How to Start Dating Again
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“I love a man with a great sense of humor and who is intelligent—a man who has a great smile. He has to make me laugh. I like a man, who is very ambitious, and driven, and who has a good heart, and makes me feel safe. I like a man, who is very strong, and independent, and confident - that is very sexy - but at the same time, he's very kind to people.”
So, you recently lost someone, either to death or simply to life, and you have successfully navigated your way through the grieving process. Thankfully, you have healed from your loss, and now you are ready to start dating again. Where do you start? It has been awhile since you hit the singles scene, so how has it changed, and how should you approach it? If these questions have flooded your mind lately, do not fret. Why? Well, because this article will help you get out of your rut and start dating again. Remember, you deserve to be happy and appreciated. You also deserve to meet that special person who makes you feel loved and cherished. It is important to note that he or she is not just going to come to you; rather, you will need to be open to new experiences, like love. Today is the day to take that first step. If you are wondering how to start dating again, you are in luck, because this article is going to teach you how to do just that!
Take It Slow
When you decide that it is time to start dating again, you will definitely want to take it slow. In other words, take baby steps. Although you have healed from your loss, you may still experience residual hurt, anger, mistrust, and/or sadness, from time-to-time. Therefore, if you meet someone that you want to date, do not jump in blindly with both feet, rather take your time, and test the waters. For instance, meet your potential suitor for coffee, tea, or ice cream. Or, meet him or her for lunch or a snack at a restaurant.
The key, especially during those initial stages, is to be cautious and safe. So in the beginning, do not, under any circumstances, meet your potential suitor in a private, secluded place (i.e. this includes his or her home). And always tell a friend or two where you are going and who you are going with. You may think he or she is harmless but you do not know that for sure, so it is best to be cautious. Why rush? You have plenty of time to get to know your potential suitor. And, if he or she disagrees, well, then maybe he or she isn’t the right person for you.
Let It Go!
Yes, you should probably “let it go,” if you plan to start dating again. Let go of what? Well, your anger, hurt, pain, resentment, hostility, and negativity, to start with. You can’t fully heal if you are holding on to hurt feelings from the past. In order to open yourself up to new people and experiences, you are going to have to forgive—yourself and your ex. So, dig deep, and let it all go, if not for the other person, than for yourself and future relationships. With an open heart and mind, you will be able to enjoy all that life throws your way.
Try Something New
You will also want to try something new, if you plan to start dating again. Truth-be-told, it is easy to fall into the same old routines, but do not do that! Rather, open yourself up to new people and experiences. For instance, if you have always wanted to learn how to cook, but never had the time or will to do it, then take this time to join a cooking class or brush up on your culinary skills. Or, if you always wanted to go back to school, enroll in courses at your local college.
Moreover, you may want to try out a new hairstyle, go to a club with friends, search for a new job, adopt a new hobby, volunteer at a local agency, etc. The key to this step is to be objective and willing to branch out. Furthermore, try to date someone different from who you would normally date. Why? Well, so you can determine what you really want from a partner and a relationship. You may be surprised at all of the things you actually have in common with someone you never thought you would date.
Another great way to start dating again is to double date. Double dating allows you to spend time with a potential suitor, without all of the stress that normally comes during those first few months of dating. If double dating is a little too cozy during the early stages of dating, try group dating. In other words, gather up your friends (male and female), and ask them to join you and your potential suitor for an occasion, event, or “get-together.” In other words, ask another couple or a group of friends to accompany you and a potential suitor on a fun, mass date at a bowling alley, skating rink, amusement park, park, restaurant, etc.
Know What You Want
If you want to start dating again, you will need to know (or at least have some idea) what you want and need in order to be happy. In other words, you will need to know what you expect out of a partner and relationship. Do you want a quiet, shy partner or a bubbly, outgoing one? Do you want someone, who prefers to stay at home with you, or one who likes to go out and party? Do you want someone, who works a lot, or someone who has a lot of time for you? Do you want someone who wants to get married and have children one day, or do you want someone who is perfectly fine not getting married or having children? These questions may not seem important, but they are, especially if you are looking for someone you can spend your life with.
Lastly, it is important to be honest, if you plan to start dating again. You should not only be honest with any potential suitors but also with yourself. In other words, do not try to convince yourself that you are ready to start dating if you really aren’t. In addition, do not try to change who you are in order to impress another person. Be true to yourself, and if a potential suitor does not like who you are inside, then simply move on. You don’t need that kind of stress and drama in your life. Furthermore, if you are not ready to move to the next step in your relationship, tell your suitor that. Do not hide how you really feel, because you are afraid of how your potential suitor will react. Why? Well, because it will only make the situation worse in the long run.
Brainy Quote. (2015). Love quotes. Retrieved from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_dating.html
Brody, C. F. (2013). 10 ways to tell if you are ready to date again. Huff Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carole-brody-fleet/dating-over-50-10-ways-to-tell-if-you-are-ready_b_2961264.html
Schwartz, P. (2015). Looking for new love? AARP. Retrieved from http://www.aarp.org/relationships/love-sex/info-04-2011/ready-to-date-again.html