How To Stay Hopeful While Dating


Dating – specifically with the intention of finding the man you’ll marry – isn’t for the faint of heart. Whether you’re looking on dating apps or trying to meet someone the old-fashioned way, it can take quite a bit out of you.

First, you have to find a guy you actually click with (which often feels nearly impossible). Then, you have to have a few really good conversations that make going on a date the next step. Then, you have to try not to get your hopes up, just in case the date ends up being a dud and you’re clearly not a match. Then, you have to actually go on the date and make a good impression yourself while deciphering if you want to go on another date. And then, after all of that, he ghosts you.

Dating with intention can take a toll on your emotional and mental health, with every new “maybe this time” followed by either meh or painful results. You might begin to wonder if you’ll ever find the right guy, and your hope begins to dwindle every time another first date ends up going nowhere. 

But there are a few ways you can keep your pessimism from taking over, staying hopeful as you continue your search.

Have Other Things in Your Life Going On

It’s difficult not to focus closely on finding the right guy, especially when you see your friends getting into committed relationships and getting engaged. It can feel like your life is on hold until you finally get that puzzle piece into place. So you treat dating like a full-time job, throwing yourself into your search for the man you’ll marry one day.

But the more heavily you rely on dating to offer you happiness and purpose, the more discouraged you’ll be when a date doesn’t go well or simply falls flat. Placing all of your hope for the future on a date is always a recipe for disaster.

This is why it’s important to have a full life outside of dating. You need to create a life that you’re already glad to be living, working toward a future that is already bright, wherever you currently are in life – pay attention to your studies, go on fun vacations, join groups, or focus on the next steps in your career. Give yourself a full, hopeful life; you’ll find the right guy eventually.


Don’t Forget About Your Friendships

We’ll be the first to say that marriage is worth it. When a committed, loving marriage is part of your non-negotiables for life, it’s easy to see every other relationship in your life as less important. You might start blowing your friends off to go on another first date, because what if he’s the one?

But prioritizing every potential romantic relationship over the friendships you’ve already forged, or haven’t yet forged, will eventually leave you feeling lonely – even after you get into a relationship. It’s essential to have a few close friends who are constants in your life, no matter your relationship status, that you can lean on, vent to, and dream with. 

golden girls hug

Date Yourself

Dating can too often become your only source of fun and adventure: If you go to the movies, it’s because a guy asked you to. If you go out to eat, it’s on a date. If you get dressed up or put on makeup, it’s because you’ll be seeing him.

You don’t have to be on a date in order to do these things. Instead, take the opportunity while you’re still single to date yourself. Take yourself out to coffee, go see a rom-com alone, take a book to dinner, and put on makeup and a cute outfit just because. Don’t wait to enjoy a Friday night until there’s a guy around.


Take Some Pressure Off the First Date

For the idealist, every first date has the power to turn into something magical, something life-altering. The man sitting across from you might end up being the father of your children, and you could one day recount this very night as the beginning of how you fell in love. For you, the future you’ve created with this man in your mind rides on this date going well.

But the reality is that the majority of dates you go on, assuming that you’ll go on more than one or two, won’t end up turning into a lifelong romance. Most dates will be just fine, and some will be downright bad. Remember, some relationship experts claim it takes up to 60 dates to find your future spouse.

And while managing your expectations might initially feel like hopelessness to you, taking the pressure off this date to be the one that changes your life will actually enable you to stay hopeful in the long run. 

When a date doesn’t turn out to be everything you’d hoped for, your hopes aren’t dashed. Your expectations weren’t sky-high to begin with, but instead, neutral. Slow down, and take a breath – he might not be your future husband, and that’s okay. 


Closing Thoughts

It’s not always easy to hang onto hope when you’re looking for the right guy. But the more you focus on your life outside of romance, and the less pressure you place on each new date, the more hopeful you’ll be.

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