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7 Ways To Get Out of Your Dating Rut in 2015

By Serena Solomon | December 30, 2014 8:46am
 The New Year is a great time to change course with new dating habits for a better 2015.
The New Year is a great time to change course with new dating habits for a better 2015.
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NEW YORK CITY — Carrie, a 39-year-old PR consultant, suspected she was in a dating rut after an incident on a blind date.

Carrie's date, with whom she was set up through common friends, was so nervous about meeting her that he blurted out points from his online dating profile within seven minutes of meeting — including that he has no desire to father children and got a vasectomy to prove it.

That experience had Carrie pondering how she will date differently in the New Year.

She had made a rigid and shallow partner checklist in her 20s, but that left her with too small of a pool of potential men. In her 30s, dating with an open mind led to many bad dates.

"I’m going back to the checklist," she said, "but the checklist will be different."

Her new criteria will focus on heart and character: does he love his job? Does he treat his family well? Can he bounce back from adversity?

They are qualities that are hard to spot at first — "almost intangible on a dating profile,” she said.

With New Year's as the traditional time to examine habits in all aspects of one's life, reevaluating dating behaviors can be important in ensuring a happy, successful 2015.

"It’s a time for us to take stock of what is and isn't working in all areas of our lives and approach things with a renewed energy and perspective,” said Mark Strong, a Chelsea-based life coach. “The New Year is a time for renewal.”

Here are seven dating resolutions to adopt for 2015:

1. Get Rid of That On-Again Off-Again Crutch

You know that person you begrudgingly text late at night, that someone you keep returning to after a breakup who keeps you emotionally unavailable for anyone else — it’s time to cut the cord.

“Getting out of a rut can mean shaking off the lingering, go-nowhere relationships,” said Terri Trespicio the host of online workshop “Stop Hating. Start Dating." “That can be worse than having no one in your life.”

These types of relationships often suck time and energy without offering any lasting benefit, she said.

2. Watch Out for Dating Fatigue

With too many options to pursue through too many avenues, “dating fatigue” can occur, warned Amber Madison, a therapist who specializes in sex and sexuality.

“If you go into a date exhausted and feeling annoyed you're there because you haven’t had a night to yourself … it is really going to take someone pretty spectacular to snap you out of it,” she said.

Sometimes it’s the mood you are in, not the person you are with, that can make or break the date, according to Madison. Give yourself time between first dates if you find yourself dreading them.

3. Broaden the Criteria for Your Future-Mate

Height was a dealbreaker for one of Strong’s life-coaching clients, so he worked with the 28-year-old man to expand his criteria to those a little shorter or taller than he would have liked. This exposed the client to more potential mates.

A rigid criteria is the most common stumbling block, he said. 

"I work with clients to challenge where their requirements or non-negotiables came from and to expand their openness to meeting with a wider range of potentials dates," he said.

4. Own Your Dating Problem

"It's so hard to date in New York."

"All the good ones are taken."

"All guys are jerks."

"The women are all crazy."

If it’s possible any of the above quotes can be attributed to you, then it could be time to take charge of your dismal love life, according to Madison.

"Once you own your problem, it gives you a better sense of control,” said Madison.

"What you don’t realize is that the ideas you have about yourself and dating make up a huge part of your experience of dating," said Trespicio.

5. If Online Isn't Working, Get Back to IRL

Even though 23 percent of online daters say they have websites and apps to thank for their marriage or long-term partner, according to a Pew Research study, that still leaves 77 percent who haven't been successful online.

If you're in the latter group, this New Year could be a time to move offline and meet people "IRL" — in real life, according to Strong.

"It's always good to focus dating energy on introductions from friends and on affinity-based activities that will put you in contact with people who are more likely to share your values," he said.

6. Be Open to Meeting Someone Anywhere

It's perfectly acceptible to meet someone in the subway or on a line, according to Madison. And it’s OK to approach them.

“In the worst case that person is taken and they are flattered,” she said. "The best case is they are single and interested in you."

7. Change Up Your Date System

Always meeting for coffee or drinks again and again can give the impression that you are conducting a job interview. A shared experience can take the focus off the date, according to Strong. 

"Try a museum or a fun activity that’s new for you both and see if you get a different result," he said.