9 Tricks For Getting Out Of A Dating Slump, According To Experts
Sometimes, being single and dating can be an exciting, romantic, and fun-filled experience — but other times, it can be a total drag. When you're in the middle of a dating slump, it might feel like you're having no luck meeting potential partners, making connections, or going on successful first dates. While the thought of reinvigorating your love life can feel daunting, simply being open to stepping outside your dating comfort zone can make a world of difference.
"The biggest way to get yourself noticed is to step outside of your comfort zone," Mackenzie Riel, relationship expert with Too Timid, tells Bustle. "You'll be able to build your confidence around other people, giving you a better chance of finding a partner. Socialize and mingle with people you could see yourself having potential interest in. If it works out [it can] turn into something more, if not, on to the next one!"
When you're in a dating rut, the first step is to think about your dating habits: which bad habits do you want to break, and which good habits do you want to adopt? If you want to make some changes to the way you date, here are nine tricks that can help you get out of a dating slump, according to experts.
1. Don't Stress About Finding A Partner
When you're actively looking for a partner, it's easy to get discouraged when date after date is a dead end — but finding someone who's a good match for you requires some patience. Plus, it's easier to enjoy dating as a whole when you aren't putting pressure on every date to be "The One."
"You have to remind yourself that everyone dates and finds love at their own pace," Riel says. "It's not an overnight thing [...] Besides, you should never rush right into a relationship out of desperation to fit a mold, or because your friends all have significant others."
2. Make Time For Self-Care
Sometimes, improving your romantic life starts with romancing yourself first. Making time to actively focus on self-care can both reinvigorate you and give you the confidence boost you need to feel more in control of your dating life.
"Adopt routine practices of self-love and care," Riel says. "[...] Whatever the activity is, do something that truly makes you feel good. This will boost your self-confidence, which will later translate into your dating life. Most [people] love a confident significant other because they want to be with someone who is positive and loves themselves."
3. Set Up Dates ASAP Instead Of Chatting For Days
Dating apps can be a great tool for meeting new people, but if you spend too much time chatting with matches online before meeting, that can actually be more of a hindrance than a help to your dating life.
"If you are using a dating app, steer clear of spending too much time in chat," Amanda Bradford, the founder and CEO of dating app The League, tells Bustle. "Once a match is made, go in with a 24-hour deadline mindset. Get introductions and flirtatious banter out of the way and then SET THE DATE! Staying too long in chat can lead to stale chemistry and no follow through."
4. Throw Your "Type" Out The Window
If you're the kind of person who tends to stick to a certain "type" when dating, making an active effort to date outside your type can make a big difference. (Psst: that doesn't mean you need to lower your standards or overlook your dealbreakers).
"Take chances, and go on dates with others who aren’t your typical type," Holly Zink, relationship expert for Grapevine, tells Bustle. "Often, those who are single restrict their dating pool because they’re picky about what they’re looking for. It’s good to have some criteria in mind, but if you’re in a rut, just get out there!"
5. Join Clubs Or Meet-Ups In Your Area
There's nothing wrong with using dating apps to find love, but if you feel like you're stuck in a dating rut, making it a point to meet people IRL — either instead of or in addition to online — can really give your dating life a boost.
"Join local clubs or meet-ups in your area," Bradford says. "Expanding your network of people with similar interests can open the door to newfound connections and potential dates!"
6. Make A "Marketing Plan" For Your Dating Life
It might sound weird, but according to dating strategist and author Tracie Hitz, dating is all about how you market yourself — and coming up with a plan for your dating life can help you take more initiative and get better results.
"Having a plan and holding yourself accountable for implementing it will save time, energy and money, which then keeps people from getting frustrated with the dating process," Tracie Hitz, dating strategist and author, tells Bustle. "[...] Go where single people are. Have your packaging together. Give your sales pitch. Get a date. Go after what you want instead of hoping something will fall into your lap."
7. Feel Confident In What You Have To Offer
If you're looking for a relationship, it's important not only to know what you want in a partner, but also to know — and be confident in — all that you have to offer to a partner yourself.
"Approaching dating with the mindset that what you have to offer someone is highly valuable, will set you up to meet potential partners who will also value you," Rachel Wall, wellness coach at Feeling Is Healing, tells Bustle. "Our behaviors and actions will then naturally and automatically reflect our inner sense of self worth [...] If we know we have a lot to offer, we are not going to stick around someone who is hurting us or who doesn't want the best for us."
8. Enlist A Dating Coach For Help
If you're in a dating slump and have no clue how to get out of it, there's no shame in seeking professional help from either a dating coach or matchmaker.
"Bad dating habits can be hard to break — especially when you’re not aware you’re making them to begin with," Scott Valdez, founder and president of ViDA, a service that helps clients meet their ideal match online, tells Bustle. "A dating coach will provide actionable steps and unbiased advice you can use to feel more confident and comfortable in social situations."
9. Take A Break From Dating Altogether
As much fun as dating can be, there are also times when it's a good idea to take a break from dating — like when you're feeling unhappy, overwhelmed, or burnt out.
"Give yourself permission to enjoy being single," Valdez says. "Rather than pouring all your energy into finding someone else, focus on things that make you happy. A positive attitude can be magnetically attractive, so you may just find 'The One' when you’re least expecting it."
Sometimes, the best way to end a dating slump is to simply take a step back from dating and focus on yourself for a while. No matter what you decide to do, the most important thing is that you feel empowered by your dating decisions, not brought down by them — and if you find a great relationship as a result, then that's just a bonus.