Getting Out of the No-Relationship Blues

I focus on dating topics for 30- and 40-something women who want to fall in love and get married.

Wanting a relationship but not having one can lead you into the doldrums from time to time. I’m talking about the ones where you say things to yourself like “I’m never going to meet him,” “I have no energy left to keep dating,” “There must be something wrong with me,” or “I can’t keep doing this.” Sometimes these doldrums pass quickly and other times they hang around and fester. The serious doldrums lead to feeling depressed, disappointed, unlucky, and even unwanted. People in the business of giving relationship advice will often tell you to keep positive. While I agree that staying positive is important, I’m also a realist. Sometimes we don’t feel equipped to get out of our own sunken state of mind. We need to be sad, at least temporarily.

When you’re feeling really down about your current dating situation, or lack thereof, then you need a simple plan. Pick anywhere from one to five days to feel miserable. Give yourself permission to stay home over the weekend. Eat comfort food for a day or two. (If you have a serious control issue with food, you probably want to avoid that one.) Cry, be sad, avoid the rest of the world if you want. Before your allotted number of misery days are up, start taking steps to do healthy things for yourself. Meet with a friend who will listen and support you. Go for long walks. Exercise extra to make up for the comfort food and get the endorphins flowing. Read lots of inspirational messages. Don’t overdo it on the self-help advice, but do get inspired. Talk to someone who makes you laugh, watch funny movies, or read funny books and articles. Draw, paint, journal, run—do whatever is inherently a feel-good activity for yourself.

When you’re misery days are over, think about how you feel. There might be some lingering sadness, but hopefully you feel some renewal of commitment to keep looking for the one you will love. I truly believe that we can consciously dig ourselves out of a temporary rut of the blues when it comes to wanting a relationship. We don’t have to wait for it to go away on its own. The key is to make your plan with a finite number of days to feel down and stick to it. If you have a friend or family member who you can trust to keep you accountable, then enroll her to help you to stick to the plan.

Of course there are some of you who may suffer from more than a debilitating week of the blues. If you feel your problem is a more serious form of depression, please seek professional help from a social worker or psychologist. Even if you think your depression is only related to your current situation, talking it through with someone trained to listen and guide you is better than letting it prevent you from enjoying your life.

This is your life. Maybe things haven’t turned out as you thought they would. That hurts, but it doesn’t have to stop you. You’re not alone. Lots of us are in the same boat. Keep going after what you need. Stay open to a different scenario for your life. But never, never give up.

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