If you are willing to get back in the dating game ,you don’t have to feel nervous, out of touch, scared.Here we’ve listed our DOs and DON’Ts of getting back in the game. It’s a lot easier than you think.
DON’T assume all the rules have changed
Yes, the world has moved on since you were last single – but not that much. At heart, the dating game is still pretty formulaic: boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy likes girl, girl and boy go on a date that may or may not be awkward. If all goes well, boy and girl live happily ever after; if all does not go well, girl and boy find other boy and girl, respectively, to do it all over again. It’s more learning to ride a bike, less rocket science – it might feel unfamiliar after a long hiatus, but you don’t forget how to do it!
DO get space
There’s nothing wrong with being friends with your ex. Sometimes, two lovely people who don’t work out romantically can salvage a great friendship. But if you’re alternating dates with new guys who seem to have potential with ‘friendly’ tête-a-têtes with your ex-boyfriend, it can be difficult to figure out how you’re feeling. If you’re serious about moving on, make things with your ex as unambiguous as possible.
DO date someone who’s not your “type”
If it’s the first time you’ve been a free agent in a while, now’s the time to experiment: tempting as it may be to try to find a guy who’s a carbon copy of your ex (except, you know, for the bit where he broke your heart), now’s the time to go out of your usual dating zone. Always date older guys? Go for a drink with someone younger. Love clean-cut guys? Take someone a bit more rock ‘n’ roll out for a spin. Sure, it may not lead to love, but diversifying your man portfolio will help you to better understand what’s really important to you in a potential other half and what’s simply force of habit.
DON’T use someone else to get over it
If you find yourself seeing a guy simply because you’re looking for a bit of rebound fun, and it becomes apparent that it means rather more to him, it may be time to take a step back. Much as having someone be really into you can be bolstering to your battered self-esteem, if you can’t reciprocate his feelings because it’s not the right time for you, there’s a danger that you’ll just be passing on the hurt feelings from your old relationship to your new one. Stop the cycle. Whether or not you believe in karma, we think it can never hurt to do unto others as you’d have them do to you.
DO make the first move
Yes, we totally understand that you’re out of practice. But if you find that you fancy a guy for the first time since your ex and things don’t seem to be going anywhere despite you bombarding him with your best-dropped hints, we say carpe diem! Make the first move. Yes, it’s super scary, but it’s also empowering. Look at it this way: he’ll probably be flattered and go for a drink with you. And if he turns you down then you won’t waste your time on him when you could be setting your sights on someone better.
DON’T over analyse it
When you’re used to being with one guy and the way that he thinks and communicates, trying to understand a new man (or several new men!) can seem completely crazy-making. Yes, there’s often a little bit of game-playing when you’re in the very beginnings of dating someone, but if you vow to be pretty up front, any guy worth a few hours of his time will be inclined to follow your lead. And if you really don’t get him, then don’t waste your time trying when you could be out meeting someone much better.
DO talk it over with your friends
If you feel like you simply don’t know how to behave on a date because the last one you went on was five years ago, don’t hesitate to talk it over with your single friends who have been out there for a while – they’ll be able to advise on what to wear, where to go if he asks you to suggest a place and what the heck he means by that text message.
DON’T draw comparisons
When you’re trying to figure out whether the new man in your life is relationship-worthy, it can be tempting to compare the new scenario to the one you were in last time. But if things don’t feel like they’re progressing in a way that you’re familiar – maybe last time it was love at first sight and this time, it’s a slow burn or even vice versa – don’t panic. You’re older, it’s a different time, it’s a different place, he’s a different person.
DO give yourself time
Once you’ve decided that you’re up for meeting some new guys it can be tempting to have a timeframe in your mind of when you’d like to find a new boyfriend (Hello… Christmas is coming!) but placing that kind of pressure on yourself, not to mention new guys that you’re meeting, can result in unnecessary stress. Sometimes it’ll only take one date to find a new man to share your life with; sometimes you’ll have to kiss quite a few frogs before you find a prince. Clock watching is no fun: instead, try to relax and let it unfold.