Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

February 27, 2023

Relationship Monday: 2 Resources That Finally Changed My Mindset on Dating.

       Long time, no Relationship Monday post! I used to share these a few times a year but haven't written one now for about two and a half years. A lot has changed between my last Relationship Monday post in Summer 2020 to now. I've moved cities and jobs, seen life pretty much go back to normal post-2020, made a lot of new friends and started my social life over again in my new city, and possibly most excitingly- I've been in a happy long-term dating relationship for almost a year! I haven't wanted to blog much about my relationship with Ryan in the first year. It's been kind of nice to keep a lot private and special for myself! Waiting so long to have something so good has made me want to soak it all up and treasure it. 

      But for now, at the very least I feel ready to write about the mindset change I had with dating at this time last year. Winter 2022 brought a wakeup call for me with how I viewed dating. And there are two specific resources that I can really credit for helping me change my mindset! If you've also been single for a long time and find yourself getting bitter about the current dating culture but do very much want to find love and a relationship, perhaps both of these things could be helpful to you as well! 

      I should also note- I am a Christian and very much believe in God's plans for our lives, including our love lives! But with that said, I do also believe that God gives us the tools we need to make things happen in our lives. It took me a long time to realize that for a lot of people, God doesn't just magically make the right dating partner appear in life at the right time. Sure- some people are lucky enough to have an amazing meet-cute situation straight out of a romantic comedy to meet their person. And that's great for them! But that is not the reality for most single people navigating dating as an adult post high school and post college. Dating is usually a good deal of work, even as a Christian. And that's okay! I have grown to hate the phrase that's something along the lines of "Love will happen when you least expect it and don't look for it." Uhh.... nope! That was actually the opposite for me. Love finally found me when I was actively dating and "looking for it" as much as I could. 


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     Let me refresh a little picture of my dating life for the past decade or so. I was a late bloomer in the dating department and never had a boyfriend in high school. I didn't even go on my first date until the end of senior year of high school! In college, I definitely went on more dates than high school. (I actually first downloaded and used a dating app in 2015 at the start of my senior year!) But still, nothing lead to an official relationship. I didn't have my first actual boyfriend until after college! And even then, I never had a serious longterm relationship in my early-mid 20s. All I ever wanted and dreamed about was to fall in love with someone young and be married before I was 25... but my love life for most of my 20s turned out to be far from that. I was in a cycle of getting my hopes up about a guy or getting invested too quickly, having something end abruptly, and then getting bitter about dating and giving up on it for anywhere from a couple months to a year at a time. (And of course, the year 2020 was just a disaster for anyone trying to date and meet new people, so that in itself was an easy out for me to not date for a long time.) 

      In October 2021, I had moved to Virginia Beach and was giving dating apps a try in my new area. I matched with a guy on Bumble who seemed promising on paper in terms of having some qualities I was looking for. Although I never felt a super passionate "spark" with him, he was decent enough and seemed to be a nice guy, so I continued to go on dates with him for two months. I definitely wasn't infatuated with him, but there were also no glaring red flags to make me not like him... so I kept seeing him! It seemed promising, and he did certainly have some qualities I was looking for.

     We had been seeing each other for two months without a label, and I was just certain that he was going to ask me to ask me to be his girlfriend before I headed back to Maine for Christmas. And the timing was perfect! I could go back to Maine and tell my parents and a couple high school friends that I finally had a new boyfriend just in time for the holidays. 

      Well... instead of being asked to be his girlfriend after two months of dates and talking, he randomly ghosted me for three and a half days in mid-December and then ended things with me over a short text message. Woof. That was disappointing to say the least! While I did realize pretty quickly I never had very strong feelings for him and he wasn't the guy for me, I was still pretty hurt by how abruptly he ended things. (And doing so over text after two months? Really?

     I had a good deal of time to reflect about this while traveling home for Christmas. I knew that I could let this situation make me bitter about dating as things had in the past and go through one of my negative phases again where I deleted all dating apps and kind of gave up hope of ever meeting a nice guy, and just be jealous of friends in happy relationships. 


      I could use another disappointing dating experience to kickstart a new attitude on dating and putting myself out there in a new year (2022). I could force myself to date as much as I could so that it became more familiar and a part of my monthly and weekly routines, instead of something I did sporadically and placed really high expectations on. I could be more open to dating more different types of guys, and less picky about certain things that had been straight up dealbreakers in the past. (Let me tell you that 2023 Annaliese is really glad that late 2021 Annaliese picked this option! 😉)

      I did indeed adopt that new mindset on dating, mostly in part thanks to two awesome resources that I found around the same time. And I am excited to share both with you now: 

     1. Follow Dating Coach/Expert Logan Ury - In late 2021, my best friend Ciera sent me a podcast episode that she insisted I listen to. It was from the podcast Girls Gotta Eat, and featured an interview with someone named Logan Ury. I put off listening to it for a little bit (since I was confident things would keep going well with the guy I was seeing for a couple months), but finally decided to give the episode a try. Oh my goodness... this one conversation about dating culture, apps, and how singles can best improve their own chances of finding love and let go of unrealistic expectations was just incredible. I immediately sent it to a few fellow single friends, and started following Logan Ury on Instagram! Logan is the Director of Relationship Science for the popular dating app Hinge, and she also has her own dating coaching business and is a published author. 

