Your divorce may have made you gun-shy about dating again. Add to that your concerns about your emotional vulnerability, your looks, or your questionable ability to sustain a loving relationship, and it’s no wonder that you feel you might just be better off jumping into bed by yourself and pulling the blankets up over your head.
But don’t give in — and don’t give up — so easily! In the real world, each day brings new opportunities to put your fears behind you and to live the fulfilling life that you know is waiting for you.
The first step, of course, is to get back out there and meet people.
That won’t be as hard as you think. Things in the dating world haven’t changed that much. Some people equate it to riding a bicycle: once you’ve ridden one, you never forget how. To some extent, that’s true. Then again, if you aren’t willing to improve your skills, you’re bound to keep making the same mistakes — and taking bad falls — over and over again.
What you need is a refresher course on some very basic dating do’s don’ts. Here are four tips for dating success:
Tip #1: Don’t let the process frighten you. Dating is not a life-and-death situation. It’s a check-things-out, enjoy-yourself, and open-your-eyes opportunity. By keeping this perspective, you won’t make more of dating than it really is, you’re far more likely to have a good time, and most importantly, if it doesn’t go well, you won’t get hurt.
Tip #2: Do make the most of the opportunity. Relax beforehand. Take time to look your best. Have fun. Half the fun is getting there. That may mean flirting, primping, and priming yourself to be “on” for the occasion. Guess what? That’s okay. Whether or not this date leads to a second one, you’ll know you gave it your all, and that’s what counts.
Tip #3: Don’t put to much emphasis on the end result. More importantly, don’t focus on the question of a second date before you’ve actually experienced the first date. If things don’t turn out the way you wanted them to, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, take whatever lessons you can gain from the experience. By doing so, you lessen the chances that the same thing will happen to you next time. Life is an endless learning experience for those of us who can keep our eyes, ears, and minds open.
Tip #4: Do take your time with feeling comfortable with the dating process. Don’t let anyone rush you into feeling or doing something that doesn’t feel right — including sex. You control your own destiny. You get to choose what you do, when, and with whom. If the time, place, person, and circumstance feels right, then allow yourself to follow your best instincts regarding what you need, and when.