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5 Ways to Make Dating Less Frustrating

Navigating the "no-mans land" of modern dating trends can be difficult, frustrating, and even debilitating at times. Fun fact: it doesn't have to be! Find out here what you should look out for:

#1 Know Thyself

When it comes to making dating less frustrating, the only person you truly have control over is yourself. A lot of frustrations are, at their roots, miscommunications over what each partner needs in a relationship. What this looks like will vary from person to person, or even vary depending on the stage you are at in your personal life. What is good for you now, may not be enough in a year. Learn to check in with yourself and re-evaluate your needs on a weekly, monthly, or even yearly schedule.

couple argueing
Your date shouldn't end like this

It may take be hard or uncomfortable to admit, but knowing yourself is an important preliminary step in being able to unapologetically articulate what you want. Is this a one night stand? A non-monogamous consistent hook up? Or something with long term commitment? In this way, you can save yourself time, money, and effort to ensure that your dating priorities remain focused and mutually consensual. You want to know the best part? Any lessons you learn from self reflection can never be taken away in a "relationship status" change. Self care is the best care.

#2 Respect the Golden Rule

A lot of frustration in modern dating stems from our inability to face up to our own fears when things don't work out. We fear disappointment, we fear abandonment, we fear vulnerability. In particular, a lot of people are particularly frustrated when a relationship abruptly comes to a halt without explanation. This "flight" mentality is also an expression of fear. "Ghosting" someone is a common way of avoiding our responsibility to communicate with our partners when our desires have changed.

While it may be tempting to cut out communicating with a past lover, it often isn't a long term solution to our problem and will resurface with new relationships. In order to face our responsibility to communicate with our partners, we have to remember the golden rule. Treat others how you want to be treated. That means showing up to the table, with good news or bad news, and respecting our partners time.

Keep in mind.... polite, be brief, be honest. That's all you ever owe to a casual dating partner.

#3 Find your community

Dating takes an emotional toll on our sense of identity and connection to other people. Studies have shown the more centralized our sense of self becomes, the more devastating our reaction when that part of us is challenged. Finding ways to diversify your identity through exploring new communities is a great way to keep you grounded and protect your identity from becoming too fragile. Surround yourself with people who empower you, consistently validating your sense of worthiness and expanding your potential dating circles. In the same vein, cut out those who make you feel inadequate in order to make space for more positive influences. One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to find your anchor that can help you navigate safely through the turbulent dating scene. The more the merrier to help soften the blow of frustrating dates! Remember: the fastest rebound times belongs to those who have a team by their side!

happy couple in love outside
Find wyas to diversify your identity!

#4 Take a vacation

This one's a no-brainer. Getting out of your comfort zone is one of the easiest ways to open yourself up to new dates and avoid getting stuck in a loop of old hook-ups. Vacating your life can break up your routine and help you to look at your surroundings (and potential future dates) with fresh eyes. Whether you're interested in a cruise, music festival, or a backpacking adventure--the change of scenery helps you to gain confidence and re-establish your future priorities. This subconscious critical analysis is essential when it comes to "knowing thyself" and being able to communicate your dating desires.

Taking a vacation compounds that sense of adventure with the opportunity to meet people of all different backgrounds. Who knows - you may just meet that person who inspires you to learn Spanish, encourages you to go sky diving, loves community service work, or shares your passion children's literature. Similar to the "find your community" tip, travelling also allows you to expand your sense of identity and create new friendships around the world. When in doubt, taking a vacation is the best way to avoid cynicism and bring back that spark to your dating life.

#5 Get off social media

Despite the onslaught of dating apps promising to bring us together, many people feel frustrated at the lack of true connection on social media. Sure, they're great for casual hook ups. But what about those who want a little more? For those who are frustrated at their lack of messages on Tinder, try taking a break from the constant swiping scene. Go to a dance lesson, hit up a bar, join a sports club, or attend a friend's housewarming party. Re-acquainting yourself with how to start a flirtatious exchange in person can help you avoid the frustration of things getting lost in translation on-line. Plus, it will allow you to engage more with other activities that boost your confidence and get your mind working in different ways. While you don't have to delete your dating apps forever, taking several weeks off is a great way of pushing yourself to commit and follow through on dates you made face-to-face.

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