After years (or decades!) of matrimonial life, it can be difficult for newly single men and women to get back into the dating game. Particularly as the art of seduction has changed somewhat. So how do new singletons go about dating after a long break? EliteSingles Psychologist Salama Marine has the answer – and has compiled a list of 10 simple steps to help you get back into dating.
How to get back into dating
Modern dating has changed. So for many newly single Americans, dating again is a daunting prospect. According to Salama, today’s singles have higher expectations from dating than ever before and are not hesitant to be demanding with their search for love. Individuals are less willing to compromise on their requirements in a partner and therefore stricter about not wasting their time with people who they’re not suited to. This means more than ever before, you can be very clear about what you’re looking for.
1. Make a list
Salama suggests that newly single Americans are actually at a certain advantage when it comes to getting back into dating. Due to their previous relationship experience, they have a much more realistic view of what being engaged in long-term commitment involves. If you are getting back into dating, she recommends writing a list of all the qualities you’re seeking in a future partner and also the ones you’re not. That way, you’re likely to have a much clearer view of your relationship expectations.
2. Shorten this list
Now you’ve made this list, it’s time to shorten it. Read through it again and analyze each element one by one. Choose which of the qualities you’d be willing to compromise on. Regardless of your age and previous relationship experience, it is important to remember that you’re allowed to be demanding and have high expectations from your next partner. Use this list to realize what’s most important to you – what are your deal breakers in a relationship? This process will help focus your search.
There’s no shame in taking time to find a partner. After years alone or with someone else, it can be very daunting for many new singletons to connect emotionally and physically with someone new. It takes time to build trust with a new person and there’s no need to rush – really get to know each other. It’s important to realize that moving on takes different amounts of time for different people. While some individuals are ready to date almost instantly after a split, others need years to get back into dating. Remember there is no rule: take as long or as little as you need.
4. Re-build your confidence
Salama stresses the importance of being in the right mindset for dating. If you’re not, the chances of you meeting someone are extremely slim. Following a difficult divorce or break up, many people can be left feeling insecure. Often individuals lose their confidence and self-worth during this period which makes it difficult to move forward. If this sounds familiar, Salama suggests speaking to your friends. Ask them simple questions like why they are friends with you and why they enjoy spending time with you. Their answers are likely to increase your confidence and remind you of your value in other people’s eyes.
5. Set reasonable objectives
When you’re re-entering the dating world, it’s important not to set your expectations too high. Instead, set attainable objectives so that you’re not left disappointed and subsequently deflated if things don’t work out instantly. For example, for many individuals it’s not that easy to walk up to a stranger in a bar and start chatting to them. This is where online dating can help many singletons. It can enable people to realize that meeting and dating completely new people doesn’t need to be a big deal – it’s just a matter of practice! After a few dates with new people you’ll quickly become more relaxed and comfortable in new situations.
6. Be clear about what you want
Salama reminds new singles that not everyone you meet will be on the same dating page as you. While you might meet someone you like and your feelings are reciprocated, their relationship expectations could differ vastly from your own. In order to avoid any awkwardness or confusion, it’s best to be completely upfront about what you’re looking for from the beginning. That way neither of you are wasting your time.
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7. Don’t focus on the past, focus on the future
Salama labors the importance of looking forwards. There’s no point looking at your past relationship and comparing it to your current situation. Focusing on your ex will do you no good. A lot of people make the error of talking about their ex with a new person, both online and offline. Don’t do it! It gives the new person the impression you’re not ready to meet someone new. And if you’re not ready to date someone, don’t do it. It’s better to wait and really be open to something new. The same applies for online dating profiles. Be sure to focus on the future, not on the past. No-one wants to hear about the ex.
8. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability
By hiding your vulnerability you’re shutting yourself off from the intensity of love. It’s very common for people coming out of a long-term relationship to have their guard up and not show their vulnerable side. But this can be worked on and slowly individuals are ready to move forward into a new relationship. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings and emotions as they happen. If your new relationship is worth it, the person you met will be ready to see your vulnerable side. Let them in.
9. Don’t be discouraged
It’s very rare to find the love of your life straight after a huge separation. But Salama maintains that’s actually for the best! The more dates you go on, the more comfortable you’ll get being back in the dating world and you can perfect your skills of seduction. This is a good way of establishing what you want too. It might even be something you hadn’t realized before.
10. Remember this one important thing!
Salama tells all new singletons to remember this one thing: If you get the feeling that the person you just met is somehow emotionally unavailable, move on. It really is that simple. Why? Because everyone deserves someone great who is ready to commit to them in a relationship.