Unless you’re one of the lucky few, dating after a breakup makes you feel vulnerable in a way that you haven’t felt for years.
Until recently, you’ve enjoyed the stability within your previous romantic partnership. Now you’re experiencing the immense ambiguity of not knowing when, where or if you’ll meet someone worthwhile. Finding comfort in being single is first on your journey of figuring out how to find love again which, of course, is your ultimate goal.
The good news is that you’re presumably wiser than before. You’ve probably learned from your past relationship. You’ve got a fairly good idea about what worked well and what didn’t.
You’ve probably thought about what you want (and what you won’t tolerate) in your next relationship. It’s likely that you’re determined to do things differently in order to avoid repeating past mistakes.
If you’re like most people in your situation, you may wonder how you fit into the dating scene now that you’re older. You may want to know how to date more efficiently so that you’re not wasting your time in the wrong places with the wrong people.
This is what you need to know to lay the groundwork for effective, fun dating that’ll lead to a great, lasting relationship.
Here’s what to remember as you work to find love again:
1. Don’t tell yourself you’re too old for love
You’re definitely not too old to find love. You’re just older than you were last time.
Like you, single people in your age range tend to have the wisdom of experience. Men are more interested in a woman’s personality. Women are less prone to drama.
Many people are still attracted to youthful energy, passion, and optimism — which lives within all ages!
People of all ages date, fall in love and get into long-term, committed relationships. Wanting love is a primal, human desire and it doesn’t go away as you age.
2. Don’t be afraid to try online dating
Be friendly and outgoing toward everyone. Single people are everywhere, and you’re more likely to find them when you’re fostering connections and friendships.
Use technology to your advantage. Research effective ways to date online and learn how to best use those sites. Remember that no one was born knowing how to meet people via online dating sites, so just go with the flow!
3. Forgive the pains of the past
Dating behaviors have changed a great deal over the years, so forgive mistakes and misunderstandings. Some people have never dated — they met their exes through friends, work or school and got together in a less formal way.
4. Don’t mistake attraction for being a “sure thing”
Attraction is simply an opportunity to get to know someone better. It is not a sign that they’re “the one.”
5. Date more than just one person
You can’t tell how things will turn out after just one date. If you think you can, you’re telling yourself a story. Continue dating several people until you find someone who is equally excited about the prospect of forging a relationship.
Take time to get to know the person who most interests you (as well as several others) before committing to one person. Don’t waste your time by committing to someone who only sees you as one of several options.
6. Don’t let yourself get swept away in the “courtship” stages
Courtship requires different skills than growing and maintaining a relationship. Don’t assume that someone who is a great date will also be a great mate.
7. Don’t rush things
Dating isn’t efficient. It’s about getting to know people and discovering whether you care for each other and if your values, goals, and personalities are in alignment.
You can’t tell if someone is right for the long haul until you’ve known each other for an extended period of time.
8. Watch for emotional baggage
Everyone has baggage, and you’re accountable for yours. Wait until you’ve gone out several times before gradually revealing personal details about your life and relationships.
Don’t allow your date’s baggage to become your problem. You’re seeking a potential partner, not a therapy project.
9. Find someone who shares your values in a relationship
Many people date because they’re seeking a relationship, but part of dating is discovering if the person you’re seeing wants one with you.
10. If you want lasting love, don’t settle for a “player”
Some people are dating because they are seeking no-strings-attached companionship. They only want a play pal or a friend with benefits. Most will casually mention it as you’re getting acquainted.
If you continue to see them after they’ve told you they aren’t interested in a real relationship, they will assume that you are also looking for something casual.
It helps if you see your return to dating as an adventure. You don’t know who you’ll meet, but if you embrace your new situation, it’ll definitely be entertaining and, ultimately, rewarding.
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