How to get dates

My last blog was helping you to get better at first dates.

But then you asked – and rightfully so: “What if I can’t even get to that first date?”

There is no easy way for me to answer that question. Getting a date is just a tip of an iceberg, and the iceberg is you with all your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, fears, insecurities.

Please try not to compare yourself to others when it comes to dating success – you have no idea what their iceberg is like. They might have totally different goals, ideas and desires, and even though what they want (or have) looks the same as what you want, it most likely isn’t.

Whether you struggle to get dates, or you can get dates, only not with people you actually see as potential partners, please bear in mind these two things:

1 – Dating is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you think dates and partners will just fall into your lap, without you doing anything to get them – you will surely spend a lot of time waiting for that special someone to enter your life. And quite likely end up alone, bitter and disappointed.

Perseverance and consistent effort, as well as learning from mistakes is key to success. In any area of life – finding a life partner is no different than business or school or sport or art. Those who keep showing up will win the girl (or boy).

2 – Rejection is an essential part of dating.
You cannot date and not experience rejection. More people than not will reject you (and me, and everyone else). So if your reason to not put yourself out there more is the pain of rejection – you will again, most likely end up alone. Safe from the pain, yes – but alone.

More about this, and in more detail – here is the video:



What do you do to find people to date?

How hard it is to find someone you’d want to go or ask on a date?

Thank you for your thoughts and observations!

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17 Responses

  1. Ms Jones says:

    Hi Petra –
    Nice new hairdo!
    This is a very upbeat video.
    I have been trying to date for a long time with little success. Most of my dates have been on line and the guys were absolutely not right for me at all. All I could do was think of my ex after each date and long for the “happy times” with him. As more time has gone by, I have come begun to come to terms with the unsuitability of my ex partner. I said to someone yesterday that I felt as If I had wasted many years with him. I think many people feel that way about previous relationships. Because I invested so much time I felt it “must” work. Then I felt so stupid because it did not. Now I am beginning to feel sort of okay about it all. I tried my best but I simply picked the wrong man.
    So I think my “resiliency” level is improving because I am feeling less wounded and exhausted. I do not find too many dates, but that is okay. I do not want another nightmare scenario like the last one. As you said, it is a marathon, not a sprint. I can get loads if dates with completely unsuitable men, but I do not wish to spend my time that way. And I know there are many attractive men who like me but only in a friendly way and that is fine too.
    I am not doing on line dating at present. I have found it to be to frightening and shallow for me. I will go the “in real life” route, whether it be through friends, social gatherings, the grocery store, at work, holiday party, concert or whatever.
    Thanks for the encouraging video.
    Ms Jones

    • Petra says:

      You are welcome… sometimes we do need a break or a change of strategy. Maybe your ex was what was (emotionally) holding you back so you were meeting men who didn’t make the cut. All my best!

  2. Florence says:

    I can’t get a date and I would love to hear some thoughts on my situation – I’m sure there are people out there who have experienced similar…
    I live in a city, I know a lot of people, and I’m pretty friendly. I often get compliments on my appearance from both men and women – I’m no supermodel but people seem to like my style which is nice. I sometimes get joking comments from male friends: ‘you’re so lovely’, ‘we should get married’, ‘I’d love to ask you out’. But the thing is, no one ever does ask me out.
    I can also recall one particularly cruel moment when a friend of mine, on finding out that I had broken up with someone asked, ‘ah, so does that mean your ex is available ’cause I’d love to set him up with my friend?’.
    So, it feels like single people don’t want to ask me out and the rest don’t want to help. What’s going on?

    • Petra says:

      Your friend is not a very good friend…! That was a pretty insensitive comment on many levels. Well, I am sorry but I can’t tell from those few pieces of info what might be your issue. If you want – we can talk about it and I’ll be able to tell you more, get in touch on email.

