Let’s set the scene: it’s Saturday night, and you’re halfway through your second date this week — although who knows how many dates you’ve been on this year alone — and it’s already clear to you that this guy isn’t the one. He’s nice, but directionless; kind, but dull; cute, but self-absorbed. And the date before this wasn’t much better either.
And the worst part is, it’s not even for our lack of effort that we’re struggling to find the right match for us. It can feel next to impossible to find the right guy, even if we’ve been actively dating and searching for him instead of sitting back, hoping he’ll find us.
All of this fruitless dating can leave us feeling exhausted, in every sense of the word: tired of getting our hopes up that maybe this date will be the one, drained from all the hours spent texting back and forth and getting ready, only for the date to be a dud, wearily wondering if we’re just meant to be alone, even if that’s not what we want.
We see happy couples walk by, watch as our friend finds a boyfriend, hear about our sister getting engaged, and struggle not to feel a twinge of jealousy, as well as insecurity. Why is it impossible for me to find that? we wonder.
Find Comfort in Knowing That Finding the Right Match Isn’t Easy
Dating around without finding the right match begins to feel pointless after being disappointed enough times. We start to lose hope of ever finding that person, and question if they even exist. Our friends might try to comfort us and encourage us to “just keep trying,” but it’s hard to continue when our efforts feel futile.
But it may be that we have unrealistic expectations of how quickly we’ll find our person — thinking that a few good dates should find us our perfect match. However, experts actually say that it often takes between 40 and 60 dates to find a good match (or more, don’t fret!). So even if we were to go on two dates every single week without exception, it could take 7 months if we finally found the right guy on date 60.
We shouldn’t let this discourage us (thinking of all the bad dates we still have to go on before we get to the right one!), but instead, take comfort in the fact that finding our person isn’t simple for most of us. There are far fewer good matches for us than there are bad matches, so we can’t expect it to happen immediately.
But even if that’s comforting to know, going on enough lackluster dates will start to feel repetitive and hopeless. So how can we hold onto hope as we continue the search for our future husband?
Don’t Get Too Stuck on the Numbers
Once we hear how many “wrong” dates it can take before we go on the right one, we might get locked on the numbers, holding onto hope only because we think there’s a specific finish line, where we’ll finally be rewarded with our perfect person in exchange for completing our bad date quota.
But we can’t get too stuck on the numbers in dating and start treating it like a formula. Some found their match on the first try, and others went on more than 60 dates before finding their person.
It’s helpful to know we aren’t the only ones going on unsuccessful date after unsuccessful date, but we also can’t expect everything to fall into place once we go on that 60th date — only to feel depressed when he still wasn’t the guy for us. Simply take this number as a sign that finding the right person is difficult.
Gain Any Wisdom You Can from the Bad and So-So Dates
We’d always rather be on a date with a good match instead of yet another guy we’ll never go out with again. But we also have the opportunity, with every date that doesn’t go well, to learn something about ourselves and our desires in a future husband.
Of course it’s tiresome to keep going on dates with guys we don’t see a future with, but whether or not it’s a complete waste of time is up to us. If we gain insight and wisdom about what to look for in a guy, and even learn more about ourselves in the process, then we’ve used our time well, even if it wasn’t with the right guy.
Cultivate a Life You Value No Matter Your Relationship Status
The hunger and search for Mr. Right can feel all-consuming. We read about a protagonist being in love in our favorite books, watch as characters fall for each other in movies, and see hand-holding, happy couples all around us. And we want this for ourselves.
But we can’t place being in a relationship on such a pedestal that we forget we’re living a life in the meantime. Being in love is wonderful, but placing all of our hope for future happiness in finding our best match won’t fulfill us the way we think it will.
This is why it’s important that, well before we find the right guy, we’ve cultivated a life we’re already happy to live — surrounding ourselves with good friends who encourage us and challenge us, allowing ourselves to dream about our future and purpose, and cultivating a healthy respect for ourselves. This isn’t about love “finding us when we least expect it,” but about holding onto our hope of finding the right match and living a life that can attract them.
Dating can be rough, especially when we’ve gone on enough lackluster ones without feeling the reward of making a connection we want to keep. But the next time you’re feeling discouraged about all the dates that haven’t worked out, remember that even the experts agree: it’s may not be easy to find a good match, but you will in time.
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