Didn’t Have a Valentine? Here’s How to Date Smarter!

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Some of us are REALLY glad it’s over. If that’s you, you may have had to cope with feelings of loneliness, sadness, and irritation (probably made worse by the millions of social media posts with flowers and chocolates!) In fact, you may loathe the holiday but secretly wish you could celebrate it with someone. We’ve all been there. We shared some tips for new valentines last week, so this week we’re sharing a few strategies for dating smarter! There are many dating mistakes made and in therapy we often look at what is causing you to fall into the same traps, attract the wrong types of people, and end up in relationships that aren’t successful. Obviously in therapy learning to date and becoming happy in your relationship takes time and effort – it truly is a process – but take a look at these tips you can start using now!

1. Stop waiting for the love of your life to appear!
THIS. WILL. NOT. HAPPEN. Yes, it may kind of come out of nowhere – I met my husband at a wedding 7 years after we went to the same small college and somehow never knew each other. I believe that luck and timing can play a part in success in dating and marriage. But, for the vast majority of people, it’s not going to “just happen” at the exact time you want a serious relationship. This is not the movies! One of the best things you can do is develop a plan. What can you do today? Maybe just making a list of the new dating sites you’ve heard good things about is a start.

2. Don’t fall into the “instant gratification” trap!
These days, people want what they want RIGHT NOW. Dating can feel similar in that we meet someone – okay, he or she is cute, employed, funny and seems to come from a good family. Why hasn’t he proposed yet? Is she ready to meet my mom and dad? Love and commitment are central components of long term relationships and those things don’t happen overnight. You’ve got to give your love a chance to grow. A few more dates or hours spent together might reveal that this person does not meet your requirements for a long term partner.

3. You may have tried it ALL but have you done it WELL?
Online, meeting through married friends, blind dates, you name it – you’ve tried it. I’ve heard this time and time again – and I definitely hear you. It’s rough out there. Thing is – many, many clients have tried it all but haven’t tried hard enough or really done due diligence. It’s easy to show up at an event, scan the room, and walk out. Or try two online dates – fail miserably – and deactivate your account the next day. You may have to draw up a better plan, take some emotional risks, and try a tad bit harder.

4. Get to know yourself first.
This one is so, so important. I have sat with many clients, and they’ve done great work once they realize what it is that they need to improve to attract and keep the right people. Good ones ARE out there! I promise! But if you have some blocks like low self-esteem, unwillingness to be vulnerable, negative thinking, no sexual boundaries, or others, you won’t be putting your best self forward. Therapy can help greatly with this.

Don’t wait to get some help with finding a committed relationship – or fixing the one you’re in. Call today to get your first session scheduled!