Dating can often feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Below are a few tips to make it less so. 

Be open to new types of people

We tend to date the types of people we are comfortable with, which is not necessarily the people who may be the best fit for us. Remember to be open to new types of people when dating. Don’t dismiss someone because they have different interests than you, a type of personality you aren’t used to, or even if you aren’t immediately attracted to them. While having similar values and standards is important, having a list of specifics (height, hair color, sense of humor, introvert/extrovert) for your future partner only tends to eliminate options and leaves you missing out on opportunities to get to know potentially amazing people.

Be willing to take initiative and do new things

We’ve all had the friend who complains about dating, yet is unwilling to make any changes or do anything different. Heck–let’s be honest–most of us have been that person! And it’s not without reason. It’s scary to try something new, go out on a limb, and be vulnerable enough to do something different. However, as Einstein reminded, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” That principle holds true with dating. So, if things haven’t worked out for you, be brave enough to try something new. Take initiative! Ask someone out yourself, plan a group date, or try speed dating. You’ll never know if it will work for you until you try.

Don’t put too much pressure on dates

So many of us overthink dates–Will they like me? Will my family like them? What will we talk about? Would our kids be cute? Where would we live? If you find yourself going down this rabbit hole, STOP. Remember, a date is simply an opportunity to get to know someone. Focus on getting to know your date–ask questions and start building a friendship, not planning your wedding (or breakup).

Measure your dating success in a new way

It’s easy to look at your dating history and feel discouraged. But the fact of the matter is that all relationships will end or ‘fail’ until, hopefully, one doesn’t. Rather than measuring the success of every relationship by its ultimate outcome (marriage or breakup), measure the success by what you have learned, how you have grown or the new experiences you have had.

Focus on loving yourself

It is very difficult to love anyone else unless we truly love yourself. Rather than focusing on finding the perfect person, focus on becoming your best self and practicing self-love. Try reciting positive affirmations, engaging in meditation, going to therapy, picking back up your old hobbies, trying new things, and/or surrounding yourself by positive people. When we truly learn to love ourselves, we are more able to share that love with others.

So remember, be open to new types of people, be willing to take initiative and do new things, don’t put too much pressure on dates, measure your dating success in a new way, focus on loving yourself, and good luck!