Many of us have spent the last year and a half reflecting on so many aspects of our lives: Who am I? What am I meant to do? What do I want in a long-term relationship? Even though we vowed to never take anything for granted again, it’s turned out that it’s incredibly easy to get pulled back into some of our pre-COVID ruts. If dating is one of those ruts for you, here are a few ways to up your dating game by changing your outlook on dating.
1. Stop treating dating like work. The longer you’re on the market, the more your dates start to blend together—the same questions, the same places and even the same type of person. I’m here to remind you that dating should actually be fun. In addition to finding new places to meet, take some time to get ready before your dates. This means ditching your work clothes and putting on something with a bit more flair (this goes for men and women!). And change up your questions! Asking someone what they would do if they received a million dollars tomorrow can give you a lot of insight into who they are and is way more fun than asking someone to recount their day.
2. Fail fast and move on. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make time and again on apps is waiting too long to meet. When you strike up an interesting conversation, make a date to meet in person (or at least on video) within two to three days. Once scheduled, slow down with the texting and messaging. When you invest time and emotional energy in a conversation for days, weeks (or months!) before you meet, it’s unlikely that this person will live up to the version of them you create in your mind. So meet quickly to determine if this person is someone you want to spend more time with. (And, if he or she continuously puts off committing to a date with you, chances are that person is not seriously looking to date).
3. Focus on quality over quantity. We’ve been socialized to think that dating is a numbers game and more is better. This is exhausting you. For dating to be fun, you must enjoy the company of the people you spend time with. When you encounter someone in real life that you have an enjoyable exchange with—ask them out! If you’re dating online, incorporate must-haves and deal-breakers into your profile so folks can weed themselves out. Can’t tolerate a gamer? Say it. Never want to hike? Let them know. Looking for a committed, long-term relationship? State it clearly. You may get fewer matches overall—but you’ll be happier with who you talk to.
4. Get your head out of your apps. Apps are not the only place to meet someone! Our beautiful region is so full of incredible places to go to and people to meet. Commit to trying one new place or activity a week. Hit up a new concert venue, bar or restaurant, or take a chance on a different activity (axe throwing, anyone?). Put yourself in new situations and you’ll begin to see the possibilities all around you. And—I can’t stress this enough—when you meet someone you’re interested in, ask them out. It’s not that scary!
5. Take care of you. It’s difficult to create a healthy relationship with someone else if you’re not in a great place with yourself. Take time every day to do things that make you the best version of you. Move your body, get outside, go to therapy, meditate (regular meditation is life-changing!). When you feel good, you not only look good, but your confidence soars. This gives you a boost that might just help you ask someone out. Start these rituals while you’re single, because when you add another person into your life, it only gets harder to create new routines.