How to Break Out of a Dating Rut: Change!

Change! Do Something Different

‘If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.’ -Lao Tzu

Are you stuck in a repeating cycle of dead-end dating? I have a one-word answer to your dilemma – change!

When I was a singles group leader I saw, and now in other people around me as well I see, far too many people stuck in a dating rut. They never grow as a person, they date the same kind of people over and over, and they look in the same places again and again. Naturally, they get the same result time after time. Do not let this be you!

If you continue doing the same thing you will continue to get the same results. When what you are doing is not working, do something else. Try something new. How else can I say this? Modify your modus operandi. To get a different result, stop doing what you currently do and start doing something different.

When you feel stuck it is time to re-evaluate everything and see what needs changing.

Change #1: Change Yourself

Start with the one thing you always have the power to change – yourself. Start with your why. Why do you date? And, why do you date who you date? Sit down with yourself and have a frank discussion about why you date, who you date, and why you date them. Seriously. Do it. You may be surprised what you hear yourself say.

You could even write down or type out your answers. Sometimes things that make sense in your head sound totally different when you read them out loud later or read them to someone else.

Compare your reasons for dating to the ones I wrote about in my post ‘Better Dates Part 1‘. Some reasons for dating are a lot better than others. Are you dating for the right reasons?

Change your attitude

Change how you see yourself and change how you see dating. Do you see yourself as too good for this one or not good enough for that one? Either of those extremes is as unhealthy as the other. Learn to see yourself accurately. You are probably not the greatest. You are probably not the worst. Most likely you are stuck somewhere in the middle of that ‘bell curve’ with the rest of us.

Perhaps you are stuck in a rut because you have unrealistic expectations about dating. Maybe you need to put dating in its proper perspective. Are you looking for a project, or are you looking for a savior? Are you expecting too much, or maybe too little? Do you date to give or to get? Are you waiting for prince charming or settling for whatever comes your way?

There again, any extreme is not healthy. Have the attitude that dating is all about having a little fun and getting to know someone. Perhaps, one day you will discover that one of the people you go out with would make an excellent spouse. In the meantime, get your mind right. Keep yourself and dating in the proper perspective.

I go into this in more depth in my post ‘Better Dates Part 2‘.

Change yourself, become a better you

If you are stuck in a rut, maybe some type of personal growth needs to happen. Perhaps you need to work on your personality, your physical appearance, your conversation skills, your body language, or your confidence.

The thing is, if you have been through a number of bad relationships, perhaps you should look at the common denominator – you. Get to the gym. Read a few books or take a few classes, especially books or classes on self-improvement and relationship skills. You can find some excellent suggestions on the resource page or in the shop.

Change your methods

Begin with the internal then move to the external. After you do the work of changing you, you may need to change your methods. Maybe you are looking for the wrong type of person or looking in the wrong places.

Change #2: Look For a Different Type of Person

Maybe you are stuck in a rut because you keep dating the same type of person. It’s time to examine who you go out with. Remember, if you keep going out with the same types of people, you will most likely keep getting the same results.

Try something different. Go out with someone you would not normally go out with. Go on a date with someone who looks different from the last people you went out with. Try someone with a different style, a different attitude, or a different way of looking at things.

If nothing else, dating a different type of person will help you grow. The process will teach you about yourself. It will help to define what you like and what you do not like. Variety is a key to not getting stuck in a dating rut in the first place.

Change #3: Look In Different Places

Maybe you’re stuck in a rut because you keep looking in the same places. Here too, try something different. If you have been looking in bars or clubs, it is definitely time to start looking other places. If you have been looking in your church with no luck, maybe you should go visit other churches from time to time. You could even try looking in a different city or online.

Of course, online dating sites will not a magically free you from a dating rut. Maybe you have been using the same profile on the same dating site and getting the same results. If so, maybe it’s time to change your profile and/or change dating sites. Also, if you have never tried online dating, maybe you should give it a try just for funsies, just to change things up. On the other hand, if you have mostly been relying on online dating sites, maybe it’s time to change things up and get back out in the real world more.

By the way, online dating sites only work if you and the other people on the site are absolutely honest about who you are and what you are really looking for. Playing games does not work online or offline.

Think about this. What interests you? Where do other people interested in that hang out? Go there. Are there other things you might be interested in if you gave them a try? Try some new hobbies and go where people go to do those things. Who knows, you might enjoy it. Or, at least you might like the type of people who do those things.

If Nothing Changes…

As the old saying goes: if nothing changes – nothing changes. So, to sum it up, if you are stuck in a dating rut and want a different result, change! Do something different.


  • Yourself
  • Who you go out with
  • Where you look for dates

Experiment. Shake things up. Have fun. Thrive on!

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