     Here's the Girls Gotta Eat episode featuring Logan!  cannot recommend listening to this conversation enough if you are single and need a push with finding new dating motivation. (I do want to note- the Girls Gotta Eat podcast can be very raunchy and not my personal favorite podcast to listen to otherwise.  I might even recommend fast-forwarding ahead to the part of the episode where Logan's interview begins! 😅)

      I also very much recommend following Logan on social media! She wrote a book called How Not to Die Alone that came out in 2021. I was planning to see if my library had this book and check it out at some point in 2022...but I ended up getting into my current relationship before I could do that, lol! But I'm sure her book is fantastic, and I wish I did have the chance to read it when I was single. Read Logan's book, follow her on Instagram, and listen to her Girls Gotta Eat interview! I promise this is a good stuff.

     2. Read the book Not Your Mother's Rules: The New Secrets for Dating by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider - The original Rules book was published in 1995 and became a massive best-seller. The authors teamed up with their own daughters over 20 years later to write a follow-up book that revisits their original rules for dating, but with modern updates (including things like online dating and social media). I never had read or heard of the original Rules book, but my friend Amanda recommended it to me, as she said she enjoyed parts of it when she was navigating the dating scene herself in her late 20s. I looked up the original Rules book at my library, and saw that they had the newer version called Not Your Mother's Rules, so I decided to read that one instead.

     Let me preface by saying that I do not agree at all with a lot of the things the authors say. (It's kind of the opposite of how I feel about Logan Ury's dating advice, where I agreed with all of it.) The Rules book had many tips and tricks that I personally disagree with for dating. Like never ever texting a guy first, or never ever friending a guy first on social media. There's just a lot of extremes that these authors abide by! Don't get me wrong- I am fairly old fashioned with dating and do like for guys to make most of the first moves, but I do think the authors of this book had a bit of an extreme approach to some things with dating. (To the point that if you actually used some of the texting and in-person conversation techniques they're recommending you use, a guy might even think you're uninterested.)

     But! Despite my critiques of some of the tips in this book, I am still so glad I read it. And I still very much give this book credit for helping me to change my mindset about dating in my late 20s. If there's one main takeaway that I got from this book, it's that if I wanted to find love and a successful longterm relationship, I need to date as often as possible, and make it part of my routine. The authors use the analogy that for a single woman seeking a relationship, dating needs to become just like the gym. It becomes part of your weekly routine! You say yes to first dates whenever possible. Do you see physical results with your body through working out if you're only doing it sporadically? Nope! You need to have a regular fitness routine to see results. Same as with dating. It only hurts you to take long breaks from it

     Now do people occasionally take breaks from their fitness routines? Sure! Some weeks you might be traveling or sick and not be able to. In rarer cases, you might have a significant life event like an injury or family emergency that really prevents you from working out for a longer period of time. But those things aside, it's generally going to be part of your life at least 45-50 weeks out of the year. And putting yourself out there with dating needs to be treated the same!!  Where was this advice years ago when I'd take extended breaks from dating apps or trying to meet guys in the wild? 

     In summary- I definitely don't agree with all of the rules that the authors give, but I do very much think this book helps women to reinforce the fact that dating needs to be something we pursue often if we want to change our endgame results! And for that point alone, I think the book is worth reading.

     I entered 2022 with a fresh mindset about dating. I decided that I wasn't going to let the disappointing situation from the holiday season get me down in the new year. I set a goal of going on 10 first dates with 10 different guys in the first six months of 2022! I redownloaded my dating apps and also made sure to tell my local girlfriends who I thought might know some nice guys that I was definitely single and open to being set up.

      Within the first six weeks of 2022, I had gone on six first dates! Five were from dating apps, and one was a set-up from a local friend. But in full honesty- on Valentine's Day of 2022, the enthusiasm and confidence that I had started the year off with regarding dating was fading a bit. Instead of being proud of myself for putting myself out there as much as I was, I was falling into old thinking patterns and getting negative that none of these six dates had been the right person. I was still very single on Valentine's yet again. 

      Thanks to the encouragement of a few close girlfriends that I reached out to on Valentine's, I decided to regain that confidence and keep on going with my dating goal. And I'm so glad that I did... because first date number seven in 2022 was with Ryan! We matched on Hinge just a week after Valentine's Day last year. Very early on I knew that conversation with him flowed much easier and was much more enjoyable than with the other guys I had been on first dates with recently. And things only kept getting better after our first date. 😊 

     I hope this post is encouraging to anyone struggling with the dating world right now! Dating apps can have so many negatives associated with them, but I truly believe that if you stay patient with using them and change your mindset, they can also be incredibly positive. Keep putting yourself out there- whether with apps, asking friends to set you up with singles they know, or doing more social activities to potentially meet someone!

     God Bless,

     xoxo Annaliese



  1. So happy for you and all the love and joy you've found!

  2. I love this post! I definitely need to be a bit more active in the dating space.


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