Why You Can’t Let Your Dating Failures Get You Down

Do you feel like you’re just … bad at dating? It seems like you meet a guy on OKCupid, go out for drinks, and things typically seem less than average. He’s a nice enough guy, but there’s just no spark. Wash, rinse, and repeat. You text him to maybe give things a second chance, but he never returns the message. Maybe you’re just doomed to be lonely forever.

It is super easy to get down in the dumps after a string of failed dates. You can totally give yourself permission to Google celebrity divorces to make you feel justified in thinking true love isn’t real, and provide Mystery Science Theater-esque snarky commentary in your living room during the latest Reese Witherspoon rom-com. But after you let out your frustration, you have to realize that everything happens for a reason. Really!

Here are a few positive ways to spin the recent negativity that these dating failures have brought to your life.

  1. You’re slowly becoming a dating expert. First dates are frustrating and rough, but after you’ve (heroically) mastered the art of the “getting to know you” stage, you’ll come off as being cool, confident, and in control. Don’t forget that guys get nervous, too – thus, seeing you at ease is probably a huge relief for them. Know how comfortable job interviews are when the person whose interviewing you is both casual and professional? You’re the cool boss-to-be, and you have similar control in choosing who you’d like to move on to the next stage.
  2. Every bad date will remind you of what you truly want. You’re smart enough to know that Prince Charming isn’t out there, but you definitely know that there are certain attributes that a date must have right from the start. Like, if he monopolizes the entire conversation? If he doesn’t bother making eye contact? If he jokes about how funny it’d be to “dine and dash”? Shut it down! Having a lot of quick dates is way, way better than being in a long term relationship with someone who’s got a lot of red flags. You’ll go into each date knowing exactly what kind of mannerisms horrify you, and what questions to ask to help weed out the losers.
  3. You’re totally fine by yourself, anyway. Think about it – while you’ve suffered through these dates, you’ve recovered all by yourself. You’re not the type of girl who needs a boyfriend, and this single spell has helped you develop your personality to an insanely awesome level. If you weren’t fine by yourself, you’d be drunk dialing that guy you went out with three Saturdays ago, who told you that you’d be hot if you lost ten pounds. Even worse, you’d consider losing those ten pounds just to please him. Gross. Who needs that kind of pressure?
  4. Awkward dates might lead to unexpected friendships. It’s true! There’s a possibility that you’ll meet a guy who you’ll click with, but not really click with. If you’re willing to expand your friendship group, and awkwardly have to retell the story of how you both met, who knows? Maybe your new friend can introduce you to someone you’re more romantically compatible with. Or, maybe your date will seem a little more attractive after hanging out with him in a non-date setting. It’s possible.
  5. You’re unknowingly becoming a bar and restaurant connoisseur. The older we get, the tougher it is to check out that cool new restaurant that opened a few blocks down. “Someday we should check it out,” you’d say to your spouse if you were married, before falling asleep at 8:30 PM. However, if you’re constantly going on dates, you have an excellent reason to book a reservation at places you might not have had time to go to otherwise. It sounds strange, but once you’ve settled with someone (and especially when you have kids), your bar and restaurant preferences will settle as well.
  6. You’re improving your social skills. Do you know how difficult it is to talk to strangers? Massively difficult. But when you’re in a situation where you’re expected to talk to a stranger for at least an hour about important topics, you get really good at it. Going on a bunch of dates will, without a doubt, help improve your performance both at work and when you’re out with your friends. Just imagine: You’re dealing with a super difficult customer at work. This kind of reminds you of that guy Chad that you met at the bar a few months ago, who wouldn’t get off the topic of politics. You smile, nod, and grimace through the pain before it’s over with. Knowing how to handle these types of situations is an amazing skill to have.
  7. You’re building up a lot of amazing stories. Ever since I got married, I realized that the stories I shared with friends have gotten a lot lamer. For awhile, I focused on coworkers (“can you BELIEVE so-and-so did THAT?”). But after working from home, I realized that I had no good material. Not only do friends relate to bad date stories, but they find the humor in them. Thus, if you’re trying to build up a reputation of being the life of the party, consider these dating fails to be your golden ticket to success.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.