Starting to date again is always tough, especially if it has been a while since you last went out with someone new. So, build up your confidence by starting small.
Visit one or two dating apps, even though you would not dream of doing anything. It will help you get used to the idea of meeting new people. And write a profile for yourself, offline, just for fun, to help you start thinking about how other people will see you.
Actually, in case you are tempted, the dating apps are working better these days. Because couples quickly progress to talking on video, before they actually meet. So, the casual hook-up culture’s being replaced by a kinder and more responsible approach.
Start making small talk to anyone you meet through your work and social life. No expectations or anything, just so you begin to enjoy talking to strangers again. That feels really hard? Then practice one sentence ‘conversations’ on people who are paid to talk to strangers, such as shop assistants.
Think over your last relationship, and if you have had several, see if there has been a pattern to them. That’s quite likely, because our relationships often have a lot in common. Think about what went right, like what you originally liked about your ex. Because all relationships have something that worked, even when they end badly.
And think about what went wrong. What did you fight about? Did you always argue the same way? Did your ex say or do things to deliberately hurt you? Or just in the heat of the moment?
Make a deliberate decision to leave anything bad behind you, and choose dates who are not at all like your ex. Because the sort of things that caused problems in the past will much less likely to do so if you go out with people who do not fit your usual type.
As you start talking with someone new, be positive and light to begin with. Start by swapping likes and dislikes, and gradually fill in your personal histories as you get to know one another.
Do not gush or ask too many questions. Instead, tell them something small about yourself, and then wait for them to tell you something in return about themselves before you go any further.
You probably won’t feel like revealing anything too personal until you are pretty sure how they will react, but casually reveal any potential showstoppers, such as children.
For example, say; “is that the time? I must go and pick up my daughter.” Otherwise you might waste weeks talking to someone who has an issue with your lifestyle.
So no evasions, no lies, and reveal your true personality as you go. Show your interest in your date’s life and they will quickly feel at ease. And so will you. And soon you will begin to enjoy talking to the person sitting opposite you. And that is the point when you know you are ready to start a new relationship.