  3. Sheila says:

    I havent had a chance to look at the video yet but… its confusing to be told .. how much effort you need to make and ‘putting yourself out there’. BUT at the same time be told YOU WILL FIND SOMEONE WHEN YOU ARE NOT LOOKING.
    is it me or am I the only one who has spotted this?
    finding a good match is very difficult – end of. There is no formula and ,yes it helps if you are lucky.
    Platitudes such as ‘love yourself and you will soon attract someone’ :- Well maybe you might and maybe you might not.
    Telling folk there is s formula is a recipe for causing distress. And for making money out of that distress which is the basis of the dating industry of which I am highly and rightly critical.

    • Petra says:

      I am sorry you feel this way, it’s not that simple as you know yourself. I think this video may not be speaking to you so much – it’s more for people who are very inactive but still hoping a date will fall from the sky. Will you find someone only when you are not looking – no, you have to be looking, but in a way that feels good, from a relaxed and open place rather than desperate and craving. What I wanted to say with this video is – if it’s not working, don’t give up. If it’s a sore spot it will not go away just because you mentally gave up. It’s better to keep trying and making mistakes until you figure it out, because often we can’t figure what we are doing wrong without practice (by just analysing it in our head). Hope that’s clearer now. I am totally OK with you not agreeing with me – this is my approach and it worked for me, and I believe it works for a lot of people, that’s why I am preaching and teaching it. But these are not easy things, nothing that has anything to do with change and growth in life is easy, and I am not trying to make it look easy… and I understand your frustration. Take care.

  4. John says:

    I am a guy in my 30’s and I think 90% of the females find me unattractive (at least physically). At least it feels that way. I am in decent physical shape and have other things going in my life , just not love life. I have only dated 2 girls my entire life and found it hard to get even one date with a girl (no matter the route/avenue) and it’s not that I am that picky. I tend to get rejected all the time or the times I have tried. I feel very undesirable and not wanted. It seems looks matter so much to women yet guys get criticized for being visual. What can I do in my situation?

    I would really appreciate your thoughts and feedback on this and any advice.

    • Petra says:

      Being attractive or unattractive is not so important, besides, there is still 10% of all women – according to your assessment – that will find you attractive. That is enough. You are only looking for one. I am sure your problem is elsewhere, but honestly I cannot tell, I would need to talk to you and get a lot more information about you and your situation. If you’d like me to help, get in touch on email.

  5. somewhat_unlucky_man says:

    Dear Petra,
    Thanks for the video!
    I’d like to share my situation: I am 36 and I have not been in a real relationship (besides short hanging outs which took mostly 1 month) not because I am shy but not very social. I am also working in a university so I cannot easily find time to go out (okay this might be a bad excuse but my job is not very social one).
    But I think i have a more serious problem which needs to be fixed:
    Let’s say I managed to find someone to start dating… As I said above, I cannot make it for a long time, I appear quickly the one who looks needy (though I am not) because I start to feel affection or love so quickly than the girl I am dating. (I mean for dating here online chatting as well as meeting in person). When I start to feel this, I cannot maintain a good distance for developing a potential healthy relationship I guess. Since that moment my new date starts to be doomed to fail.

    I think this is my main struggle. I cannot play the ‘dating game’ well, maybe I don’t like to hide my true feelings from a potential partner (which shows me somewhat needy or less attractive)

    Besides, I should also manage my time for handling my job, social life and searching for a partner, which is also not too easy for me because of my concentration problems). But I am not giving up (though some people suggest that being single is not worse than being in married for instance :).
    But as you keep saying, I think the success is trying hard and learning from mistakes and also everybody is different and has different expectations (that means there is always somebody for everybody) …

    • Petra says:

      You don’t have to play the “dating game” if you meet the person who is really into you, they will want your attention and a lot of it. Being needy or clingy is different than being really interested in someone, but from your answer it’s not clear whether you really come on too strong. I would need more information to assess that. If you’d like to get more clarity and understand what’s the problem here, I can help. Contact me via email if you’d like to discuss how.

