Beginning to date again after you have been “out of the game” for a while can be scary and intimidating. Oftentimes when someone has taken a break from dating or just ended a long-term relationship, they feel fear towards knowing what – or what not to say, where to take their partner, and maybe even how to talk to someone they are interested in. That is okay!
Once you have determined that you want to date again, there are many ways to get back into it without feeling any unwanted anxiety or pressure. Here are some helpful tips to jump back into the dating scene.
Set Yourself up for Success
If you go back into the dating scene thinking that it will be horrible, chances are, it will be. Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Instead, focus on the things that could go right and have a positive mindset. Dating anxiety is often centered around our insecurities, both physical and emotional. So when you begin to feel the insecurities creep in, focus on the things about yourself that you are proud of. By focusing on the things that make you feel good, your self esteem and sense of self-worth increase, and you are more likely to feel better while dating again.
Know What you Want
Oftentimes after a failed relationship, you can pinpoint the things that you do not want in your next partner. This is a good starting point. Knowing what you do not want helps to narrow the list of the things that you do want. Maybe you want a partner who enjoys hiking over Netflix-ing, or you want a partner who is as committed to personal growth as you are. Knowing these things ahead of time, or at least having some sort of preference, helps to identify potential matches that you are compatible with.
Call Out your Fears
It can be scary to get back into the dating game after it has been awhile. Common fears can be wanting to avoid how you have been treated in past relationships, being rejected by someone you really care about, or saying the wrong thing. All of these feelings are okay and completely normal. Many others feel the exact same way that you do. Something that can be helpful is to write all of these fears and anxieties down. Respond to these feelings as if a close friend were bringing them to you. Offer yourself compassion and grace, and know that dating doesn’t have to be something to be afraid of.
Remember, Rejection Happens.
Rejection is a completely normal part of dating. Without being rejected by the wrong person, how would you be able to find the right one? Just as you often reject someone without it being personal, they do the same to you. It is completely normal. Do not let the fear of rejection deter you from dating and finding your partner.
Take it SlowTake your time getting to know your date and learning the things that they like and do not like. Learning these things early helps to create a solid foundation for a healthy relationship. Take time to decompress if dating begins to feel stressful. A partner is meant to enhance your life, not make it more difficult. Take time to recharge and give yourself grace for not finding a match “right away.” You are dating for you, and you deserve a great experience.