Starting dating again? 5 tips for being ready

The dating world can be very daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Preparing yourself and having the right mindset can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to dating, especially if you’re starting dating again. There have been inspiring stories of people finding love even during lockdown, so if you’re one of the many people looking for love after you haven’t dated for a while, here are a few things to consider.

  1. Think about what you really want in a relationship. There are so many reasons you may want to start dating again- perhaps you were in a long term relationship that has now ended, or you just haven’t had time to date in the past. Whatever it may be, knowing what you want out of a relationship helps you to narrow down your choices when you start dating. Are you looking just for companionship- someone to spend time and shared interests with? Marriage, or someone to grow a family with? It is important to know what you want, as this will help you to determine if a certain relationship is worth investing time and effort in. Practical ways of doing this include making a list of activities that you enjoy doing, things that are a turn off for you, and things that you will not compromise on.
  2. Understand that you have to put in the effort when dating.
    It is important to know what you want in a relationship, but that relationship is not likely to happen or succeed if you don’t put in the effort. Practical ways of doing this include making sure that you have a well-written profile (if you’re trying online dating), dressing appropriately when meeting someone for a date, responding to messages when you’re interested in someone, etc. Whilst it would be lovely for the man or woman of our dreams to just fall onto our laps, we of course know that if we don’t do something about it, it is not likely to happen. So, put the effort in.
  3. Be brave and step out of your comfort zone.
    Try something different. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve tried online dating. If you haven’t, why not give it a try? Or, you may never have considered dating someone outside of your race, or your town or city. I’m not advocating experimenting just for the sake of it but when it comes to dating, it is sometimes worth going outside of what we consider ‘our type’, to see if there is a connection. Before I got married, I would not have considered my husband to be ‘my type’. But we’ve been married for four years now and I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. So, step out of your comfort zone and try something different. You never know!
  4. Be willing to get to know the person.
    Social distancing and other lockdown rules mean that you may have to date differently to what you have been used to in the past. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t get to know each other properly. If you’re not able to meet physically for some time, use whatever opportunities you have to talk and get to know each other as much as you can, albeit virtually, until you can meet up physically.
  5. Persevere; don’t give up at the first hurdle.
    If you’re going to start dating again, be fully committed to it. Don’t just give up once the first person ignores your message, or you go on a date and it doesn’t work out. It has been said that you have to kiss many frogs to find your ‘Mr Right’, and whilst I don’t exactly subscribe to that, there is some truth to it- you need to give dating a chance; many chances even, and hopefully you will experience success!

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