How Do You Get Back Into The Dating Scene?
Getting back into the dating scene isn't always as simple as it sounds. For many, depending on how long you have been out of the scene, the very thought of dating can frankly feel nerve-racking and scary.
Whether you are newly single after a long relationship or marriage or possibly have given yourself a break from dating, trying to figure out where to meet that special person can feel over-whelming. Not to mention, if you have been out of the scene for years or over a decade (or several) then there can be a lot more worry and stress getting yourself back into the dating scene.
Many women worry about:
- How to properly carry themselves around other men
- If they are sexy enough—especially if they have been with the same person for years
- If they have the energy to date again
- How to balance being a parent and dating at the same time
- What classifies as a good date
- Knowing if they are truly ready to date
- Being able to afford to date—buying different clothes, keeping up with hair, nails, waxing, laser—things they might not have kept up with while in a relationship
- Meeting someone safe and stable (of sound mind and body)
- If a man will be accepting of their children
- If they are too old
- Being comfortable in their own skin with their bodies
- Understanding the "new" rules of dating—what is more acceptable now versus 5-10+ years ago
- Knowing how fast or slow to move forward when dating
- If kissing on a first date is expected or important
- Are website and dating apps safe and the best place to meet a significant other
- Fear of meeting new friends and family members—fitting in and starting over with a new group dynamic
- The protocol of when to consummate a relationship
Dating can be scary for the average person. If you have been out of the dating scene for a very long time it can feel frightening—as though you are standing in the middle of a forest without your survival tools (in this case dating tools) trying to figure out how to survive (in this case how to navigate the dating scene).
How do you know that you are mentally and physically ready to start dating?
Often times you don't know one-hundred percent of the time. If adequate time for you has passed since the end of your last relationship or if you have done a lot of work on yourself—seen a therapist, counseling from a church or spiritual sanctuary, healing retreats, self-help books and journaling, etc., or if the relationship you were in was WAY over before it officially ended, then you might be ready to start dating. Honestly, you won't know until you officially put yourself out there. Be open to the fact that the first date you have could be uncomfortable and awkward, however the more you date, the quicker you will get your groove back.
How do you prepare yourself for the dating world? First take a deep breath...
- Don't over think it
- Know that guys aren't as superficial as you might think
- Most guys don't look at our flaws the way we do
- Pick up a sporting activity—jogging, yoga, working out at the gym, biking, etc., so that you feel sexier and more energized
- Walk with confidence—just like we find confident men sexy, they feel the same way
- Tell yourself every day that you are beautiful, smart, intelligent, charismatic, fun and loving
- Wear clothing that you feel sexy in (if your over the age of thirty-five sexy and classy or sexy casual)
- Eat healthier—we are what we eat...need I say more?
- Plan girls night out—this is the best way to get your flirt on by socializing with men you might meet
- When you go out with your girlfriends be light and have fun—don't expect you're going to find the love of your life
- Step out of your box—go to places that you normally wouldn't go and do activities that you normally wouldn't think of doing (as long as you are keeping yourself safe)—this can help you dip your toes into the dating pool
- Relax and release any worries and doubts you have
Now that you have prepared yourself for dating again where-oh-where do you find a man?
The biggest question that I hear from so many women: "where are the men?" Ladies men are literally everywhere if you are willing to be present (versus on your phone), look around and be open to expanding your search through all avenues and situations.
When you are ready to get back into the dating world the last thing you want to do is be closed minded to all the options as to where you could possibly meet a guy. As women (and frankly society) we can immediately judge where is (or isn't) the best place to meet a man. By telling yourself that you will never meet a guy on a website or App or bar or gas station, then guess what, you are making your search a lot harder than it needs to be.
Places To Meet Men:
1. Dating Sites and Apps: Yes I get that as woman we have this vision of meeting a man the "old fashion way" either through friends or when we are out and about—and he magically falls in love with us. Sounds great, however nowadays this way is not always that simple.
Obviously, I'm not saying you need to put your profile on every dating site that is out there. You need to resonate (again with an open mind) the best site that fits with what you are looking for. If you are in your twenties or thirties then most likely you won't be setting up a profile on OurTime.com (a site for singles 50+) unless you prefer dating older men (or are looking for a potential "sugar daddy").
Again, there are so many great dating sites depending on what type of a guy you are interested in, here are just a few:
- Educated Professionals: dating.elitesingles.com
- African-American singles: blackpeoplemeet.com
- Professionals over 40+: professionalmatch.com
- Senior People: seniorpeoplemeet.com
- Single Parents: singleparentmeet.com
- Jewish singles: JDate.com
- Christian singles: christianmatchmaker.com
And of course there are dating sites that are more versatile—covering various ages and types of people:
- match: match.com
- eHarmony: eharmony.com
There are also many Apps for dating that you can easily download on your smart phone:
Zoosk, Tinder, Badoo, Bumble, Mingle2, Hinge and many more...you would need to read what Apps are right for you in order to find the right one.
***Times have changed and what once worked for meeting a guy isn't the same. People are busy and although technology has dimmed the romantic side of dating, it has also increased the ease and ability in finding a connection. There are many men who are single dads or who have a busy work schedule who want to be in a relationship but don't have time to scope venues, bars or clubs to find the right woman. Be open, smart and careful.
2. Match Maker: getting the help of a match maker can take a lot of pressure off of you. There are several matchmakers and depending on where you live will determine the best matchmaker for you. My advice, pick a match maker that you vibe with who takes the time to really hear what you are looking for but will also call you out when you are being too closed-minded and unreasonable.
3. Venues: happy hour locations, bars, clubs, restaurants. Although all of these places might not sound ideal, you have to remember that if you are there, even if it's a onetime occasion or ever so often this could be true for the guy you meet. Just because you meet him at a club on a girls night out occasion doesn't mean he's a "club" guy.
4. Outside the Box places: grocery stores, gas stations, the mall, shopping centers (Target, etc.)...you never know where love will find you, however it can be easy to not look around or pay attention. Know that love can find you where you least expect it.
5. Fitness places: gyms, yoga studios, fitness challenges/expose (rugged maniac, yoga on the rocks, etc.) or walks around the park. If you are into fitness or start working out to create a sexier you, look around while you are in your "sexy beast-mode," you never know who might be checking you out.
6. Friends and Family members: who better to set you up then your friends and family members who know you, of course, make sure that when you put the word out that you are ready to date and want to be setup, choose carefully. Beware that whoever does the matchmaking—the guy that they find attractive and the "right match for you “might actually be the right match for them. Yikes!
Ladies, now that you have the tools to get back out there and date, have fun. Know that you are not alone in this process. Take control and make dating what you want it to be. Love is everywhere...if you keep a positive attitude and open heart...it will find you!