The time is now. Once you’ve determined you want to date again, there are many ways to dip your toe back into the dating pool – as daunting as it may seem.
Deep down, you probably know that it’s time to ‘get back out there’. But no one can blame you for hesitating.
More and more people report feeling triggered and anxious when they start to turn their attention back to dating after a significant amount of time away – especially if they took a break due to a negative online dating experience.
The fear of getting hurt, lied to or just plain ignored – indeed, getting scammed, TinderSwindler-style, (and that’s before we even consider the amount of time that we need to invest) can become overwhelming. We get it.
However, we experience, we learn, we evolve, and we move on. But the most important thing is that we do just that – and never give up.
Here are some tips from our expert team here at REDDI.
Get closure on previous relationships - and bad dating experiences.
Many people who are returning to the dating scene after time away will be doing so following a trigger - whether this be a series of bad dates, a breakup or lack of good quality matches (among other things). Ultimately, something will have usually made them 'give up' and need some time away from the process.
It's also possible that you may have experienced heartbreak, divorce of the loss of a spouse - so 'getting back out there' isn't always as easy as it seems. It's important to take time to heal, in order to give any potential new relationships a fighting chance to flourish.
Although it can be useful to reflect on past relationships, so that you are in a good position to reevaluate what you are ultimately looking for, it's vital that you do not jump into another relationship on the rebound in order to seek revenge, or to try to heal your own existing heartache by looking for validation through other single people.
It's also important to 'wipe the slate clean' and try to learn - but ultimately move on - form dating disappointments of the past. Always look to the future with confidence and positivity.
2. Put yourself in the right place
If you go looking for the love of your life in a circus, you’re very likely to find clowns (and other animals…)! This is a no-brainer, and of course – we’re going to be biased. But If you’re truly serious, and looking for someone to join you as part of your life’s journey (no pressure..) then you simply have to choose the right dating app to maximise your chances of doing just that.
Being in the right place is also about your mind-set. If you go into the process thinking that dating for the first time after a while will be terrible, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. You have to be in it to win it. And dating is a game that can be won, if you invest your time wisely and follow some simple rules.
Some dating platforms require more legwork. If there’s a low barrier to entry, you’re bound to get a mix of everyone – and that can pose its own risks. While it’s not an absolute guarantee, a dating app with more hoop-jumping due to the level of detail required, verification, and any checks and balances to protect the safety of its users, tending to weed out those people looking for less serious connections (we'll leave that to the other bog-standard dating apps...!).
2. Be clear (with yourself) about what you want
It can be easy to get sidetracked by sex and flattery. But it’s important that you begin with the end in mind. So if you want to meet people with a view to eventually being in a relationship; someone who you want to raise children and build a solid future with, be decisive – and decline those people who are not a fit. Figure out what is and isn’t permissible for you and stick to it. If you don’t sext with people you’re not in a relationship with, then don’t do it with the person you met online just thirty minutes ago.
3.) Rejection is your friend (we promise!)
Rejection hurts. And therefore, it might be a tough sell to say that it is in fact, a gift in disguise - but it's true. Many people get anxious about rejection, but rejection it actually prevents you from devoting time to someone who isn’t interested, which frees you up to engage with someone who is. In the same way that not everyone is for you, you’re not for everyone - and that’s absolutely fine!
You yourself will swipe left and un-match people, and it might not be anything personal; maybe they’ve listed that they have a cat and you’re far from being an animal lover, or perhaps they’re wearing a band t-shirt in one of their pics that reminds you of your ex. Remember that most of the time when people reject you, it’s not personal either, so don’t take it to heart.
4.) Invest time in both your own profile - and take time over other people's
When it comes to searching for your future partner, dating should be seen as a worthwhile investment. Your profile is your shop window; your opportunity to tell prospective partners who you are, and what you want.
So put your absolute best foot forward. This doesn't mean presenting a false façade to the World - on the contrary - it's important to give a true and honest impression of yourself. But don't feel shy about expressing yourself, and show your personality when you answer questions and populate your profile.
Incomplete or ‘lazy’ profiles might suggest that you’re either too busy, or not serious enough to commit to the process. (And let's face it - if you're not engaged and can't give this part of the process your all, you're unlikely to succeed. You really do get out what you put in - so, go for it!
With each and every dating experience - the good, bad and downright ugly - we learn a little more about not just the dating game but also ourselves - and the good news is, that this can make us less likely to repeat the same mistakes that we made before.
It's time to be brave. After all, there's nothing to lose and absolutely everything to gain.