As much as you’d love to have a never-ending stream of campus cuties fighting for the chance to date you, sometimes you get stuck in a boy rut and go through what can only be classified as a serious dating dry spell. It’s been so long since you’ve found a suitable suitor to sweep you off your feet that you’re convinced you no longer know how to flirt, and you can’t even remember the last time you felt the need to shave your legs.
So when tumbleweeds start to blow across the vast, empty desert that is your dating life, you know it’s time for you to get yourself back in the game. The only problem is, you have no idea how to put yourself out there again! (Let’s be honest, the only real romantic interaction you’ve had in the past few weeks has been with your Netflix account.
If you find yourself in desperate need to escape a dreaded dating dry spell, take these tips into consideration!
1. Hang out somewhere new
While studying at the same table in the student center every day or going to the same coffee shop every morning may be comfortable and easy, it also means you see the same familiar faces day after day. Switching up your routine could be the key to switching up your dating life!
Make an effort to go out with a different friend group on the weekends (they’ll definitely hang out with different guys), or try a new coffee shop the next time you’re in desperate need of a caffeine fix. Or maybe your next fling hits the gym at night when all this time you’ve been going in the mornings!
Venturing off campus more often could be beneficial as well. You never know which guys you’ll meet at the local park or the church down the street!
“I found out that this coffee shop a little ways away from my school had poetry readings every once in a while, so I thought I’d check it out since I’m an English major and [I] love poetry,” says Natalie, a senior at Seattle University. “I ended up going a lot because there were tons of cute guys there! None of the guys I met turned into anything serious, but I did get a few dates out of it.”
2. Go on a blind date
No one knows your dating preferences better than your friends, which makes them the perfect people to go to when you’re looking to get set up. While blind dates can be totally awkward and nerve-wracking, they’re a great way to get yourself back in the dating game in a completely commitment-free way. Maybe you two will totally hit it off, but there’s no pressure to go on a second date if you’re really just not feeling it.
“My sophomore year of college my dating life was basically nonexistent, so one of my friends set me up on a blind date without telling me,” says Hannah, a senior at University of Washington. “I was really mad at first, but I ended up going and now I’ve been dating the guy for almost a year! I know blind dates can be super awkward, but they do work out sometimes!”
Besides, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen met on a blind date, so it has to be worth a shot, right?
3. Make the first move
Always had a thing for the barista at Starbucks, but been too shy to do anything about it? See a cute guy at the gym who always seems to be checking you out? Why not be bold and give him your number?
While making the first move can be a little intimidating, it may be worth it in the long run. Who knows? The guy might totally dig it and give you a call or shoot you a text.
Nathan, a junior at Gonzaga University, says he wouldn’t mind a girl making the first move. “It’s definitely out of the social norm, but I’m not opposed to it,” he says. “Relationships are a two-way street, so I really don’t think it matters who initiates things. If the girl goes out of her way to make a move, then she’s definitely worth talking to!”
Fear of rejection is always a factor when debating whether or not to make a move, but you have to remember that the world won’t end if he never ends up texting you back. Even if the guy doesn’t appreciate your super confident effort to flirt, at least you have the satisfaction of knowing that you put yourself out there.
“Second semester sophomore year, I was going through a super long dry spell,” says Amanda, a senior at Texas Christian University. “I saw this one really cute guy whenever I went to the gym, and he always smiled at me when we… passed each other on our way to class, but he never made a move. Instead of waiting around, I ended up just giving him my number one day when I saw him at the gym. I was surprised when he texted me back, but we’ve actually been dating for a few months now. I say if you want to make a move, just go ahead and do it!”
4. Join a new club
A common interest is a great thing to have when you’re trying to make a connection with a guy, so what better way to find someone who’s into the same things as you than by joining a club? Whether you’re super into Game of Thrones, you love volunteering or you have a passion for politics, there’s bound to be an on-campus club for almost anything you’re interested in (and at least a few hotties in each of them who share your interest!). You could totally meet a nice guy at one of your weekly club meetings, and the best part is you’ll always have something to talk about!
“I was having a hard time finding guys at my school that I had anything in common with, so I joined a few clubs to see if I’d meet anyone,” says Megan, a sophomore at the University of Arizona. “I’m a Harry Potter fanatic, so I joined my school’s Harry Potter club and there were a ton of guys there that I’d never met before. It was cool because they were all down to talk about everything and anything Harry Potter!”
You won’t have to worry about running out of things to talk about over dinner. When you have a shared interest with a guy, conversation comes much easier and you’re more likely to make a real connection!
5. Smile more
While something as simple as smiling may seem somewhat insignificant, it really can be beneficial in the long run. The power of a genuine smile should never be taken for granted! If you commit to smiling more on a daily basis, you’ll be surprised by how much more approachable people will find you.
Whenever you find yourself talking to a cutie at a party or catch the totally hot guy in your science class staring at you from afar, flash him a smile and he’ll be way more likely to take the hint that you’re into him. Instead of quickly averting your eyes the next time you find yourself making awkward eye contact with a guy from across the classroom, hold his stare for a few seconds and give him your best smile instead.
“Sometimes I find myself accidentally staring at a girl without realizing it, and when we make eye contact it’s super awkward,” says Kyle, a junior at the University of Michigan. “If she smiles back at me, though, I usually think that means she might be into me. It’s kind of like the go-ahead to go and talk to her!”
No guy wants to talk to a girl who looks angry or closed off, so a smile is a great way to let a guy know that you’re open to conversation and won’t immediately shoot him down if he tries to approach you.
“I’m way more likely to talk to a girl if she’s laughing or smiling a lot,” says Brandon, a senior at the University of Portland. “I’m a sucker for a pretty smile.”
Whether you’re super stressed about a big project or you’re just having a bad day, try not to lose your smile. You never know who’s watching!
The important thing to remember is that dry spells won’t last forever. While your dating dry spell may be on the forefront of your mind, remember that you’re (most likely) not going to meet the guy of your dreams in the next five minutes, so obsessing over it is not the answer! It may seem like your dateless Saturday nights will never end, but who knows—your next guy could be right around the corner.