How to Survive When You’re Not Dating
Practical tips to keep going when there’s no prospect in sight.
One of the hardest times for frustrated singles is the time between dating one person and the next. Sometimes it can take days, weeks, months... even years.
Hillel gave some great advice: “If I am not for me, who is for me; and if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” (Ethics of the Fathers, 1:14)
If I am not for me, who is for me?
The best person to get you through the time between dates is you. Of course good friends and family will be there for you. However, the most important person to show up in your life when the going gets tough is you. You must be for yourself, before you count on anyone else to be there for you.
Remember that you have more strength, courage and patience than you know. When not dating, the first thing to focus on is being there for yourself. If there is no appropriate date in sight, take yourself out on a date. Don’t wait for someone else to appear. Do the things you love. Self-love and self-care are what you need during these challenging times.
...and if I am only for myself, what am I?
We need to remember there are other people who are struggling with similar challenges. Take time to reach out to others who are in a similar boat; you’re not alone. Your efforts may give someone the lift they need to get through another few weeks, or more, without a date.
And if not now, when?
Fear, anxiety and previous negative experiences can prevent us from doing something today. Acknowledge what is holding you back and choose to move ahead anyway. There will never be a perfect time to start dating. Here are three practical steps to seize the day:
Network: Who should you connect with? Think of people you already know who are well connected, and can maybe expand your existing social network. You could take someone out for coffee and catch up, enjoy a meal together, or simply reach out with a quick call to let them know you’d love to connect this week if possible. If you’re a true introvert, your connections may be virtual, via FB or other social media. Do what is most comfortable for you. Your network can be valuable, but only if you connect to it.
Obsess (a little): Be slightly obsessed with dating; for you, and for others too. I have some clients who ask, “Am I too obsessed with dating?” More often than not they are simply passionate about finding the right person and are going to great lengths to do so. In dating, a short-term obsession can help you reach your goal. Thinking and making plans about where to go, what to do, what to say, and who to connect with can be the ticket to meeting your other half.
Be social: In addition to using the people and resources you already have, try to expand as well. Meet some new people by finding local events, or even traveling if you have to for something that involves like-minded people. (Take a friend with you if you need the support. Being your best self is important and sometimes it’s best to have a good friend to back you up.) Whatever gatherings or activities you find, get yourself in a room full of people and meet some new faces.
May you find someone wonderful in the right time and may you feel good about the efforts you make.