Most of us have something of a love-hate relationship with dating and it’s not hard to see why. On the one hand, meeting new people and allowing yourself to get excited about the possibilities can be a real blast. On the other, dating comes with more than its share of drama as well.
It can be especially hard to find other people that actually want the same things you do. Especially if you prefer no-strings-attached dating to traditional relationships.
All things considered, it’s understandable if you find it hard to stay positive about dating instead of just throwing in the towel altogether. Here we’ll discuss some ways you can actually stay optimistic about the whole thing. And increase your chances of finding the type of connection you’re really looking for.
1. Understand it’s okay to be picky.
If you’re relatively picky about who you date, you probably already know it. Every last one of your friends could be drooling over a particular hottie at the pool or the club while that same person does absolutely nothing for you.
Everyone from your best friend to your mother loves telling you that you need to “give people a chance” or “learn to compromise”. You realize that you just know what you want and aren’t willing to settle for less. But you also probably wonder from time to time whether everyone else has a point.
The thing is nothing makes dating frustrating to a greater degree than forcing yourself to spend time with someone you know you don’t like and don’t feel excited about.
Having an open mind is one thing, but lowering standards that are important to you is another.
If someone doesn’t at least spark an interest in you, you’re all but guaranteed to have a bad time no matter what your buddies are telling you. The more bad dates you have, the harder it ultimately becomes to stay positive.
2. Have a life outside of dating.
Whether you’re ultimately open to a longterm relationship or simply looking for someone fun to sleep with every once in a while, it’s all too easy to let dating take over your entire life. Eventually, it probably starts feeling as if every Friday night and weekend is all about trying to meet people or get laid and nothing else. Sure, it’s a lot of fun sometimes as well, but it can start feeling like a job if you don’t take it easy.
Don’t forget to have a life outside of all that. Spend more of your off time hanging out with family and friends or catching up on all those hobbies you don’t really make time for anymore. Modern people really underestimate the importance of simply relaxing and not worrying about anything in particular for the moment, which can make it hard to keep a positive attitude about everything else they’ve got going on.
No, we’re not asking you to lower your standards or date people you’re seriously not attracted to in the name of giving people a chance. What we are asking you to do is broaden your perspective. A lot of people have narrow “types” that they stick to no matter what and for no real reason. If that’s the case for you, it might be worth asking yourself if your usual type is your only type.
Do you normally sleep with people that are your exact same age? Consider going out with someone a little older or younger than you if you happen to notice a spark. Are you normally into people that are super intellectual? Ask yourself whether or not someone necessarily needs two or three bachelor’s degrees if they have lots of other things going for them. The point is not to write off anyone you’d be super interested in if it weren’t for that one little way they “aren’t your type”.
3. Change up some of your usual dating habits.
No matter what you’re looking for from your dating life, it can be easy to wind up stuck in a rut. Do you keep hitting the same exact bars and clubs when you’re looking to get laid?
When you do have dates scheduled, do you keep taking people to the same restaurants and following the same old routine? Letting things become boring and monotonous when it comes to dating is one of the easiest ways to stop feeling positive about it.
Instead, branch out a little. Break out of your routine and be spontaneous for a change. Try taking a date to that new hangout and seeing firsthand why all your friends have been talking about it. Instead of trolling for interesting people at the same played out club you’ve been going to for years; try chatting people up at a local festival or a music lounge in the next town over. At the very least, you won’t be going through the same old boring motions you’ve been sticking with for years.
4. Treat yourself.
Unless you’ve got really deep pockets, it can be tempting to cut corners regarding other things if you’ve been spending a lot of money on dating. That said, ask yourself when the last time you treated yourself was. If it’s been a while, a treat might be exactly what you need to restore your positive attitude.
Set aside a day to just do something for you. Something you’ve been putting off because you’ve been trying to save money and resources for other things. Splurge on a new outfit or get a massage. Get your haircut at that new place you’ve been meaning to try. Dating always seems more fun and less frustrating if you yourself feel like a million bucks.
5. Give yourself a break from dating.
Are you frustrated with your dating life right now to the point of almost feeling angry about it? Do you feel like you’re at your wits’ end to the point you’re ready to take a vow of celibacy so you don’t have to worry about it anymore? There’s no law out there against taking a break once in a while, especially if it’s badly needed.
6. Think outside the box as far as who you date.
Treat your break the same way you would a vacation from work or any other big part of your life. Decide how long you think you need and schedule a suitable time period with a set beginning and end. It can be as long as a few months or as short as just a few days. You might be a little hornier when you come back from your break, but also a lot more relaxed.
7. Reevaluate your dating strategy every so often.
Dating is just like anything else in life. You need to be clear as far as where you want to be and how you plan on getting there. Take a closer look at your strategy sometime to see if it’s still serving you the way you want it to. Start by taking a second look at what you’re hoping to get out of the process. Here in the 21st century, you have your options to choose from.
Are you ultimately interested in marriage and a family? Or are you really just down for sex and the occasional fun night out right now? Do you want to be committed to just one person or is non-monogamy way more your speed?
Do you like the process of meeting people and planning dates or do you secretly wish things were more convenient? The answers to questions like those are important and have a lot to do with whether you feel good about your dating life right now.
Most importantly of all, they can change over time, sometimes drastically. People think they want one thing when they’re younger only to find out something else is a much better fit. Especially when it comes to the type of relationship they’re after.
8. Open up your options.
Meeting the right people is a bit of a crap shoot if you’re not covering all your bases. After all, your area could be filled with hot people that are ideal fits for you. But you’ll never meet them if you’re counting on fate to put you and them in the same place. Letting your fingers do the walking and opening yourself up to meeting people online is one of the best ways to make sure you meet the right people.
Choose an app or dating service that caters specifically to people in the market for what you’re looking for. Instead of wasting time simply hoping someone specific is down for that open relationship or FWB connection you want. Find people that want exactly the same thing. Just seeing the sheer number of options you have to choose from has a way of sending your optimism soaring.