How to Stop Hating Online Dating

  1. Let go of the rom-com you’ve built in your head. This is the first and most important step. This may be more of a female thing but I still have so many friends that will say things like “I just feel like I’m going to meet my soulmate at __insert trashy bar__” or “Maybe we’ll reach for the same avocado at Whole Foods and fall in love”. Not to say these scenarios aren’t possible. Anything is possible. Let’s just consider them the exception rather than the rule. Remember — The way you meet someone doesn’t have to be the most romantic part of the storyline. Watch all the Hallmark movies your heart desires … Just don’t let them dictate your perception of reality.
  2. Be interesting. Take a moment and ask yourself if YOU think your life is interesting and fulfilling. Be honest. If the answer is no, why would anyone else think it is? If all you’re doing is working and going to bars on weekends, do more. Do better. Learn something new … Build something … Take some solo trips … Be so interested in your own life that other people can’t help but be a little curious.
  3. Be interested. This is a big one. After my first date with HP, he texted me saying that he enjoyed the conversation and that I “asked really good questions”. Little did he know I was in a life coaching training program at the time and the power of good questioning was front and center that week :) Most of us tend to view dating as a chore. I definitely did pre-hiatus. I would go out and expect someone to blow me away with their charm and charisma and cool life stories. And if they didn’t (which was often the case), I was out and onto the next. But the thing is, everyone is interesting if you give them the time, space, and opportunity to share their story. Be less judgmental and more curious and I promise every conversation will be so much richer.
  4. Recruit your hype crew. The week before I broke my dating hiatus and re-entered the “arena”, I was visiting one of my girlfriends who had just moved to California. She had gotten out of a relationship earlier in the year and was having the time of her life being newly single and dating again. As I listened to her experiences and heard her and her other single friends swapping stories and comparing notes, I couldn’t help but feel a little inspired and motivated to try again. They were genuinely having fun … And I wanted that experience too. Moral of the story — Stop talking to your cynical friends about dating and talk to people who will hype you up and encourage your journey. It makes the whole process so much more enjoyable.
  5. Text less. Have just enough conversation to confirm that the person isn’t a psychopath and go out for a drink or coffee or whatever your first date preference is immediately. The more time you spend texting before the actual date, the more opportunities you have to find something wrong with them. We’ve all had that experience where we match with someone we think is cool … And then we text for too long … And then they say something stupid … And then we cancel the date and write them off completely. Text less, date more. And if you go on the date and they still say a bunch of stupid things in person, at least you have a funny story to share with your hype crew.
  6. Take the pressure off. If you haven’t read the book “It’s Just a F**cking Date”, I can’t recommend it enough. First off, it’s hilarious. Second, there’s some good wisdom in there. The reality is that most dates won’t turn into anything … Take the pressure off yourself and the other person and let your intention simply be to have a good time and learn about a new human. If it doesn’t work out with that person, it’s OKAY. It just means you’re one step closer to finding the person it does work out with. My Godfather once told me — “You gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.” Kiss away, my friends! But just kiss. Don’t give it up so easily … We’ll talk about that in another post.
  7. Take a break … But not for too long. If you’re unenthusiastic about dating, then don’t do it! There’s no point in wasting your time and wasting someone else’s time if you’re just going to show up and be miserable. Instead, focus on Step 2 and get interested in your own life again. Just don’t stay out of the arena for too long … There’s a lot of good people out there and you deserve to find one.
This was my online dating profile picture. Nothing fancy about it. I was in the middle of my dating hiatus and had taken myself on a solo trip to Moab. I spent the weekend jumping out of airplanes and getting lost in red rock canyons and I felt most like myself in this picture. Happy, vibrant, and in love with life.

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Arthi Meena

Arthi Meena

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