Are You Burned Out On Dating?

We all hit times when we're burned out on dating…here's how to get through 'em in 7 easy steps.

By Margot Carmichael Lester

roverbs 15:30 reminds us that "a cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health." In modern terms, that means nobody wants to date Debbie Downer or Sad Sam. And while it's not always easy to keep your spirits up while looking for your dream date, being sad or cynical isn't going to help. But following these steps might. Try them to get your dating motivation back on track.

1. Fake it.
Sometimes, you just feel down on the inside. But that doesn't mean you have to show it on the outside. "My friend Ali is a
If you're feeling frustrated, upset or disappointed, go ahead and express it fully.
waitress who has to appear happy even when she feels crabby," says Tonya Davis of Kailua, HI. "She tells herself to 'look pleasant' and turns up the corners of her mouth just slightly. I'm always struck by how approachable she looks wearing that basic, content expression."

2. Purge it.
You can't beat your blues if you don't face them. "If you're feeling frustrated, upset or disappointed, go ahead and express it fully," suggests Wendy Lyon, a relationship and life coach in San Rafael, CA: "Yell, scream, cry, do whatever you need to do to let that feeling out without hurting anyone or anything in the process. As you let the feeling out, let it go, release it. Allow yourself to be present in the moment."

3. Maximize it.
Live your life to the fullest. "Recognize that each new experience is an opportunity to learn about ourselves and other people, to expand our horizons, and if we're very lucky, to find that someone we want to be with," says Philadelphia-based relationship coach Hu Fleming.

4. Work it.
Setting a goal or two will give you purpose. It can be to chat with someone for a few seconds next time you're at the bookstore, or make one social plan with a friend for next week. "With every small goal that is reached a person feels stronger, emotionally and mentally," says Lori Marcoux, cofounder of Seattle-based personal and professional coaching company, Extraordinary Learning. "Once setting goals (and working toward them) is routine, the trick is having the self-discipline to continue. Keeping an eye on
Let yourself feel how good it feels to have the love and life you desire.
the prize helps. Many people allow themselves to be distracted easily. Being lazy is easy, but not very fulfilling."

5. Exercise it.
Exercise has lots of benefits beyond burning calories. "The endorphins elevate your mood, and you can always feel a little righteous about having done a good workout," says Michelle Deaver of Phoenix. "Exercising regularly, eating healthy and generally taking care of myself help me look and feel better. And that's got to be attractive, right?"

6. Appreciate it.
One great way to stay positive and keep on smiling is to appreciate what's wonderful about your life, even if it doesn't yet include the love you want. "When a person is grateful in their life, it's certainly attractive to others because they exude openness and emotional availability," says Susan Davis, a clinical psychologist in New York.

7. Visualize it.
Athletes swear by the power of visualizing victory. You can harness that same power in your romantic pursuits. "Create a vision for the life and relationship you want," Lyon notes. "Let yourself feel how good it feels to have the love and life you desire. Make it a daily practice to enjoy this feeling, knowing it is coming soon. Don't focus on what's missing or lacking in your life. Do focus on what's coming and believe it is possible."

Ultimately, the key to looking (and being) approachable is keeping the faith. "Don't ever give up on yourself or your dream for love," Lyon says. "Do enjoy your life as a single person, do what you love, enjoy the company of friends and show up in the world available for connection. Get whatever support you can to help you to keep your faith in yourself."

Margot Carmichael Lester developed an indomitable spirit as a freelance writer for consumer and airline magazines.
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