someone to reach out to you, be proactive! Use your creativity to get the conversation going by avoiding simple salutations such as, “Hey”, “Hi”, “Hello”, etc. (Check out our blog post on “How to Break the Ice: 10 Conversation Starters for Your Next Mutual Match“.) Stand out from the crowd by being cute, yet courageous in starting conversations. Try even moving the conversation from messaging to actually talking on the phone – it’s amazing how much you can learn about a person simply by hearing their voice before setting up a date. Feel like you’ve swiped through everybody without finding any potential? Try adjusting your age and distance filters to widen your options and opportunities of meeting your match. Don’t let the fear of “swiping” out, keep you from playing the game!
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6. Reflect On Your Dating Life
So much peace and meaning can come from dating experiences when you take time to reflect on your past. Write down lessons you’ve learned from past dates and relationships. What were the positive lessons you experienced? What were the frustrating experiences that taught you more about yourself, and what you value in a relationship? Looking back on your dating life can help you to see growth and progression that you maybe didn’t realize was happening all along the way. You are doing better than you think, and there’s so much you can learn from your own personal perspective. Reflecting on you dating life can help you recognize areas for change to have greater success and hope for your future in dating.
7. Switch Things Up
The definition of insanity is trying the same thing and expecting different results. This completely applies to your dating life too! If your dating profile on Mutual has been the same for a while and yielded minimal dates, it may definitely be time to make a change. Try taking a new photo that highlights your passions and amazing personality. If you feel like you may be lacking in interesting qualities, start today to develop yourself in whatever areas you are interested in! People will be attracted by your passions and motivation to become your best self. If you are struggling to meet people with your current daily routine, try signing up for a class or developing a new hobby where you will have opportunities to meet people with similar interests. Be willing to try something new to open yourself up to possibilities of meeting new people.
8. Be Patient in the Process
Sometimes even when you have done everything to be “a wholesome, attractive, honest, happy, hardworking, spiritual person”* it can still be a struggle to find that special someone. Endless nights of crying into your pillow may feel normal as a meaningful relationship seems out of reach, but don’t give up. Keep developing yourself, do the things you love, and keep meeting people, and be patient in the process. There’s only so much that’s in your control, so control what you can in your dating life and let go of what you can’t. Focus on loving your unique dating life no matter how many awkward or disappointing dates you might have. Wonderful things are in store for those who patiently keep working towards developing meaningful relationships through dating. Take courage and know that while you might be stuck in a dating rut, you don’t have to stay there!
*Elder Robert D. Hales, “Meeting the Challenges of Today’s World”