Dating is tough, especially as we get older and more set in our ways. I spent the last few years doing my best to get out there and meet new people. No lies, it was tough, but it was also a ton of fun. If your goal is to be married or at the least find a long term companion, you’ve got to do it.
I get it – I’ve done it, as have most of my friends. It does take a ton of courage and effort. Many of my friends are still experiencing the highs and lows of what is now standard for dating in the digital age.
Here are the steps I followed to get myself back out there after my divorce. I used these steps to meet my amazing guy, and if I could do it, so can you!
Here are 5 steps to get back into the dating scene:
- Join at least one online dating site today. I personally used match.com and other sites that were geared toward my ethnicity, as I was slanted toward a certain religion and country of origin in prospective dates. I do believe the paid sites are better, as you do get what you pay for. Popular statistics show that 1 out of every relationships started online. Something like 40 million Americans are currently members of online dating sites, and I think they’re smart to be using this medium. Imagine, you know just by glancing at a person’s profile, where they live, and usually something about what they do for work and their hobbies. For someone like me that was interested in making targeted decisions on who to date, rather than basing everything on chemistry/attraction, this was the best option. When I started dating, I also wasn’t going out a lot or meeting many new people outside of work. Even if you’re already meeting new people on weekends, I recommend giving online a try.
I did not really care for eharmony or pof, but I have friends that really enjoyed being members of these sites. I never tried Tindr or coffee and bagel, as neither site was around when I was dating, but I have also heard great things about both from friends. Just go with whatever appeals to you!
- Start getting together after work and over weekends with friends, if you’re not already doing this. At least one of your friends knows a few singles that are looking to meet a cool person like you.
The more you go out with them, and the more people you meet, the better your odds of being seen as a good catch for someone they know. Trade events through work, professional networking meet up groups, even social groups -all are a great way of just getting out there meeting potential new friends or dates.
- Say yes to blind dates from the either of the 2 options above. Even if you think there’s no chance of a match.
I’ve done this multiple times, and was amazed at how many really cool people are out there. Don’t lead anyone on, but do meet people to just see what’s out there, and get a better idea of what you really want and need in your best match.
- Do you prefer someone that is funny, smart, kind, generous, wise, educated, well-read, silly, muscley, tall, skinny, soft-spoken, boisterous, dramatic, adventurous, etc? Make a list of the top 10 qualities that your ideal mate would have. Now cut it down to your top 5 must haves- these can be your deal-breakers for deciding which candidates have potential. Meet people and see if your list changes – it often will. You will really get to know more about your likes and dislikes, and which personalities gel better with yours, through this process.
If you’re a spiritual junkie, as I am, this qualifies as putting your wishes for an ideal mate out into the universe. If you believe in this theory, meditate for a few minutes every night on these top 5 qualities that you wish for. Go to bed visualizing your dream life with this person, and what moments of a great day together look like. If you are constantly putting this out there, it can’t help but work.
- Suggest fun locations when planning a meeting, so that each date is a new experience. Check out a new museum, event, botanical garden, athletic site (for example: a trampoline park or rock climbing gym) or class (example: cooking, salsa, scuba) that peaks your interest. It should be about what you’re doing in addition to who you’re meeting. This way no experience is wasted, at the least it becomes a decent story or place to recommend (or conversely say whatever you do, don’t ever go eat there!) I really enjoy learning new things and eating at new places, so I visited tons of museums and restaurants that were new to me on dates.
To sum it up, you really need to play around with dating and see what sorts of places/people work for you. The above steps should at least allow you to get back out so that if you complain about how hard finding a partner is, that you do so from experience! I promise that you will have plenty of good moments on your quest, and learn a lot about your inner workings as part of getting to know others.
Through my personal journey, I made a few new good friends that I am in touch with to this day. As I always say, if I can find my Mr. Right through following some basic steps, so can you!! And or course, while its wonderful to be goal oriented, take the time to enjoy the process!