How to Get Out of a Dating Rut
There are times when it’s easy to feel like your dating life mirrors what Bill Murray goes through in the movie Groundhog Day, in which he relives the same day over and over again. You might be reliving the same relationship, the same dates, and having the same fights again and again. You might feel like even though time has passed and you’ve gotten older, you’re facing the same dating dilemmas you did when you were younger. Here you go again, dating another emotionally reticent man afraid of commitment, or another superficial woman who’s controlling. While the names and faces change, you seem to be stuck in the same story. You’re in a dating rut, and it sucks.
Feeling stuck in a rut can be infuriating, and though you might feel tempted to make exaggerated declarations, such as, “There are no good men left!” or, “It’s impossible to find love at my age!” the answer isn’t to play victim and give up. If you’re tired of reliving the same heartbreak, the same story of mistrust, incompatibility, or just straight-up bullshit while dating, then here’s a step-by-step process to get you out of a bad dating rut and into the arms of your perfect match:
1)Accept that you are the common denominator and be willing to change.
The world teaches that power is outside of us, that we’re victim to reality, rather than co-creators of our life experience. The first step to changing anything, especially your dating life, is to accept radical responsibility. Accept that the thread that connects the partners your attracting, the problems that surface, and the drama that’s playing out, is you. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this is a hard pill to swallow. I fell into the same dating pattern of attracting men who weren’t ready for a monogamous relationship for over a year until I faced the truth that it was my reticence to commitment that was keeping me from love.
You are the common denominator in all of your romantic encounters, monogamous or otherwise. So, the first step to getting out of a rut is declaring radical responsibility and taking back your love life.
The good news about accepting complete responsibility is that inherent in this acknowledgement is also the recognition that you have the power to change your current situation.
2)Do the opposite.
Stop using the same criteria to figure out who to date, the same dating apps, and having the same conversations at the same one spot you bring all of your potential partners. If you want different results, you have to do something different! If you normally refuse to date men if they aren’t over six feet, with a full head of luscious hair, and a six pack, try stepping out of your comfort zone and dating someone who you’d normally pass up. If you have certain rules about intimacy, dating etiquette, and how you behave in a romantic interaction, then do the opposite. Understand that it’s your thoughts, beliefs, and actions that have manifested your current dating reality, and you can’t shift it until you’re willing to actually make changes.
It’s easy to get into a comfortable routine while dating, but you’re making a huge mistake if you’re letting comfort or familiarity drive your dating life. Stop dating men who feel familiar, and stop doing things that are comfortable. Stretch yourself. In order to have a relationship you’ve never experienced before, you have to be willing to think, act, and behave in ways that are unfamiliar to you.
3)Stop listening to your single friends.
Single people tend to congregate with other singles. It just makes sense. I mean, Saturday night comes, and while my single girlfriends are out at a bar, I’m home with my boyfriend and his daughter, playing card games and watching The Incredibles. While I understand that it can be more challenging to make plans with friends who are in a relationship, married, or have children, simply because they tend to be busy (and not at the hottest social spots), you don’t want to get in the habit of only hanging out with single friends, and thus, only listening to dating advice from single people.
It’s too easy for others to project their fears, limiting beliefs, and histories on to you; so, someone who just got out of a bad relationship and is entangled in a series of unfulfilling encounters that are purely sexual in nature is not the person to get conscious dating advice from when deciding if you should go on a second date with Ted, the mindful meditator in your yoga class. Make it a point to survey who you’re getting dating advice from, and don’t let anyone who has their own major love issues to work out cloud your judgement when it comes to relationships.
I wrote an article for Elephant Journal on why you should follow the wisdom of George Costanza and do the opposite. Check it out HERE.
4)Become an awesome person in your own right.
It’s easy to focus all of your energy on dating when your’e single. This is a mistake, because you miss opportunities for self-growth, learning, and healing. The real way to get out of a dating rut is to cultivate a life filled with friendships, passions, and hobbies, while also dating (and stepping out of your comfort zone). Your life needs to be fulfilling without a partner before you can meet a partner. You can’t expect another person to be the sole source of your joy, as that creates unconscious pressure that can repel anyone. Instead, find things that you love to do. Try new classes. Learn new skills. Read books that help you to grow and stretch, and be sure to work on yourself while you continue to date. This way, when the Universe does bring you your perfect match, he’s blown away by how awesome your life is: how you’re willing to try new things, expand your social circle, and go on adventures.
5)Pretend you’re the you from five years from now.
Sit quietly and imagine yourself five or ten years from now. Meditate on the sort of person you’ll be. Get very specific. Visualize where you live, what you do, and how you spend your time. You wake up in the morning - where do you go? Who’s with you? What does your self-talk sound like? What goals have you accomplished? Get a sense of the version of yourself that you’re becoming, and begin to act as if, meaning, if the future you is more peaceful and organized, act out of that energy. When you feel the urge to become reactive and stressed, stop, breathe, and embody the energy of the future you. When making dating decisions, ask yourself what the older and more conscious you would do. Rather than seeking advice outside of yourself, look inward and focus on collapsing timeline. Step into the energy of the future you in order to manifest that reality quicker.
The truth is, if you’re stuck in a dating rut, it is completely possible to shift, not only the sort of partners you’re attracting, but the sort of relationships you’re having. The Universe is conspiring in your favor, even when it doesn’t look like it. When you feel lonely, frustrated, or like you’re caught in a rerun of a bad movie, be willing to shift. Trust that you have the power to make changes - drastic changes - and take the steps to get out of the rut. You can do it! It may be helpful to work with someone (to help you identify your blocks, heal, and move forward quickly). You can e-mail me to set up a session, or find someone who you resonate with in terms of their ideology on dating and consciousness. Whether you decide to embark on this journey by yourself, or with the help of a coach, know that it is entirely possible to manifest the partner and relationship that you desire, and commend yourself for embarking on the journey of self-betterment and growth.