Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 04-28-2018 Comments: 0
Are you bored by endless swiping? Do you want to take a more serious approach to finding love than you have in the past? If you aren’t meeting anyone worth pursuing – or if you’re not meeting anyone at all – perhaps it’s time to reboot your online dating routine.
You might not realize when you’re stuck in a rut – many of us don’t. We like dating according to our own particular comfort levels. Often that means doing what’s easy – swiping left and right on our favorite app, sending a few messages, and then sitting back and waiting for love to happen.
This laid-back approach isn’t very effective, as you might have noticed.
Dating takes effort, especially when you take it seriously. You have to move beyond swiping and waiting; finding love requires mustering the courage to take a more direct approach. This means making more plans and meeting more people. It means that you have to carve out time for dating and try to stay upbeat even when things don’t go your way.
While this might feel like a lot of work, your extra effort increases your chances of meeting someone special. So don’t think of dating as work!
As relationship expert Joshua Pompey describes it: “Stop thinking about the obligation and start thinking about the opportunity.”
Here’s how you reboot your online dating routine:
Step 1: Don’t just swipe. Ask someone out.
Does asking someone out on a real date seem like an old-fashioned concept? Or maybe the idea of being so honest and vulnerable is scary. You could get rejected, and who wants that?
If you aren’t willing to risk rejection, then you will have a difficult time finding love. Connecting with someone requires us to be vulnerable, to take a risk.
But let’s keep things in perspective. It’s just a date. Anybody can meet another person for drinks or coffee or a bike ride to see if there’s a spark – that’s all a “date” really is. But people have been avoiding using the word “date” because of what it implies – romantic interest. Many singles would rather “hang out” with a prospective romantic partner and avoid labeling it as a date, just because they want to avoid potential rejection.
Because we swipe and message and avoid calling a date a “date,” we have created a murky environment for pursuing relationships. You might not know if someone who asks you to “hang out” is truly interested in you romantically, which causes a lot of frustration. So don’t add to the confusion – be clear about what you want.
If you really want to reboot your dating life, the first step is to ask someone out. On a real date.
Meeting your dates in person is necessary to the process. It’s the only way to determine whether or not you have chemistry together, so why not take a chance? Besides, when you ask someone out, you rise above the crowd of people getting lost in the messaging process. You stand a much better chance of getting a response. What do you have to lose?
Step 2: Meet more people in person, even if you’re not sure.
Another important part of dating is letting go of your expectations. Yes, you read that right.
What I mean is this: we have to let go of the idea of the “perfect” man or woman – the soulmate who looks a certain way, or has a certain job, or likes to do specific activities that align exactly with your preferences. Here’s a good goal for successful dates and relationships: be curious about each person you meet. Cultivate acceptance of your differences, including where you both fall short of expectations.
Keeping an open mind is very different from “settling.” When you date, it’s crucial to be open to meeting many different kinds of people before you rule anyone out, because you never know who you’ll click with in person.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you have two dates. The first one meets everything on your “ideal woman” checklist, and you’re excited to connect. But then you meet in person and the conversation stalls and neither one of you seems all that interested in the other. She might have been perfect on paper, but in person – not for you!
Then you go on your second date with someone who isn’t the type you normally find attractive. She’s a little older, or she isn’t physically your type, or she is interested in things that you don’t really care about. However, you find her instantly attractive when you meet in person, her energy infectious. You would never have expected it, and normally wouldn’t have asked her out, but after meeting in person, you just clicked.
Most long-term relationships begin with couples who don’t check off each other’s “ideal partner” list – in fact, they might be really off the mark! This is why it’s so important to date outside your type, and try to meet people in person even if you’re not sure you’ll click, or have much in common. You never know!
Bottom line: take more chances, meet more people, and get out there (in person)!