When you find yourself back on the singles scene it can be difficult to take the first step in dating again. Whether you find a diminished social circle, a lack of confidence or family ties holding you back there are many ways to get back into dating.
At Country Couples we provide plenty of information about getting back into dating, suggestions for interesting dates and advise for first step dating online. You don’t have to be a member of the site to read this information, just click the FAQ & Help links on the home page.
So let’s get you brain storming about how you can get back out there:
Step 1 – Research
Do some research and find out what is out there that would suit your circumstances. We have all had the Saturday night singles blues, so use that time to consider how you can change your current circumstances. Get the local paper, magazines about your interests, use the net, just gather information about what is happening in your local area or field of interest.
Step 2 – Social Networking
Use social networking, this is all the rage online but is equally important offline. Join a club, so what if the 6 members of the local book reading club are all married and retired, they will probably all have families so get to know them and find out who they know. Join a gym and get chatting to the receptionist, they always know who is single. Check the local paper for beach volunteer days (beach cleaning, fund raising, etc), then get to know other volunteers. This is not a quick fix but will develop your social circle and get your confidence back.
Call up old friends but don’t say I am newly single do you fancy a drink, this translates as I have nobody else so can I cry on your shoulder. Just call them up and say you are playing catch up with old friends and wondered if they were free for a drink sometime.
Find a singles club, try speed dating, what have you got to lose but an evening of your time in front of the tv.
Depending on your social and financial circumstances aim to try one new thing every week, fortnight or month. This is a long term strategy and doesn’t really help when you get that ‘I am sick of being lonely’ mood but if your aim is to get back out there socially and not just find a date this is a great strategy for first step dating.
Step 3 – Use the Internet
Taking the first step in dating on the internet can be intimidating, particularly if you have lost your confidence in a bad break up. However, it does work if you follow a few simple steps.
a) Find the right site for you, not just the first one you see. If you are looking for a serious relationship find a site that matches your interests, religion, sexual orientation, etc. This will increase your chances of meeting like-minded people.
b) Complete your profile. “John, 45, UK, will fill this in later” is not going to get anyones interest. Project who you are through your profile.
c) Be honest, I cannot count the people I know that are confident and bubbly on the net but offline are very shy and not in the least outgoing. So be honest, if you are shy offline then say so, just think how intriguing it will be for people to wonder if they could bring out the online personality offline.
d) Contact people, don’t just put your profile up and wait for people to get in touch with you, that is a recipe for disaster. Most sites have flirts or kisses you can send rather than an essay introducing yourself, use them to make initial contact.
e) Expect some people to ignore your messages. Some sites have fake profiles so there is no-one to read and respond to your message, others just don’t think you are the one for them, that’s life but don’t give up just keep trying or find a different site.
Now I don’t know about you but trawling through hundreds of profiles saying yes, no, no, yes, yes, is not my idea of fun. It can also add to the singles blues when you don’t find the love of your life in the first week. So my advise is to look at lots of different sites, find ones that offer forums or chatrooms where you can get to know a group of people, aim for friendly sites where people chat and not just play the meat market game. Yes the aim is to find a partner but if you look for a wider social circle then your spirits will lift and you are more likely to find someone special.
Check out some dating site directories, this one has some nice niche market sites and singles chat rooms on it Date Or Chat
Step 4 – Flirt
Really, flirt with everyone you come across. I don’t mean outrageous sexual flirting but simple acceptable flirting. It doesn’t matter if the person is twice your age, half your height and married with six kids, when someone flirts back no matter who they are it lifts your confidence and mood. There is something magical about innocent flirting, it is a compliment when anyone flirts back.
Online keep flirting to ‘Carry On’ film level, slightly suggestive but not overtly sexual. It can be so easy to get carried away online but if you meet that person offline your words will come back to haunt you. Remember no matter how well you feel you know someone online they are a stranger until you actually meet in person.
If you are based in the UK and would like help with first step dating feel free to join Country Couples and get in touch with me with any questions, we are a very friendly crowd and take the intimidation out of online dating out of the game.