Dating can be hard, and there are certainly times that remaining positive about meeting some random person for a coffee is a challenge. But there are plenty of things that help you stay hopeful about dating, and they're not all mindless affirmations cooked up to make you feel better about yourself but not actually based in reality.
When I was single, it got rough sometimes. I live in New York, where there are 150,000 more single women than there are single men. I've been single for long periods of time between boyfriends, and though there were moments that felt less fun than others, I stayed pretty positive throughout.
This isn't the easiest thing to pull off, I'll admit. I did a lot of things to stay upbeat. Yoga, meditation, and a busy social calendar helped. But above all, I kept certain things in mind, and didn't let myself get dragged into the muck and mire that is your brain when it starts feeling sorry for itself. Here are 10 things that will make you feel more hopeful about dating, and remind you that you're not alone in this endeavor, which is surely not hopeless.
1. Millions Of People Are Single
There are about 54 million single people in this country right now. I know it can seem otherwise when you stroll in your neighborhood on a Saturday morning, but not everyone has already found their place in the great game of romantic musical chairs.
2. Life Is One Big Singles Event
Do you leave your apartment or house? Great! You'll meet someone. One time when I was single, I remember asking my friend if she thought I'd ever meet someone again. She laughed and told me that I obviously would, because I often left the house, went out and did things. I didn't think any of them were particularly good for landing a date, but she assured me that it would happen. And it did.
3. You Don't Have To Do The Bar Scene
If you don't go to bars to hang out, never fear: It's not necessary to hit the nearest watering hole to meet someone. Other single people go to yoga classes, farmers' markets, bike rides, book clubs, museums, galleries, literary events, performances, parties, and the list goes on. As long as you don't hole up in your apartment at all times, you should be good.
4. You Can Date Online
It's more than OK to do the online dating and dating app thing. Of the 54 million singles, almost 50 million have tried online dating. If the idea of going out and flirting with someone face to face is totally exhausting or scary, it's fine to bypass that altogether, slap together a profile, and let the dates begin.
5. But You Don't Have To Date Online
Dating online is a boon for some, but others prefer to date the old-fashioned way. There are actual singles events, like speed dating, that you can try IRL, but you can also just take your chances on meeting someone in the real world.
6. You Have Nothing To Lose
If the cute girl next to you on the train is reading a book you just read, or want to read, or have heard of, or have actually never heard of but want to know more about, you've got an in. If you're walking your dog (or yourself) in the park and happen upon a handsome, bespectacled stranger, and you've been wanting glasses, you've got an in. In other words, there's pretty much always an excuse, however flimsy, to strike up a conversation. If they're interested too, they'll respond. If they're not, they'll blow you off. No big deal.
7. Treat Your Life Like One Big Possibility
I know that sounds incredibly cheesy, but just remember that your daily routine is rife with opportunity. For example, if you can do work (or read a book) in a coffee shop, good news: Tons of singles drink coffee. And tons of singles read and do work. There's a high possibility that you'll come across an eligible one at the local coffee shop, and even if you don't, you'll still be ahead of the game with all of the work you accomplish. Apply this to all of your daily activities.
8. Love Still Exists
Between Tinder fails and serial monogamists, it can start to feel as though love doesn't even have a place at the table in the modern day. But it does, I promise. And when it comes along, it's really lovely.
9. You're Perfect The Way You Are
Self-esteem is a necessary and powerful tool when you're single — and when you're attached. Don't forget its importance.
10. But If You Need To Work On Yourself, There Are Answers
If you've having a hard time keeping your chin up and being kind to yourself, seek out a good therapist for a little impromptu work on yourself or spend time a little extra time with a close friend you confide in. This is the perfect time to find healthy ways to be happier with yourself — and the happier and healthier you are, the better chance you have to attract the relationship you want.
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