After we’ve been in “the dating game” for some time, or perhaps re-entering the dating game after years in a committed relationship, we might be finding ourselves on dates with all the wrong people. From self-absorbed, unambitious, disrespectful, to just having dissimilar interests and goals- can make the dating process challenging. The frustration can feel very real (I’ve been there, I know!).
I’m sharing five of my best tips for when you feel like giving up on dating.
1. Get out of your comfort zone and keep dating!
There’s a saying that if you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting. It’s also true in dating.
It’s common for people to be comfortable with what they already know, and they may assume this is the most likely place to find a partner who share similar interests and goals. Remember 2 Timothy 1:7 reminds us that, “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self control.”
Below are some ideas for stretching out of your comfort zone and meeting new people, especially if you feel like giving up on dating. These tips will help you remain in control to how you react to the dating process.
Attend networking events either in person or online.
Dating is a numbers game in a way. The more people we are connected to and expose ourselves to, the more likely we are to meet the ideal partner for us. Give yourself the opportunities to meet people and practice your skills in speaking, establishing healthy communication, directing conversation, and placing boundaries when needed. Even if these don’t end up being relationship partners, these may be new friendships or potential business connections.
Ask friends and family to introduce you to a single person who might be the right fit for you.
Sometimes our friends know us better than we know ourselves. They can see qualities in ourselves that we tend to overlook. They also may understand what we need in a partner before we do. Be open minded when your friends try to set you with a match.
Learn a new hobby or skill.
When we learn new things, it’s a rewarding experience and it gives you a confidence boost. Plus, it allows you to feel joy and express the desires within your heart.
You may be able to take your new-found talent and meet someone new – maybe even your soulmate!
Be aware when you are in public and say hi or smile if you see someone you might be interested in.
This may sound like a scenario from a movie script, but feeling confident in yourself, smiling, and being approachable are all signs that you are open to receive what God has available for you. You won’t notice someone new with your head down looking at your feet.
Join a New Dating App.
Join a a Facebook group and engage with other people.
Facebook groups or other social platforms can be great, especially for introverts who may not feel as comfortable just showing up in person at a new event. However, be aware of people who may be using fake profiles. Also, be aware of group rules about contacting people outside of the group without permission.
-Start a club or social gathering. If you aren’t finding an existing club or social group that you like, you can start one! It’s possible the person you’re hoping to meet is interested but hasn’t taken the initiative to begin the group themselves. They will be grateful you took the first step. Otherwise, you might just make some new friends. You can start a new Facebook group or a Meetup.
-Attend a meet up on Meetup.com. This app lets you type in your location and area of interest for several opportunities and gatherings in your area. Select the ones you’re interested in and you can simply click for more information. Your potential soulmate or new friend just may be in attendance!
You can never have too much dating experience. The more hands on dating experience you get, the more you will clarify what you want/don’t want in a significant other, which will bring you closer to meeting your perfect match.
You will gain confidence. This will help you practice your conversational skills and get used talking to other singles.
You will keep an open heart. This will help you to practice vulnerability. Keep an open mind, open heart, and keep your eyes open as well!
Network. You might end up meeting your special someone through someone else.
Growth Mindset. You will work on developing a healthy mindset and hopefully practice not taking rejection personally but understand that it is all a process to lead you to the right one.
Test everything according to God’s Will. You don’t know what (or whose) direction He wants you to guide your life towards so get out there and take the first step.
Have fun. Dating can seem overwhelming and too often can seem like an interview rather than two people desiring to get to know one another. When you enjoy dating and understand it is a process, it gets more fun!
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
This tip can be challenging, especially if we have a friend who is married or if we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others on social media. We sometimes set timelines for ourselves to be married by a certain age or have children by a certain age. This can put us under a lot of pressure.
Sometimes this rush to keep up with everyone else can make you settle for the wrong person instead of the soulmate God has intended for you.
When we turn our hearts instead to what God wants for us instead of paying attention to our own timelines or what our friends are doing, we can be more aware of the benefits of waiting for the right person at the right time instead of rushing in and settling.
3. Take a Break When Necessary
Taking a break from dating can be the perfect opportunity for you to heal from any hurts of past relationships.
Sometimes when we find ourselves endlessly frustrated and attracting the wrong dating partners, it could be the result of our own unhealed wounds, whether we are aware of them or not. Finding the support of a trusted mentor or professional relationship coach who understands your faith and your goals may be able to guide you on a path of healing before you begin dating again.
4. Don’t Forget to Pray
Remember that God is always there for you, and He wants you to be happy. Don’t be afraid to reach out to Him when you feel like giving up on dating. He already knows how you feel and wants you to share your heart with Him.
There are different types of prayer you can use for different needs.
It is stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ (2708).
This should be done heart-fully and with your mind and body. Oftentimes when we pray, we do so with our minds and not our whole selves. The closer you choose to move toward Jesus, the closer He will get to you. The more time and energy you give to Him, the more you will feel His Divinity in and around you.
Father Richard Rohr, Franciscan friar and teacher says, “What you deeply intuited, suspected, desired, hoped for, that’s the soul. The discovery of God will eventually be parallel movements. You fall deeper into yourself. You fall deeper into God. You fall deeper into God; you have permission to fall deeper into yourself.” Meaning that the deeper connection you have with yourself, the deeper connection you will have with God. Discover what lies within and you will discover God!
This kind of prayer is powerful to listen for the Holy Spirit and where He is calling you. This encourages obedience to follow the will of God and takes great faith and docility.
“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts” Mother Teresa
This is the kind of prayer that allows you to pray with an intention to a saint for a specific purpose. A few Saints that might be helpful to know about when you feel like giving up on dating are:
Saint Raphael, Saint Andrew, and Saint Joseph are all the patron saints of matchmaking and finding a spouse.
This kind of prayer takes a certain level of fortitude and resilience to continue to pray until the Holy Spirit answers your prayer, in one way or another.
Questions to ask yourself:
-Are you praying enough for your future spouse?
-Are you praying enough and allowing yourself to listen for the Holy Spirit directing your next steps?
-Are you asking the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom for what exactly to pray for?
St. Ignatius taught that the desires of your heart are often the way forward for God’s plan for your life. So, notice your desires and walk forward. The best way forward is taking the first step!
And of course we remember what the bible tells us “We know that all things work for good for those who love God” Romans Chapter 8.
Dating can be frustrating, and sometimes you may feel like giving up on dating, especially if you have been dating a while and haven’t found your soul’s mate. By getting out of your comfort zone, continuing to practice, removing the pressure of comparing yourself to others, taking a break when necessary, and asking God for guidance through prayer you may find the strength needed to keep going.