Are you in a slump and need some help getting back into the online dating groove? Here’s the first thing you need to know: after a few months of online dating, it is inevitable to go through a slump and for feelings of futility and frustration to set in. This can feel especially discouraging if you’re doing everything can at your end to meet someone. It’s hard not to feel disheartened when the initial rush of emails you got when you first signed up dies down, your searches for a partner net fewer and fewer prospects, and you start to see the same boring profiles over and over again. But almost everyone goes through this! Even though the novelty of online dating has worn off and you’re no longer the ‘new kid on the block,’ you can’t let it get you down.
Here’s what one client said when her online dating began to slow down: “I really did not know that ‘a slump was inevitable,’ so this is important information. Now that I know this, I can feel more at ease with the process.” She went on to say that, after 25 years away from men, all the attention she got through online dating was intoxicating, and “it was almost a feeling of withdrawal when it all came to a halt!”
The truth is, you might be doing everything right and it’s just be a matter of time—and timing—before you meet someone. It’s entirely possible that, at this very moment, the future love of your life is getting out of a relationship and is planning on posting an online dating profile in the days or weeks to come. You never know. What you need to remember is that, for a romantic connection to happen, two people’s lives have to align. So even if you’re ready to meet your life partner, your future life partner might not be ready to meet you.
It’s also important to remember that, just because it seems like there’s little movement on the online dating front, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening. Even if you’re not getting as many emails responses or dates as you’d like, you are always evolving and getting clearer about what you want in a partner and in a relationship.
I have many clients who went on very few dates and still found someone special through online dating. Remember, it only takes one date to change your life forever. If you feel like you should be doing more, I would encourage you to read relationship-related books, work with a coach, or spend time meditating and envisioning the kind of relationship you want. You can also write love letters to your future mate. This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. The more real you can make this person seem, the more connected you will stay to your online dating journey.
Something I often suggest to my clients is that they practice becoming more comfortable with all members of the opposite sex, even if they aren’t people you would ever date. As crazy as this sounds, spend time connecting at a deeper level with members of the opposite sex in your immediate world. If you’re a guy, spend time with your mother, sister, or aunt. If you’re a woman, spend time with your father, brother, or uncle. It’s also nice to make a few friends of the opposite sex. Learning to flatter them, have playful banter, and understand what lights them up will bring these relationships alive in a whole new way. It will also help you feel more at ease when it comes to online dating.
Something else to consider is that, no matter how open and ready you are to meeting your partner, you may be resisting the process in ways you haven’t considered. It helps to keep reminding yourself to let go and surrender to the online dating process. Pay attention to any resistance you have to what’s happening and listen for any judgments that you might have about yourself, other people, and online dating in general. Here are some things you might be telling yourself that are causing your resistance:
- I should be getting more dates.
- Online dating works for other people but not for me.
- There’s no one I’m interested in dating online.
- I’m too old to meet someone.
- I should have started this process much sooner.
- This is never going to happen.
- I’m wasting my time.
- All the good ones are taken.
- I can’t write flirty emails.
- The people I’m interested in aren’t contacting me.
- I’m not attracted to any of the people who contact me.
- I’m too boring for anyone to date me.
- I don’t know how to date.
The number one way that people hinder the online dating process is by not being open to enough matches. Online dating makes it way too easy to eliminate people for superficial reasons. Many people today say they want a partner, but they aren’t willing to compromise on anything. I have even had female clients who are 5’4” who insist on only dating men who are 6’ or taller and male clients who are of average good looks who would only email the prettiest women. Odds are your ideal match is not going to come in the exact package you would like. When my husband and I met, he was about 3 inches taller than me. The other day, when he walked over to kiss me, I was towering over him. We both burst out laughing. I kicked off my shoes, but I was still quite a bit taller. So, even if you do get what you want in the beginning, you have no idea what’s in store for you. Please, please, PLEASE, give more people a chance. I promise you, people will surprise you if you let them.
The bottom line is that it takes patience and perseverance to find the right partner online. Two people’s lives have to line up for that to happen, and there will be ups and downs along the way. Sometimes you will get a surge of new interest from potential matches, other times it will feel as slow as molasses. The key is to stick in there and do your best to go with the flow. The more you can get out of your own way and not take it personally, the easier—and faster—your online dating journey will seem!