Dating is kind of the worst, right? It’s exhausting, complicated, and, let’s be honest, annoying. It makes you want to skip the process and start a relationship that’s already eight years in when you can choose watching TV over going out, and not have to make small talk because you already know everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the other person.
Unfortunately, dating doesn’t work like that. But what do you do if you’re a person who hates dating but still longs for a serious relationship? Here are some dating tips to help you fall in love with dating (or at least like it a little bit more).
1. Change up the convo.
Most people suffer from dating burnout because they’re tired of asking and answering the same questions. You know the ones: “What do you do for a living?” “Where did you grow up?” “Where did you go to school?” Snoooooze. Instead of repeating the basic boring topics, switch things up. Be quirky with something like, “What’s your fave flavor of cheese and why?” Or dare to dig deep with, “What was one of your proudest moments of your life?” Change it up, and you might change your attitude.
2. Trick yourself into liking it.
You hate dating because you hate dating. Meaning, instead of repeating to yourself how much you hate dating, flip the tired script in your head. Brains love making patterns, so if you keep telling your brain that you hate dating, it will look for evidence to support that notion. However, if you start telling yourself how enjoyable dating is, and how you look forward to meeting new people, then you will start feeling, and seeing, what you’re putting out there. Create a new story, and you might find yourself a new, happy ending.
3. Don’t take it too seriously.
On a related note, people who are successful and happy with their dating life seem to have a certain lightness about the whole ordeal. They don’t sweat the small stuff. If the date doesn’t work out, they tend to think, “Oh well! Onto the next one.” Or not. They date when they feel like dating, and take a break when they want to. Their lives don’t revolve around dating, which means their approach to dating is one of ease and fun.
4. Wait it out.
A lot of us cling to a person who’s probably more meh than awesome because we’re so done with the dating process. We think, “Well, they’re good enough. At least I don’t have to date anymore!” Don’t do this. You’re just setting yourself up for failure and an eventual return to the dating pool anyway. (Not to mention heartbreak and sadness, and even more frustration.) Instead, be patient. Try to see the bigger picture of dating, which is to find the perfect match for you, not one who will just do. Remember: there isn’t a time clock. You will meet the person when you’ve given yourself the time and space to enjoy the process.
5. Stop being so judgey.
It’s easier to come up with reasons why not to continue seeing someone than to see them again, especially if they don’t cross off all your boxes or they remind you of your ex. You might think that being super selective is helping you out in the long run (like potential heartbreak), but it’s actually causing you to be more anxious and negative. By resolving to be more in the moment with your date and attempting to see their good qualities, you might find yourself having fun and liking someone new despite yourself.
6. Get real.
Conventional dating wisdom tells us we need to play games, look for signs, and adhere to a set of rules in order to snare a new partner. This not only puts out a false impression of yourself, but also makes dating so unnecessarily complicated. Manipulating and strategizing is exhausting. Instead, try flowing with the natural rhythm of the rapport with your date, and acting from your most natural impulses. “Just be yourself” might sound trite, but there’s nothing more attractive, and easy, than being you.
Dating doesn’t have to be something you dread. It’s when you start enjoying dating as much as you enjoy your own company that you’ll probably end up meeting the date that will turn into that amazing relationship.