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JENNIFER'S GEMS
by Jennifer Brown Banks

Surviving Your Dating Drought!

It happens to the best of us, no matter how successful, savvy, or sexy. Blame it on career demands, a lack of social outlets, limited time, or merely time spent recovering from a broken heart. Before you know it… days, weeks, months, even years go by, and you can’t remember the last time you were in the company of the opposite sex. And, well, you’re feeling a bit parched. Things have gotten so bad, you’re having fantasies about your boss!

Should you approach that cutie at the gym? Try Internet dating? Should you dive right in to things, or gradually get your feet wet again? Would your time be better spent on some soul searching? Or should you just wait for fate?

Well, it all depends...

Whether your dating drought is by choice or by chance, here’s how to get through it and QUENCH IT:

Q uit yer bellyachin’! It’s not the end of the world, though time may play out like dog years! Thank your lucky stars that you’re not suffering at the hands of an abusive mate, or enduring a bad marriage that has you feeling trapped. Have an attitude of gratitude! Freedom can be a beautiful thing.

U nderstand that “this too shall pass.”

E valuate your options. Suddenly the nephew of your mom’s best friend doesn’t look all that bad! Nobody’s saying that you should compromise your standards. But as the expression goes “try it, you might like it!”

N ever let your solo status cause you to make desperate decisions.

C onnect and spend quality time with previously neglected friends and family members.

H ave a “bring a friend party” where all your single friends bring one other person deemed a good catch. Mix with some good conversation, some spirits, good food, and mellow moods---and see what happens!

I ssue a notice to family members and friends that you are available and searching.

T ake things one day at a time.

To give a broader perspective, I posted this question to YAHOO ANSWERS. These were the responses from other singles across the country, on how to deal with a dating drought:

“Go to different places than normal. Get in a new environment, new men will notice you.”

“You just do it, focus your mind on other things. I’ve had to go an average of 2-3 years between relationships every time. Work on improving yourself. The better you are, the more a guy or girl will want to be with you.”

“Masterbate.”

“Accepting Urself to be a L.O.S.E.R. helps.”

“Work on your self-esteem and what you believe about yourself, and you will come across differently. The dates will follow, rest assured.”

And here's what the experts say:

According to Iyanla Vanzant, relationship expert and author of In the Meantime, “Never believe that what you do in the meantime, even when it means you have short-lived relationships, is a useless waste of time. Every relationship is the relationship you need at the time. Everything you do in every relationship you have prepares and brings you closer to the grand experience of total, unconditional self-love and love for others.”

Bonita Bennett, publisher of Being Single Magazine states “Ironically, there are almost as many eligible men feeling equally discouraged, because they have not been able to walk up on Ms. Right. However, when it’s time, God will surely place each man and woman in their respective places, in accordance with His will and plan.”

“If you refuse to take affirmative action in meeting a lot of people--- and instead, put it in the hands of fate and wait to be discovered--- your mathematical chances of finding people with whom you can become involved obviously diminish.” --- Michael Broder, PH.D.

Charlotte E. Thompson, M.D. author of Single Solutions advises “Remember that if you are doing something you enjoy while looking, it doesn’t appear that you are “on the prowl” and your chances improve meeting a man with similar interests.”

How have you dealt with the challenges of being dateless and mateless? Send me your strategies and words of wisdom--Gemsjen@yahoo.com. In the words of a popular commercial “Knowledge is a terrible thing to waste!”



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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.


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