As someone who has been single for a while now, I'm used to people trying to comfort me. There are days when I get down about not being in a relationship, which means I've heard pretty much all the classic advice for single people. I've gotten everything from, "you'll find someone when you stop looking" and "you should let them chase you," to "you just haven't met someone who is good enough for you." Much of this comes unsolicited, because for some reason, other single people love to give me relationship advice. While I'm sure it's well-intentioned, personally, I'd rather hear it from someone who knows what they're talking about.
That's why I chatted with four relationship experts who shared their best pieces of advice for those who have been single for a long time. As it turns out, sometimes the simplest action can increase your chances of meeting someone amazing. By getting out of your comfort zone and taking chances you wouldn't normally, you can open yourself up to new people and greater possibilities. Even steps that seem small can make a big difference. If it feels like you've been single forever, here are five wise bits of expert knowledge to keep in mind.
1. Be Approachable
The first thing you can do to maximize your chances of finding someone is to pay attention to what's happening around you. "Put down your phone, take out your earbuds, and talk to people," advises Bridgette Hall, Matchmaker at Three Day Rule. "It might land you a date or a new friend. You might have to put yourself in the right mindset mentally, but you won't regret it." Even if you're too shy to go up to someone yourself, a simple smile in their direction could encourage them to approach you.
2. Keep An Open Mind
Chances are, you have a huge pool of prospects waiting for you right outside your front door. So don't slam it in their faces just because they're not the "right" height or they don't make "enough" money. "Try dating people outside your normal wheelhouse," adds Hall. "Go out with a match who doesn’t exactly fit your 'checklist' — or better yet, ditch your checklist and give everyone a chance to exceed your expectations." Dating apps are a good way to weed out weirdos, but if the reason you're on the fence about someone is superficial, stop hesitating and swipe right. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
3. Stress Less
Dating can be frustrating, but try to focus on the fun aspects. "If you’re searching for a partner, keep calm," says Alysha Jeney, Relationship Therapist and Co-Founder of The Modern Love Box. "Remind yourself that nothing is wrong with you and try not to put so much pressure on yourself. Use being single as an opportunity to grow into yourself and as an opportunity to build more self-awareness." There is some truth to the old adage that good things come to those who wait.
4. Put In Effort
Don't just wait around, though. If you don't want to be single, you should be going on dates and meeting new people. "If you’re happy being single, by all means, do what you enjoy. If you want to find love, you have to put energy into dating. You get out what you put in," says dating coach and Believe In Love author Evan Marc Katz. It's very unlikely that you'll stumble onto a good relationship. You have to work for it.
5. Enjoy Your Time Alone
Finally, don't rush into a relationship for the wrong reasons. It's better to be single than to be unhappy with someone else. "Learn about yourself, grow, and have fun dating people while you're single," says Julia Bekker, Matchmaker and Dating and Relationship Coach. "Explore your options until you find what you're looking for. Remember, all the wrong ones lead you to the right one."
If you're single, you're bound to receive all kinds of contradicting advice. Take it all with a grain of salt, and remember that it's okay to put your personal happiness above what other people think.
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