  6. Jen says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips. Will be sure to try them out.

  7. Anna says:

    Hi Petra,

    I think I have the second problem you are talking about – where I can find dates, but none with people I like romantically. I have not been genuinely attracted to someone in about 10 years now. That last relationship ended badly and I was very depressed for a long time. However, I’m over it now and want to find someone to share my life with, but I honestly don’t feel attracted to anyone I meet. I have been going out more, joining activity groups and have changed my career. The men I meet seem nice and I am making new friends, but it is never romantic.

    I can’t figure out what my emotional block might be. I think I am picky, but not unreasonably so. Do you have any tips to figuring out why I might be running into this problem over and over?

    • Petra says:

      I am happy to talk about it if you want to discuss – contact me via email or Contact/Coaching pages. Otherwise, any tip would be just a general one, and speculation. I have to ask you some more questions to see where the problem might be for you.

  8. Bea says:

    Hi Petra. I just came here from google search because I am feeling really sad about not having a boyfriend that I nearly cry everyday. Yes, I am young (21 years old) and I am in college. I cannot find anyone who wants to date me. Guys barely hit on me or show interest in me. Every once in a while, I might catch a guy staring, but he never approaches me. In college, I tried putting myself out there by joining a couple of organizations but the guys either ignored me blatantly or did not seem interested in dating me. This really took a hit on my self-esteem and has made me not want to put myself out there anymore. I have to admit, I am naturally on the shy and introverted side. I cannot help it, when I am walking around my college campus, to feel envious of other people in relationships because I want to find someone who truly loves me. It doesn’t help that my parents and friends of my parents ask me if I have a boyfriend yet and why I do not have one. They constantly remind me that I am getting older and not younger and even my mother expects me to get married after I graduate college (it is funny how they seem more hopeful that I will meet a guy). Even though I am 21, my mother forbids me to use online dating websites to find a partner. Sometimes I feel like I will not be able to find a guy because it feels so hard for me to find a guy who is interested in me or attracted to me.

    • Petra says:

      Let’s talk about this, I am sure we can find a solution together. If you’d like that please get in touch via my Coaching or Contact page.

  9. katy dalloway says:

    Hi – I am- all say- a beautiful funny divorced woman in her 50s. Married at 40 after many boyfriends and then divorced painfully after my husband fell into religiosity and depression.
    Since divorce 5 years ago I have had two- 3 relationships. The online rejection is formidable- yet I am a therapist in private practice and a mom. My circle has enlarged re a few other women but I literally cannot think of other activities to meet single men. There are few at this age-give or take a few years on either side.
    I have had friends look at my dating profile, my pictures. etc. I have a jillion women a know in the same predictabment. Though I am more resilient I also think that I have sorta given up. Even my therapist has told me not to expect one attracted to someone. Which feels horrible. I keep going out– but the few guys who I like have not felt the same. The odds are so intense that it levels me- panics me- and I almost cannot enjoy what is good. My life and my daughter. If I knew that something, anything, would happen and I would happily partner again, I would relax. But experience doesn’t tell me that and therapy has only marginally allowed me to accept it.
    Connection, deep connection is my nature. I do not need many- I just need a few. A friend, my daughter, and a guy.

    Anyone.. ??

  10. Atheer says:

    There is something that I don’t understand ,why men always have to do the first move not the women ,I’m a good looking guy everybody tell me that , and I get girls sometimes come to me and start the conversation because of my look and I dress nice just because of that .I think it should happen to all guys ,and for some reason I get attracted to these girls more or the girls who gives me an obvious green light even when they are not my type. I think all or most the guys feel the same way ,so my question is to the females here why don’t you tell a man that you like him, I don’t know about other guys but it doesn’t give me this idea that this girl is desperate or cheap absolutely not .why only men have to go through the pain of rejection. If you girls are rejecting the guys who you don’t like ,then go start a conversation with the guys that you do like when you are in a club or a bar. Because when you reject more than one person, the guy that you like will not come to you because he will think that you’re more likely will reject him as well, and you lose the opportunity of knowing this person ,he might be your future love.

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