Contributed by: kellyseal Wednesday, September 07 2016 @ 07:04 am
Online dating can feel overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it in a while. But do you find yourself a little curious, ready to put yourself out there again? Or does the thought of online dating make you want to hide in your house and binge watch Netflix indefinitely?
I understand the temptation to retreat, but the truth is, we are human beings, and therefore we crave connection. We especially crave intimate relationships, whether we want to admit it or not.
There’s nothing wrong with pursuing your independent lifestyle, but if you think you might be ready to give dating a try again, here are five tips to feel ready to date again:
Recruit a friend.
When you’re setting up a new online profile or swiping through matches, it’s good to have a friend to help keep you motivated (kind of like a workout buddy). That way, you can check in with each other to see how many matches, messages, and dates you have initiated, and see how things are going. There’s nothing like company when you are trying something new.
Do your research.
Don’t just join Tinder or Match because you’ve heard of them. There are so many online dating options now, it might be difficult to know where to start. This is why it’s helpful to research – look at ratings, reviews, and features before committing to one. And don’t invest heavily in any service until you’ve tried it out – most offer free basic services or a trial period.
Indulge in a new look.
I don’t mean that you should change who you are, but it’s nice to get a new hairstyle, or a new outfit, or a new makeup regimen to help boost your confidence. When you have a fresh look, it boosts your confidence and you feel more ready to date. Dress to impress - no flip flops or sweatpants on the first date.
Ramp up your social life with friends.
It’s tempting to be a hermit when you aren’t dating. There’s no pressure to get together with a significant other on a regular basis, so we often retreat into our TV shows, or social media, or a hobby. But if you want to feel ready for dating, you have to warm up your social skills, and the best way to do that is to practice on those who love you - friends and family. Get together on a regular basis – in person - with your friends, whether it's brunch or drinks or a spin class. All of the social skills you're building help increase your comfort level with going on a first date.
When you are standing in line at a coffee shop, are you glued to your phone, or do you chat it up with the person next to you? Most of us retreat to our phones and keep silent. When you are first starting to date, it can feel awkward to make conversation with a stranger, and often, it feels stilted or boring. This is natural. The best way to push past it is not to reach for your phone, but to start asking questions that might reveal their personality. For instance, try asking your date about what he likes to do on weekends, or what his passion is (outside of work). Ask yourself what you want to know about the person sitting in front of you. Go from there.