No matter where you are in life the prospect of dating can be filled with anxiety. If you haven't dated for any length of time it can seem even scarier. After the end of a long-term relationship, sometimes there can be a lot of pressure to go out and date and find that new "plus one." Before you rush out the door, take a moment to read through these tips. They should help you turn a scary experience into one that you can enjoy.
1. Be sure you are ready. There are plenty of people out there who will tell you that it's best to jump "right back on the horse." If you have only been dating casually, that advice is great. However, this is usually not a good idea after the end of a serious relationship. No matter what the cause or the circumstances, a relationship ended. Even if you were the one who walked, it can be very emotional. Your judgment can be impaired and your self-esteem may have taken a beating. Give yourself space for your emotions to come back to normal. Do some things to nurture yourself. Make sure that you have given yourself the time to mourn and to heal.
2. Have a vision of what you want. What exactly are you getting back into the dating pool to do? Are you looking for someone that is content to date with no clear end in mind? Are you looking for a marriage partner? Exclusive or non-exclusive? Monogamous or not? Maybe you really just a want a companion to travel or have dinner with or go dancing or just hang out — with benefits or not? The clearer you are on what you want, the easier it is for you to spot it when it arrives. It is also much easier to know when the person standing in front of you is not on the same page.
3. Pamper yourself. If you are out there dating or trying to date, it can seem like an enormous amount of pressure to be attractive. So here's a secret: just be yourself. Do things to make yourself feel good about the way you look — for you, not for anyone else. If it makes you feel good then have your hair done and your mani-pedi. Go out with friends and have fun. You being you, at ease with yourself and the way you look and enjoying life, makes you more attractive.
4. Keep an open mind. As you are getting back out there into the dating world remember to keep an open mind. Often after the end of a relationship, it is easy to see little things in anyone new that you meet that remind you of relationships past. Maybe it's the way he holds his coffee cup, or that odd slurping noise he makes as he drinks his soda. It is important to always remember that each person is individual and unique. Don't rush to judgment until you've gotten to know the person a little better. Keep reading ...
More dating advice from YourTango: