Get Out of a Dating Rut Once and For All

When you haven’t been dating for some time, hearing phrases like “you need to get back out there” may start to echo in your ears. The best way to get back out “there” is by defining where “there” is in the first place, and then giving yourself a reason to do it. It’s easier to make a change when it’s linked to a positive outcome, or better yet, avoiding a negative one. So asking yourself why you want to start dating is a good place to start but, if you really want some answers, try asking “why” three times.

For example:

Why do you want to start dating?

Because I want to meet someone.

Why do you want to meet someone?

Because I’m ready to be in a relationship and want to share new experiences with someone.

Why do you feel ready now?

Because the timing feels right in my life. I feel ready emotionally and mentally. I feel like I want to be in a relationship for the right reasons. I am happy and can offer my best self to someone else.

By the third “why”, you’ll be getting somewhere. Don’t be scared to dig deep in order to find some direction because once you know where you’re going, it’s much easier to get “there”.

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It’s also important to remember to start small. Don’t go from zero to one hundred because you’ve decided that ‘this is the year you’re going to meet someone’, and then join four dating sites and attend every happy hour or singles event in town. You’re setting yourself up to be overwhelmed. Instead, set small, realistic, time-sensitive goals that are specific. For example, ‘Join one dating site by the 15th and accept or initiate a date with someone within two weeks’, or ‘Attend a happy hour event on Wednesday and start a conversation with someone intriguing.” These smaller steps will eventually add up to bigger results.

smart goal setting concept

Another type of dating rut is if you have been dating but find you’ve fallen into a cyclical pattern. Trust that if something hasn’t been working for you so far, that it’s probably not going to and it’s time for a new approach. One common pattern is you find yourself always dating the same person, like a commitment-phobic guy or an unattainable woman. Try giving someone a chance that you wouldn’t normally consider to be your type, it doesn’t need to develop into something serious, but a time-out from your usual pattern will be a welcome break and an opportunity to grow.

Vicious Dating Cycle

And finally, a change in your overall approach to the dating scene will also bring new results; if you’re an avid online dater, switch things up by asking a friend to set you up, or try out a singles event. Any change, even a minor one, is a step in the right direction.

Final thoughts: Sometimes where you are most lost is when you find your best way. So if it feels odd, different or a little uncomfortable, you are on the right path.


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