Unless you married your high school sweetheart or are a serial monogamist chances are that you’ve been through a dating slump before. It doesn’t matter who you are, how attractive you are, or how good you are at dating, a slump is bound to happen. I know, because I’ve been there.
I was speaking to a friend about dating and dating slumps and how some people have them and some don’t, how extended slumps happen, etc. Then it dawned on me: You have to approach dating slumps like a hitting slump in baseball.
I’m no sports guru so I’ll try to keep my sports analogy as simple as possible.
For you non baseball folks:
Batting Average: Number of at Bats/Number of Hits (a hit is when you hit the baseball and get on a base, any base)
So let’s equate this to dating:
Batting Average: Going on a date and having it be successful (i.e. potential for a second date)
A good hitter usually hits around .300, meaning that of the times they get to bat, they’re succeeding about 30% of the time.
Great hitters hit .400 so 40% of the time they’re succeeding.
For context, there have only been 35 times since 1876 that this is happened. Those 35 times are split between 26 dudes. Basically, it’s really hard.
So how do you get out of a slump? How do you go from batting .000 to batting a respectable .250?
Here are 5 Tips to get out of a Dating Slump
1. Re-evaluate your approach
So you’re going on a lot of dates but they just aren’t going anywhere? Well why is that?
Whenever I’m in a slump I like to sit down and evaluate not only what I’m saying about what I want versus what I actually want.
The key thing to do here is really truly examine what you want.
Have you been honest about what you want out of dating? What do the people you’re going on dates with want?
Dating, like baseball, requires a different approach for each situation. If you’re going on dates looking for commitments with people who aren’t, chances are they wont want that second date. Same goes for a reversal of positions. If you’re approaching every pitch the way you’d approach a fastball you aren’t going to be the most effective hitter. If you’re going on dates with people who want a relationship and you try to have sex with them within an hour of seeing them, chances are they’ll probably decline the 2nd date
No matter how you’re meeting potential dates, you need to figure out upfront what you’re looking for and go for that instead of swinging at every pitch.
That’s the difference between this swing:
…and these homeruns
2. Review the game tape
Sometimes you need to go back and put all your dates in perspective. Maybe it’s not who you’re dating but how you’re dating them. Are you going to dinner or movies on first dates?
Are you taking dates to places that meet the 5 criteria for a great date bar? (Not empty, but not crowded, Not Silent, but not too loud, The people at the bar aren’t terrible, Great Lighting, Relatively inexpensive from my Great NYC Date Bars post)
Baseball slumps really translate into either not making contact with the ball, or not making effective contact. Some hitters have superstitions behind improving their hitting but in my mind, the best way to solve the problem is to look at the facts. You can be like Wade Boggs and stick to weird superstitions around fried chicken and then write a book about that for your whole career, or be like Ted Williams and study your accuracy within the strike zone and then write a book about hitting.
Approach your dating slump clinically and you’re bound to have more success.
3. Practice your swing
So you’ve been approaching your dates analytically and you’ve gotten to the root of what the problem may be. Maybe it’s because you don’t have the skills to communicate comfortably, maybe it’s because you were going on dates with people who wanted different things, or maybe it’s something as simple as having bad luck. Whatever the case may be, there are always ways to practice to improve how well you do on dates. Here are 3 things that I’ve identified in the past that were potentially contributing to my dating slump
- The conversation is awkward or stilted
- You’re oversharing
- Your date seems uncomfortable
So, what did I do to “practice” not doing any of those?
1. I started initiating conversations with strangers in social settings. No, I wasn’t walking up to people on the street, but I would initiate conversations with bartenders, cashiers, coworkers in elevators, anything to practice conversation with someone who I wouldn’t necessarily talk to everyday.
2. I figured out what my oversharing topics were about, and then I categorized them into “Number of dates where this discussion is appropriate”. By “I categorized them” I really mean “I asked friends”. Needless to say, I learned that maybe talking about death, religion, and politics should be saved for at minimum date 2(0).
3. A lot of your dates comfort on a date can be determined by atmosphere. Try to avoid picking a place too close to where you live on a first date. You definitely want to avoid any place that you’re also completely unfamiliar with if you’re planning a date. Yes, it’s great trying new places but you don’t want to end up at a sketchy bar because someone rated it highly on Yelp.
4. Be confident at the plate
You should never go on a date if you either a) don’t want to be there or b) don’t think that you’ll have a good date. When you’re on a date you need to be exuding positivity and confidence. A confident and positive outlook changes your body language and posture, which changes how you are perceived. Also, studies show that people unconsciously mimic others. If you have a vibe about you that exudes discomfort, your date will probably be uncomfortable because of that. If you have an easy confidence…
Ok maybe I’m exaggerating a bit. If you have confidence on a date, you seem more attractive. If you don’t have confidence, don’t date. Build up your confidence above all else. They say you miss all the shots you don’t take but I disagree. You neither miss, nor make, the shots you don’t take. But wouldn’t you rather have a 50/50 chance of making a shot versus no chance at all?
5. Keep at it
If you’re in a dating slump, the only way to get out of it is to keep going on dates. No hitter ever got out of a hitting slump by not getting up to the plate. Sure, being in a slump sucks but if you’re taking my tips to heart, the slump won’t last forever.
Good Luck out there