You’re divorced or widowed; you had a long-term relationship that ended badly; you have never been in a relationship at all, for any number of circumstances. Whatever the reason, you have removed yourself from dating for quite a while. Now, you are thinking about getting out there again and maybe finding someone to date, even a long-term relationship.
So how do you even do that? Well, you may need some help. Here are 7 tips and strategies worth considering. They have worked for others.
1. Get Clear About Your Goals for Dating
You’ll need to spend some time thinking about this. What do you want from your new dating life? Are you just looking for casual dating, or are you looking for a more permanent relationship? Of course, you may start out just looking for casual dating, but you certainly have the right to change your mind as you move along. Just keep yourself open to other possibilities.
2. Assess Your Appearance and Your Wardrobe
If you have been a bit socially isolated, you will want to check out the newest hairstyles, clothing, and accessories in your age group. It may be time to invest in yourself as you get ready to move into the dating scene. If you have a friend who has been dating, take them along with you on a shopping expedition, and explore hairstyles that could work for you. Don’t forget shoes and jewelry too. While physical attractiveness is no substitute for what’s inside, let’s face it. Looking good opens doors and can certainly break the ice.
3. Let Friends Know You are Ready
You should let friends and close co-workers know that you are ready to get out there again. A couple of things can happen once you do. These people may know singles or friends who know singles, from their own social lives. And they may invite you out to socialize with them. Go. Even without a date, going out socially where you may meet others is important. Do it as often as you are asked. Each outing introduces you to new people.
4. Check Out Dating Apps
Online dating has become really popular in recent years, due to Covid and also the fact that they offer an efficient and pretty streamlined way to meet lots of possibilities and get to know them before making the choice to have a real-life date. There are plenty of apps for all sorts of genders and sexual orientations. If you are part of the LGBTQ+ community, check here for an app that is designed specifically for this community and every gender identity within it. If you are older, there are apps for your age group. There are even niche dating apps for farmers, single parents, Christians, etc. Find those that you think will best meet your needs and then read objective reviews. Access those sites and research their safety procedures. You want to use only apps with a good reputation and that have strong safety precautions in place to vet their users.
5. Safety First
You may find yourself going out with a “stranger,” even though you have talked, perhaps online, and feel you know them pretty well. You will still want to take initial safety precautions until you are fully comfortable with this person. Here are the steps you must take:
- Arrange to meet at the destination, so that you have your own transportation. You want to be able to leave at any time that you become uncomfortable. And you don’t want your date to pick you up and have your address in the beginning.
- Make sure you go to a public place for that first date. You want other people around – no quiet night walks on the beach this time.
- If you are at a bar, do not leave your drink alone. This person is probably totally fine, but you should never take that for granted.
- Meeting for coffee or having some type of day date is always a good idea for the first meeting.
What to talk about? If you haven’t dated in a long while, you may be pretty rusty as far as conversation is concerned. It would be a good idea to come up with questions to ask your date so that they feel you are interested in them. Making the conversation all about you gives the impression that you are pretty self-centered – not a good thing at all. The added plus? You actually get to know this person and decide if you’d like to go out with them again.
7. What’s the Rush?
The answer is there is no rush. You’re just getting back into the action, and you should take it slow. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun of dating and over-extend yourself. Pace your dating life and take the time to be by yourself too – after all, you need time to reflect on the people you have met, what you have and have not enjoyed, and continue to think about what you really want. This takes time alone. And don’t rush into any relationship that has you smothering each other with too much togetherness. In most cases, it won’t end well. Take small steps and date as often as you want, so long as it does not interfere with other important parts of your life.