Have you ever noticed a pattern where, if you are seeing someone or dating around, you just keep getting more dates (score!!), and if you’re not seeing anyone, then no one seems interested at all? Yeah, me too. This has to be some law of physics because I see this all the time. I often witness friends either struggle (delightedly) with more than one suitor and too full a
Tinder inbox dance card, or wonder why there has been no action for months.
The truth is, dry spells can happen to anyone, no matter the gender, age group, or relationship history. When I went through a dry spell in college, I didn’t even flirt for about five months, let alone go on a date or accidentally make out with someone at a party. At first I was like, ‘Oh, this is so liberating! Now I have all this time and mental free space to work on myself instead of wasting precious energy on guys!’ And then around three months, it turned into ‘I feel like I’m going to die.’ And it was awful because it didn’t feel like my natural way of being, and I had no idea how or when I could transition out of that phase. Here are some thing I’ve learned about getting over a dating dry spell.
1. Nourish your body and start eating right.
This might sound like an odd way to end your dry spell, but hear me out. If you truly want more love in your life, you have to build up loving energy within yourself first, and the first step to that is with food. In my own dry spell, I was eating very abstemiously–on top of being vegan, I was eating very low-fat, gluten-free, low-sugar, and oil-free. I was also eating “correct” portion sizes instead of listening to my body, always saving 1/2 a burrito for later on even though I was still hungry. Since I wasn’t in control of my love life, I was trying to control my diet–and that had the effect of sapping myself, physically and emotionally.
Once I started feeding my body more lovingly, instead of using that process to test my discipline, a lot of things changed. I felt better about myself, and that changed the way I interact with others, too.
2. Cultivate platonic opposite sex friendships.
When you’re in a dry spell, you often think of getting into a romantic situation with a member of the opposite sex (or same sex, depending) that you’re always either moping by yourself or complaining to your girl friends about how it’s just not happening. (I’m speaking purely from experience). In this process, you forget to connect with the opposite sex in a normal, friendly way. Even if platonic friendships with men just doesn’t seem like a productive means to your end, it really helps you to break out of your shell and makes you better adjusted to more intimate relationships in the future. This means that when you meet a new man, instead of immediately wondering whether he has boyfriend potential or knocking him off, you just treat him as you would a new *friend.* And male friends have distinct insight and emotional support to offer. Bonus: they also tend to have other male friends by spades, FYI.
3. Do something out of your comfort zone.
Always wanted to try salsa dancing? Learn Italian? Travel to Asia? Make your own tea towels and sell them on Etsy? These things are going to be a lot harder to accomplish once you start hitting your dating stride and scheduling dinner-drinks twice a week. Make this your time to check off the things on your bucket list. And that spark in your eye from tackling your passion projects will certainly light another kind of fire in your life.
4. Get back in the game.
You can’t sit it out and complain that nothing is happening. If you are ready for love, take an active approach. Try online dating, asking trusted friends to set you up, going to social gatherings of all kinds, throwing your own party and asking friends to bring more guests, going out dancing, making eye contact with that cute guy who works at the library front desk. My friends and I used to even make up pretend-crushes just to get hyped up about liking someone, and that “I think I may have a crush” feeling did a lot to get us excited and in that mindset.
5. Have patience.
I know, I know. It feels cliche to say that it will happen naturally when you just let go of your anxieties and anticipation. But if you’re doing #1-4, you’re doing everything right and eventually, your dry spell will end. And even though it might feel long and pointless, it’s a crucial chance for you to learn about yourself and what you want–a chance you otherwise would not have gotten. So just relax, and let things run their course.
Have you ever gone through a dry spell?
Also in Love: How to NOT Date a Vegan
Photo: Holly Lay via Flickr