It’s the New year and you have all of these new goals right?! And if you are single, more than likely one of them is to be in a relationship, get engaged, or something of that nature. Now you are trying to think of ways to change your single status. I recently came across a post stating that self reflection is one of the biggest barriers holding you back from dating successfully. While I agree with that to an extent, there are also several other barriers such as location, type of person you want to date, etc. With all of that being said I looked at the comments on the post and there were many comments talking about “Putting yourself out there”. So what does that mean exactly?
It seems like that is the most common advice given to singles but no one can ever really tell you what that looks like. You say to yourself, I’m always out on the scene or I run errands and you may think that is putting yourself out there. So for a few weeks, I decided to actually take note of what I did during the week and on the weekends. Primarily, my day started by going to work, occasionally grabbing lunch to go, hitting the gym, and coming home to chill and watch tv or read. Oh and let’s not forget the obvious, scrolling through social media all day. All of these things were actually avoiding contact with people. Lunch was to go, meaning no time to communicate with anyone around me or enjoy my food. In the gym, headphones are on, don’t stare at me or have pointless conversation because I’m trying to work out. Then I am back at home, where I live alone, so no communication there either. On occasions, I would go to restaurants and eat at the bar or hit a movie solo but still no contact with others. In actuality, I am not really putting myself out there.
So how can we change this narrative? Is there an exact science to it? Although there is no one size fits all answer I do have a few helpful tips that can make it easier!
Communication is key! As a single person, you often do almost everything alone. So while in the grocery store or out and about, try speaking to or complimenting a stranger. A compliment can turn into a conversation. Or even if you see someone looking at the same product you are, just ask a random question like “Oh is that wine good? Even in the gym, ask the cute guy for help with an exercise machine you already know how to use. Anything to spark conversation.
Change your scenery! You may think that just running errands or doing your normal day to day is enough well it’s not. You have to go do things you are interested in. I’m learning that you have to step it up a notch to get you comfortable. I try to go to restaurants and get dressed and sit at the bar. I’ll try to make conversation with people sitting around me. If you are doing things you like more than likely you will find someone who also likes those things. You can also change your location. Think about a city you love to visit and if it’s feasible, try to move. Some cities are better than others for meeting people and may have more of a social scene.
Limit the time on your phone!!! I know easier said than done but you will miss out on people around you just by looking down all the time. 9 times out of 10 you are judging someone’s instagram post anyway. Look up! Take time to see the world around you, connect with your friends, watch the sunset, take a walk, or anything to keep you from looking at your phone. I truly believe in depression due to social media and the need to be perfect and it can really affect your social life.
Switch your social circle! This can also be difficult but sometimes you are going to keep running into the same types of people. It is not easy making new friends as an adult, trust me I’ve tried because you don’t want to seem like a creep either. I suggest reaching out to coworkers you may not normally hang out with or talking to your Instagram friends. Some people are just as cool offline as they are online and you may make a new bestie.
All in all, just do what makes you feel uncomfortable. That is how we grow and usually how the best stories of our lives begin.
If you have any other tips on how to “put yourself out there”, feel free to comment. 🙂