We all get stuck in our comfort zone sometimes, but it can really hurt your dating life. Especially if it's been a while since you've been in a relationship and you feel trapped in the constant merry-go-round of online dating that only ever ends up in a first or second date. You can start to space out while you're dating and just be going through the motions.
You shouldn't feel badly— so many of us have done it— but it's something to keep an eye out for. "My mother, my first and most prominent mentor, used to say, 'Smart people don't get bored, they get curious,' which aligns with zen psychotherapy," zen psychotherapist and neuromarketing strategist Michele Paiva tells Bustle.
So if you realize you're stuck in a rut, all you have to do is take a look at why you're stuck in that rut and then help yourself to break out of it. Whether you date seriously or casually, a lot or a little, we're all susceptible. So it's less about a right way to date, it's more about making sure that you don't get so lost in your comfort zone that you stop getting what you're looking for from your dating life. While dating can be amazing, fun, and fulfilling, when it's done badly it can also be draining and frustrating. Make sure it's the former.
So here are seven signs you're stuck in your dating comfort zone, because you need to identify it before you can truly mix it up:
1. All Your Dates Look Like Clones Of Each Other
Sexual attraction is important. But if you only ever go out with people who look a certain way, you may need to branch out. You limit yourself too much if you're always going for exactly the same type of person. And if none of them have worked out, then you really need to branch out— you can't keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results.
2. You Keep Breaking Up For The Same Reason
If you keep dating the same type people and breaking up for the same reason, it's definitely time to break out of your comfort zone. Especially if your partner always have the same criticisms of you, it may be time to take a look at if you're repeating old mistakes just because they're comfortable and easy. Moving forward is key. Personal growth can be tough, but it's worth it.
3. You Never Get Past Date Two
Similarly, some people are only comfortable in the early dating stage — and they'll stay in that, even if they want a relationship. If you really want something serious but find that you don't get passed early dates over and over again, it maybe that you're coming up with excuses for why it won't work just to stay in your comfort zone. Try moving it a little further and trying something more intense. It may seem scary at first, but you'll get used to it and you'll be closer to getting what you want.
4. Your First Date Game Is Down To A Science
The bartender at your favorite spot knows your name and exactly when to come over and help you get out of awkward bad date conversation, because you're there at the same time every Tuesday with a different Tinder dude. If you do the same thing all the time, you stop engaging with it. Try mixing it up and shaking yourself up a bit, it'll help you have a clearer head.
5. You've Stopped Questioning Whether You're Actually Enjoying It
Autopilot may feel comfortable, but it's rarely the way to get what you want. If you've made dating a really big part of your life but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere, you need to stop and think about whether it's actually working for you. Just because it's easy, doesn't mean it's right.
6. You Demand Things On Your Terms
Some people are so lost in their comfort zone that they lose perspective on dating and relationships being about compromise — even in the early stages. If you're only about having it your way, that's going to come across in your personality and can be a turn off. Loosen up a bit and stay open to new things.
7. Your Dating Life Is 90 Percent Swiping
The ultimate dating comfort zone that so many of us have been guilty off: all swiping and no actual dating. You can feel like you're actually doing something and even talk about it like you are, but in reality your never leaving the comfort of your couch. Swiping and chatting to people is not the same as dating. If you're looking for something serious, you need to be out there.
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