How to dip your toes back into the dating pool

couple arguing
Credit: freedigitalphotos

As anyone who has been divorced or dumped will tell you, getting back out there and trying again is not easy.

The effects of rejection don’t fade so easily, and if you were together for a long time, looking for someone else can be quite intimidating. Sometimes the mere thought of sitting with a potential date over an innocent cup of coffee or being seen across a crowded room can be absolutely terrifying. So how do you conquer the fear? If you remember the following points, you will find it much easier to take the plunge:

1. You deserve to be loved

Remember that you are a worthwhile person, with a lot to offer. It doesn’t matter if your last partner dumped you, or even if all of your previous partners were the ones to say goodbye. Don’t think about the negative. Focus on your good points and develop them even further. If you feel good about yourself, you will project that towards the other person.

2. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t matter

One of the biggest fears people have after a break up is that the next person they date will reject them and that it’s a sign that they are indeed a failure. This worry can cloud a first date so much that it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. So the rule here is – relax! If the guy or gal sitting opposite you isn’t interested, it isn’t the end of the world and you are not a failure at relationships. You simply haven’t met the right person yet. Never mind – there’s always a next time. And no, it doesn’t mean that the insult that Mr./Ms. Ex-Partner threw at you in your last angry conversation or in the Dear John/Mary letter was actually true. Take it at face value – the date didn’t work out. Next!

3. Dating is supposed to be fun

Don’t let memories of the past flood your mind when you are sitting with your current date, and don’t think too much about the future, either. Simply enjoy the moment. As it’s a first date, make small talk. You don’t need to start spilling your guts over your divorce or expect your date to share his/her past tragedies with you, either. A date is not meant to be a therapy session. It’s supposed to be fun. Depending on where you are, enjoy the coffee/the view/the art exhibition/the sea air. Let the serious stuff happen at its own pace – later.

Couple dating
Credit: freedigitalphotos

4. Don’t expect the earth to move

In the movies, the hero and heroine fall in love simply by exchanging a glance across a crowded room, or in romantic comedy style, they share a few cutesy moments together and that’s it – they’re deeply in love. Real life isn’t like that. If real people are too busy exchanging glances across a crowded room to see where they’re going, they end up making a total nuisance of themselves. And if he really poured a glass of wine over her by mistake, chances are that she would be furious at the sticky mess on her new outfit rather than looking up at him with an adoring glance. And unlike in the movies, most real people are neither beautiful nor ugly, but somewhere in between and it’s the personality within that creates true attraction. Don’t expect fireworks on your first date, or even the opposite. Feeling fairly apathetic but ready to see the other person again is actually normal. 

When you have all of the above in mind, you can start to relax. Yes, you were dumped, but that’s life and you have to move on. And though getting back on the horse once you’ve been thrown off can be very scary, you’ll never ride again unless you try.