Every time I went on another terrible date, I’d come home feeling so deflated. That feeling would last for days, and I eventually realized that I had to boost my confidence if I was going to be able to not just survive the single life but thrive in it. It wasn’t easy, but here’s how I managed to do it.
I looked forward to something else.
To deal with bad dates, I had to guard myself against them before they happened. It might sound cynical to go on a first date with the mindset that it’s going to suck, but hey, it helps to be prepared. I’d make sure I had something else to look forward to after the first date which would lift my spirits. An example is hanging out with my most positive, amazing girlfriends to boost my mood.
I counted my blessings.
If I had a terrible date, or even a great one followed by the guy not calling me again, I’d remind myself that I was actually really blessed. Although I wasn’t getting what I wanted, which was a relationship, maybe there were really good reasons for that, like not ending up in toxic relationships.
I changed my appearance.
Looking good helps me to feel better on the inside—it always works for me. After some bad dates, I’d do something fun with my appearance. It might have involved getting a cool new hairstyle, dyeing my hair, or even just buying some gorgeous new makeup. It worked because when I looked in the mirror afterward, I’d feel like a million bucks.
I jumped back in.
This might not always be a good idea, but it worked for me a couple of times. When I had a bad date or met a guy who really made me feel jaded about dating, instead of letting him steal my mojo, I’d get back in the saddle and find someone else to date. Of course, sometimes this wasn’t always the best decision, which brings me to the next point.
I embraced single life.
It’s not a good thing for me to force dates to happen or force myself to get out there and meet guys when I’m not in the mood. I want things to happen in a more natural way than that, so sometimes I’d take a complete break from dating. I’d focus on why it’s so awesome being single, like the fact that I can do whatever I like whenever I like and not have to run my life decisions past someone else.
I laughed about it.
Finding humor in bad dates can be really helpful for me. It puts things into perspective and gives me some creative stories to tell my friends. I mean, once I went on a bad date with a guy who actually told me he believed Miley Cyrus had sent him a Facebook friend request and he was so high, he couldn’t walk straight.
I changed my strategy.
Sometimes the guys I thought were going to be amazing dates because we had so much in common actually ended up being the biggest disappointments. What gives? When this kept on happening, I realized I had to go back to the drawing board and think about what kind of guy I really wanted to date. This put me in a more empowered situation than thinking that I was the victim of bad dates.
I reminded myself that having a relationship isn’t an achievement.
After bad dates, I’d often think, “When will a relationship happen for me?” But it helped to remind myself that a relationship wasn’t an achievement. I could go out and chase other goals, such as getting another degree or starting a new business. Those were things that could give me purpose—a relationship wasn’t something that had to complete me. Sometimes I forgot that, but it totally changed the game and made me happier to remind myself that I was made for more than just being someone’s GF.
I told myself it was their loss.
When I met great guys who I really wanted to see again, only to have them reject me, it really messed with my self-confidence. I’d have to pick myself up and try to remember what was so great about me. I’d ask my friends and family what they liked about me and why they thought I was special. Seeing myself through their eyes brought home the fact that I was a catch, dammit! Just because some guys couldn’t see that, it didn’t mean I was the problem.
It took the chance to be the real me.
When faced with men who rejected me or just didn’t seem interested in me, I realized I was still in a position to make choices. I could either chase them and lose my dignity or I could walk away with my head held high. These low moments were really important crossroads, bringing me to greater self-growth. See, those bad dates were happening for really good reasons!
I was one date closer to my dream guy.
After a bad date, I’d kick my feet up and drink a glass of wine and remember that I had to kiss a lot of frogs before finding a great guy. So I was one frog down—this was progress! However, that didn’t mean I had to feel like crap throughout the journey. One day I’d look back and wish I’d enjoyed my single life more, so that’s what I was going to do.
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