If you’re striking out when it comes to finding “The One,” you’re not alone. As a matchmaker, I regularly remind my clients that finding love requires a strategy, planning, and commitment. If you’re struggling to come up with a gameplan, here are some tips.
Delete the dating apps. This might sound completely counter-intuitive, but I promise it’s an important step because dating apps are a huge waste of time. When you use them, you’re casting far too wide of a net to really meet someone you’re compatible with. Plus, there are just too many people on there who are in a relationship (open or otherwise), not looking for a relationship, trying to sell you tantric healing sex, etc. Once you go on enough dates with the time wasters and general losers you meet on dating apps, you end up becoming completely burned out, which is not the mindset that leads to love. Try working with a professional matchmaker, going to meetup groups, or even talking to a stranger on the subway.
Stop wallowing. Listen, we’ve all had our hearts broken, been rejected, and yes, too many of us have been in toxic relationships and sexually assaulted. But if you want to find love, you have to make the conscious decision to leave your baggage behind, as difficult and unfair as that may sound.
Improve yourself. Deciding to leave your past trauma behind and clear the path for love is actually not as easy as it sounds. It’s going to take real commitment to become the best version of yourself. It might mean any combination of therapy, taking up yoga, or spending a year traveling the world, but the only way to meet the right person is to be the right person yourself. Trust me, it’s well worth the effort.
Rediscover your passions. One of the most common things people tell me they look for in a partner is passion. I know that when you’re working 9-5 and trying to maintain an active social life, it’s easy to let your passions slide, but you have to reclaim this part of your identity. Not only is passion sexy, but exploring the things that fill you up will keep you from wallowing in the past or obsessing over your dating life. If you freed up all of the time you spend swiping, dating, thinking about matches, and dwelling on the past, what could you do with that time?
Get clear on what you want. One of the first things I ask my clients is what they’re looking for in a relationship, and you wouldn’t believe how many are completely stumped by this question. In fact, I didn’t even know how to answer this question before becoming a matchmaker. Have you ever really read up on compatibility and spent time thinking about what kinds of person would work best for you? If you really want to be in a relationship, do this right now.
Reconsider your standards. Everyone is entitled to their standards, but there’s a line between reasonable standards and self-sabotage. Some people obsess over the superficial aspects of each person they go out with because deep down, they’re afraid of intimacy. Write down the top 10 things you find attractive in people you’re dating. How many of these are superficial? If the answer is more than half, your “standards” are probably standing in your way of finding love.
Start socializing. How many hours a day do you spend behind your phone or computer? Download a time-keeping app and keep track for three days. The answer might terrify you. You aren’t going to meet someone who shares your passions while you’re sitting on your ass in your apartment. Get up and go out to events you’re excited about, even if it feels physically painful to tear yourself away from the comfort of your couch.
Adopt a zero tolerance policy. Dating burnout is one of the biggest roadblocks in the way of finding love. There are garbage people in the world and the way to avoid being drained by them is by developing a zero tolerance policy for BS. Red flag? Ditch the dude. Showing a pattern of disrespect? Never text him again. The only person you owe anything to is yourself, so start making your emotional health and energy your number one priority.
Date multiple people. Unpopular advice, I know, but in many ways, dating is a numbers game. You have to experiment to find out what you like and what doesn’t work. Plus, one of the fastest ways to ruin a new relationship is by putting too much pressure on it. You also don’t want to give a lot of your emotional energy away to one person too quickly. Keep things light and protect yourself emotionally by dating multiple people at a time.
Don’t have sex before commitment. I know I sound like your mom, but hear me out. Sex complicates things and can be a huge drain on your emotions. If you’re going to maintain the energy to keep dating until you find the right one, you should avoid having sex until you’re ready to commit. Plus, really good sex clouds your mind. How many times have you ended up dating someone because the sex was so great, only to later realize you actually have nothing in common? If you’re ready to meet the right person, you have to be strategic and keep a clear head.
Be hopeful, not obsessed. Dating can be an emotional rollercoaster. Some days you’ve lost all hope, some days you’re totally obsessed with your new match. This rollercoaster will lead directly to dating burnout. You have to keep a level head through this process. Don’t think about one person too much and don’t dwell on your failures and mistakes. Rational optimism is the key to success here.
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