How to Get ‘Unstuck’

Four Ways Singles Stall in Pursuit of Love — and How to Overcome Them.

Lots of people get to a point in life where they feel stuck, stalled, or stagnant. It might be your career that’s hit a plateau and isn’t advancing…or a big personal goal that’s run into a brick wall…or an exercise regimen that isn’t producing results. Or maybe it’s your dating life.

On the road to lasting love, you’re sitting at a malfunctioning light that keeps blinking red. So you just sit there, waiting for something to happen. The time has come to stomp on the accelerator and get moving. If you sat down with a life coach, consultant, or mentor, the expert might point to these common problems and uncommon solutions for getting your love life back on track:

Stuck: Inertia Has Kicked In. Your dating routine has become “Same ol’ same ol’.” Same types of people, same way of communicating, same activities when you go out, same way of conducting yourself. You feel stuck because you’ve been doing the same things over and over—and getting the same results.

Get Unstuck: Break Out of the Rut. It doesn’t take effort to remain in the grooves of well-worn routines. And that’s the issue. To get unstuck means summoning up more energy, creativity, and daring. Try saying yes to a get-together with someone you might typically turn down. Carry on communication with someone a little longer than you might normally choose to. Change your look, change your attitude, change your jokes. Take some time to identify what ruts could be holding you back. Stuck: You Give Up Too Easily. There’s a reason people say dating is complex, confusing, even confounding — because it often is! With disappointment comes the temptation to retreat and isolate. Who wants to keep exposing themselves to further frustration?

Unstuck: Muster Your Moxie. Although there are no assurances when it comes to dating, here’s one iron-clad guarantee: You won’t succeed if you don’t try. You won’t find a great partner if you don’t go on dates. People in our society have become conditioned to receiving everything instantly…but love takes time. Every person serious about finding a soul mate should be willing to invest plenty of time, energy, and stamina.

Stuck: Your “Go-For-It” Spirit Has Gone Away. After a long dry spell or a series of dead-end dates, it’s easy to adopt a “what’s the use” mind-set. Plenty of singles go through the dating motions but think down deep, “This is hopeless. I’m never going to find the right person for me.” A futile outlook is sure to influence your choices.

Unstuck: Resolve to Risk. Some people have no problem meeting, greeting, and forming new relationships. Others have a much tougher time pushing themselves “out there” socially. They must summon their courage, swallow their anxiety, and plunge into social settings. Having your best friend over for dinner may not be a stretch, but hosting a party for twenty people would be. Attending a concert with your pals is easy; what’s hard is asking someone you really like to accompany you. If you want to get your dating life out of neutral and into overdrive, be prepared to push yourself.

Stuck: Your Fears Hold You Back. Does dating produce anxiety? Yes. Is it sometimes scary? Sure. After all, dating can trigger your most sensitive emotions—fear of rejection or humiliation. It’s so much easier to stay in your safe, comfortable routine, avoiding the chance you’ll be hurt.

Unstuck: Decide to Move Ahead—Despite Your Fears. Some wise person said that courage isn’t an absence of fear but a willing to act in spite of fear. That’s sound advice. Will you ever be hurt by a lover again? Possibly. Will you find yourself in awkward situations? Maybe. But one thing is certain: For romance to flourish, you must stop letting your fears control you. By playing it safe, you may avoid painful feelings, but you’ll also avoid meeting the love of your life.

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