Looking for love can be challenging. I know from my own experience and from speaking with my coaching clients that we can end up feeling disappointed and downhearted, hopeless even, ready to throw in the towel. If this is you, it might be time to reset your romantic life. A reset will look different for everyone but here are eight steps that might help you to feel optimistic again.
If you want to reset your romantic life, first take the pressure off yourself by letting go of any fixed timetable you might have for meeting a partner and surrender the timing to God. This isn’t easy, I know, especially if you feel you are running out of time to have a family or you feel that you are way behind your peers who are all coupled up, but if you can let go of the timing, you will feel lighter and freer and you’ll make better choices.
Step back and look again
If you’ve been dating for a while, take a step back. Look at your online profile. Does it need an update or a refresh? Does it reflect your authentic self or does it say what you think other people want to hear? Do your photos show you in the best light and do they paint an accurate picture of who you are? Have you shown your profile to female and male friends to get their perspective? Take some time to give your online profile a makeover and remember to ask for other people’s support.
Check your foundations
Are you dating with healthy self-esteem and confidence? Do you feel good about yourself? Are you taking good care of yourself? Or are you dating with a craving for love and affection or looking for someone to take care of you? Answer these questions honestly. Do your foundations need strengthening? Do you need to feel more whole? Self-esteem comes from doing estimable things and we feel better about ourselves when we’re taking good care of our health and wellbeing. What steps can you take in these areas?
Widen your dating pool
Do you always message the same type of people? Are you always attracted to a certain look or personality? If so, why not try something different? Try messaging people who aren’t your usual type. Broaden the age range of people you’re willing to date and let go of any prejudices that might stop you from contacting people who don’t look or sound like your ideal partner. Be open to surprises.
Boost your self-awareness
The more I understood about myself, the more successful I was at dating. The more I understood my relationship patterns and where they came from, the easier it was to change them to healthier patterns. Is it time to do some more self-reflection? Is it time to examine your dating and relationship behaviours so that you can do things differently?
Think about whether you want to do this on your own, with friends, peers or with a professional, such as a counsellor or coach. Both peer support and professional support significantly accelerated my journey of healing, enabling me to form a healthy and loving relationship.
Are you someone you would gladly date? Is your life reasonably full, with a good balance of friends, interesting work and hobbies – as much as it can be? Do you take care of your appearance and clothing and feel good about how you look? And how often do you take yourself on a date – for example, to a gallery, out for lunch or even just for a walk? As part of how you reset your romantic life, think about how you can become someone you would love to spend time with and take yourself on some fun dates.
Take a screen break
If online dating is getting you down, it’s OK to take some time out. Focus on having fun. Connect with friends and sign up to activities where you might meet some interesting people. Choose to take a break from dating for a period of time that works for you – it could be a few weeks or a few months – and then return to it feeling energised and refreshed.
Before you return to dating, look through the steps above and see if there’s anything you’d like to change, about your profile, your dating preferences, your foundations or how you feel about yourself.
Check your mindset
Before you return to dating or continue to date online, check your mindset. Do you feel optimistic and hopeful? Or do you feel drained, depleted and depressed at the prospect of looking for love? If the former, dive right in. If the latter, how can you get yourself back on track so that you approach dating with a positive outlook? Some of the steps above may help.
Remember, if dating feels like a chore, it’s probably not going to work. Our profile, our messages or our body language will communicate that we’re bored, fed up and short on hope. If you take time to reset your romantic life, you’ll be sending out different signals and be in a great headspace to meet someone who’s right for you.