Do you keep checking your online dating profile, thinking something must be on the fritz? Are the only messages in your voicemail inbox from your mother and the cable company? Has your favorite little black dress gathered dust?
Well, then you might be thinking you’re in a bit of a dating dry spell.
But before you let the self-doubt and negative thoughts set in, before you grab that pint of Chunky Monkey and start binge watching the Bachelorette, consider how you can not only survive this dry spell, but use it to your advantage.
First of all, don’t think of it as a “dry spell.” Instead, think of it as an intermission, a pause, a respite, or, for the sports fans out there, a half-time. This is a great opportunity for you to decompress, refresh and reenergize yourself. We all know that dating takes energy and can be downright exhausting. You’re actually doing yourself a huge favor by taking some time to regroup and get back in touch with your desires and goals. After all, there is so much more to your life than waiting by the phone for Mr. or Mrs. Right to call!
So, here are a few ways to capitalize on your dating intermission:
Take yourself out for a night on the town.
Don’t wait for your next date to suggest that new restaurant you’ve been dying to try. Check it out yourself. Or take yourself to see a movie—that “chick flick” you want to see. Don’t worry about seeming lonely or feeling rejected. Studies show that people who every once in a while do activities alone—like eating out at a restaurant, going to see a movie, shopping or taking a hike—benefit from the introspection and self-reliance these solo activities promote. A Huffington Post article on the topic even says, “those who enjoy purposeful solitude have been shown to experience cognitive benefits including enhanced creativity and concentration.”
Reconnect with friends.
Along with “purposeful solitude,” nurturing your friendships is important to your overall wellbeing. We all know that between dating, jobs and whatever else our lives demand, our friendships can be the first thing we neglect. This might sound cliché, but a girls’ night is a great way to fortify those friendships that have seen you through the good times and the bad. Surely, you have friends you keep meaning to call, and liking your friend’s picture on Facebook isn’t nearly as good as getting coffee and catching up. You probably have friends who feel the same way. Take this time to initiate reconnection!
Discover a new hobby.
Teach yourself how to knit, take up a martial art, learn to cartoon, or maybe work your way through an exotic cookbook. Challenging yourself to learn new skills is a great way to boost self-confidence, meet new people and engage different parts of your brain. In fact, according to The Brain Health Company, “through improving the entire network system of the brain, new hobbies and skills help to maintain brain health over a longer period of time.” This means adopting new hobbies is beneficial both in the short term and the long term. In the short term you get to enjoy trying new activities and discovering new talents, while in the long term you’re improving brain functions like focus and memory. And who knows what kind of life-long passion you might unlock!
Get in touch with your sensual self.
While dating we are so preoccupied with figuring out what turns other people on, what gets their buzzer going, we often neglect to think that way about ourselves. Worse is the misconception that solo sex is second rate—a sorry substitute for the “real thing.” But a healthy sex life with partners begins with a healthy sex life with yourself, and while you might be craving another’s touch, don’t underestimate the joys and benefits of self-pleasuring. Not only does it feel good, masturbation is—you guessed it—good for you! Care2.com lists several health benefits of masturbation, including helping you sleep, relieving cramps, and boosting your immune system. And if you’re still embarrassed by the notion of having sex with yourself, consider that just about everyone does it, whether they’re in a relationship or not. In fact, Adam and Eve estimates that nearly 99% of adults masturbate!
Make a change.
The old adage “Out with the old, in with the new” applies whenever you feel your life has stalled, and it’s true of your dating life too. So paint a room, get a snazzy new haircut or treat yourself to a new outfit. You’ll be surprised at how even a small change—like rearranging your furniture—can reinvigorate you and give you a more positive outlook. When you feel more positive, more positive things are bound to happen!
Ultimately, your dating life can only be as healthy as you are. Checking in with yourself, setting attainable goals, making positive changes—these are all important steps toward bettering your overall health and wellbeing. And when your dating life picks up again—and it will—wouldn’t you like to be able to meet the joys and challenges of dating as a healthier, more well-rounded person?