8 Reasons Why You Should Embrace the Dating Game

By: Anna Wickham |

It can be frustrating and discouraging to go on date after date with no success. You’re just not connecting with the people you meet, and it doesn’t seem like future dates will go much better than your past dates have gone.

You hear stories all the time from friends and in magazines about people who met their partner online after dating just a couple of different people. “What’s wrong with me?” you wonder. You’ve gone on dates with countless people, and have yet to meet someone you’re even interested in seeing again. You start to wonder what you’re even dating for if you know the outcome before you even embark on the date. You even start to think that maybe you should just give up.

But whatever you do, don’t despair and don’t give up. You are not the only one in this situation. Those people who have met someone seemingly effortlessly are the exception, not the rule. It’s possible they are very happy together, but it’s also possible that things aren’t quite what they seem. For the vast majority of people, it took a long time to meet the person they ended up with. Many people would tell you that they were on the verge of giving up when they finally met someone special.

The fact is that the dating game is tough. The last thing you need is to be dwelling on all the things you don’t have and feeling like there is something wrong with you.

Instead, you need to focus on all of the advantages of dating around and living the single life. As permanent as it may seem, this is a temporary state for you. And believe it or not, when it’s gone, you’re going to miss it. So be kind to yourself, live it up, and consider these 8 reasons why you should embrace the dating game.

1. You get to meet a lot of cool people.

I’d argue that there are few ways to meet a wide variety of interesting people than by dating. Sure, you didn’t quite hit it off with that commercial pilot, but wasn’t it interesting to hear about all the place he’s traveled? And what about that PhD student in Russian literature, the emergency room doctor, or that firefighter? Each of them had an interesting story to tell, and you learned a lot about a lot of different things. Those guys might not have been right for you, but you’re a better person for having met them. And they’re a better person for having met you as well.

2. You get to do a lot of cool things.

Going on dates forces you to find new and interesting things in your city. At first you may be going to the same restaurants with different people because you know what to order, the service is quick, and they offer happy hour specials. But after awhile, you start to branch out.

You never would have gone to that weekday evening wine tasting, that live show of that local musician you had never heard of (but who now is your favorite), or the short film festival going on a few weeks ago. Who knew that there are billions of incredible Taco Tuesday deals all over town, or that Wednesday night is ladies night and free parking downtown?

Your girlfriends can only be so social, so going on dates is a great opportunity to explore.

3. You learn what you want (and what you don’t want).

By dating lots of people, you have a distinct advantage, one that’s going to increase your odds of being in a successful relationship when that does happen. That advantage is being exposed to lots of different qualities and traits in a partner and learning what works well with you and what doesn’t.

Just think of your friend who married the first man that she met online. There’s nothing wrong with that, and sometimes when you know, you know. But how does she know what qualities in a person complement her qualities best if she has never experienced those qualities? By interacting with more people, you are increasing your odds of not only having a relationship that doesn’t crumble at the first sign of distress, but you are much more likely to be happy in your relationship, even when things do get tough.

4. It’s a game, and it’s fun.

The best way to start to embrace the dating game instead of resenting it is to learn to enjoy the game of dating. Make no mistake: dating is a game, and if you’re not aware of that, you’re probably losing.

But have no fear! Learn the game and it can be tons of fun. I learned most of what I know about the rules of the dating game from my mother, who is a master with the opposite sex. you can read a few of my favorites here.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point? Be confident and playful, and remember not to take anything about dating too seriously. The other person is nervous too: just be yourself and you’ll be having a good time before you know it!

5. You can focus on other things in your life.

When I am single, my life is in order: my laundry is folded neatly and put away. I go to the gym on a regular basis. I read nonfiction books. I cook from scratch.

But when I’m in a relationship, all of that goes straight to hell. My laundry doesn’t get washed until I have nothing left to wear. My personal trainer asks me where I’ve been, and I don’t crack open that book I started 3 months ago. It’s always nice to have a special someone to distract you from the mundane tasks of life. But it’s also nice to have your life in order, and to have time to focus on other things in your life. You’ll have plenty of time later to sleep in late with your love. For now, kick ass in your career, get in shape by working out and eating healthy, and you’ll be an even bigger catch when you finally do meet the one.

6. You’re in control.

Of course the dating game always involves someone else, but dating takes two, and it’s all up to you. If you want to go on several dates each week, go for it. If you want to take a night or a week off, that’s your decision too. Being successful at the dating game requires a delicate balance between self-discipline and being kind to yourself. While you sometimes might need to go on dates when you don’t feel like it, you should also allow yourself time to unwind. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and in the end, it’s always your prerogative. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

7. People in relationships are envious of you.

People who are in relationships often wish that they were you. Why is this so hard to believe? You’re hot, you’re fabulous, you’re doing great in your career, and you are the object of the attention of different people every week. On top of that, you get to do whatever the hell you want all the time: whether you want to go out with your girlfriends to karaoke on Friday night or stay in and watch reruns of Friends while eating takeout Chinese, you’re in charge. You don’t have to check in with anyone to make decisions, and you can jetset around the world without having to align your schedule with someone else’s.

Even though you might not have a special someone to call when life gets a little hard, you have a great support network and a damn beautiful life.

What’s not to be envious about?

8. It’s worth it.

Even when you have all of these things in mind, the dating game can still be tough. When all else fails, remember that you will one day be in a relationship that will make all of this worth it. Someone out there is going through the same motions as you, hoping to meet someone with whom they are compatible and they can build a life. If there was a better way to meet the right person, we probably would have figured it out by now. Until you meet that special someone, you’re best just staying positive and enjoying the ride.

When you find yourself discouraged at the thought of spending yet another Valentine’s Day without a valentine, remember all the many benefits of being in your position. Be your own valentine this year and celebrate you. You are in an enviable position, and one that is temporary. With persistence and a little bit of “me time,” you can turn a frustrating situation into an empowered one. So open a bottle of champagne (who cares that it’s a random Tuesday night and you’re all alone with your dog), dance around your apartment, and embrace dating. If you think about it, life is pretty sweet. Go out and celebrate! You deserve it.