“Dating in midlife and beyond can be daunting,” says relationship psychologist Honey Langcaster-James. “It can feel like you have to start all over again, and the routes you probably used when you were younger might not be open to you anymore. It doesn’t help that most of your friends are likely to be coupled up, so it’s not uncommon to feel isolated and unsure where to start. But contrary to what you might think, there are thousands of normal, healthy people online looking to meet someone great.”. Get a friend to help you write your profile. It’s even better if they’re the opposite sex. Have a friend take a head-and-shoulders photograph of you for the profile picture. Make sure you’re smiling and looking to the camera, without too much distraction in the background.
You’ve been out of the game so long, you’re not even sure where to begin. Whether you’ve been married and then divorced or simply were in a long-term relationship that recently ended, it’s understandable that you’d be apprehensive about how to start dating again.
After all, the dating landscape has changed. Significantly. Where in your 20s, you didn’t worry about much beyond whether he was going to call (on your landline, at that), now you have to deal with , dick pics (yea, they’re real), and . All that on top of not being entirely sure what you want in a man at this point in your life. At one point, you were so you could settle down and have the whole 2.5 kids and white picket fence.
Now? You’re not sure you need that anymore. And if you do still want it, you want to ensure you don’t make the with the last bozo. It’s scary to get back to dating, for sure.
But trust me that once you take that first brave step of getting started, you’ll quickly learn how to start dating again. It’s like riding a bike. You never really forget what you’re doing. The bike might be electric these days, but you’ve still got the skills.
Trust me on that. How To Start Dating Again Tip #1: Make A List Of What You Are Looking For Making a list of what you want in a man can bring you clarity.
If you’ve genuinely healed from whatever past pain you suffered in your last relationship and are ready to , start by using your past to shape your future. You already know what you don’t want in a man (a cheater, liar, or lazy good-for-nothing), so focus on what you do want. is an excellent way to get clear on what you’re looking for.
Your list can be as detailed as you want. Hell, it can be as superficial as you want. No one’s going to see it but you. I want a man who… is rich. is funny. drives a red sports car. has a big… You do you, lady. Be honest about the things that are important to you, because that’s what you want to attract. And while you might be tempted to write what you don’t want ( I don’t want a man who can’t express himself), it’s been proven that .
There’s a belief with the Law of Attraction that if you say I don’t want a man who can’t express himself, the Universe only hears a man who can’t express himself, and assumes that is what you want.
So try rephrasing it: I want a man who can express himself fully. Think it’s mumbo-jumbo? Give it a try anyway. What’s the harm in putting what you want in a man out there as you learn how to start dating again?
As you start learning how to start dating again, your list of what you want in a partner may look significantly different than it would have in your 20s, and that’s okay. Here are a few things you might want to include: • Whether he should want to get married or not/has been married before • Whether he wants kids/has kids • Physical appearance • Income and education • Personality (funny, intelligent, witty) • Interests (sports, travel, reading) Bonus Tip: Keep your list where you can look at it often.
As you start to meet men, see how many items they can . While you might not meet a man with 100% of the items on your list, you can at least keep focused on what you want so that when you meet men that in no way fit what you’re looking for, you can quickly move on. How To Start Dating Again Tip #2: Get Into The Mindset of Having Fun I’ve met a lot of women that, as they’re learning how to start dating again, simply get paralyzed at the prospect of .
The idea of getting on a dating app, meeting someone for coffee, or even texting a man fills them with fear. Do you feel the same? Him: So, tell me about yourself. You: [thinking] Uhhh…what do I say? What does he want to hear? What’s the right thing to say to make him fall in love with me?? AGGG! Let me just say: dating isn’t a job interview.
It’s not the Miss America pageant. You will not be graded. The man you go out with next does not have to be your life partner. Heck, you don’t even have to go on another date with him if you don’t want. ! Once you can shift your thinking away from it being a stressful chore and toward it being enjoyable, you’ll be able to lighten up and relax. And when you’re relaxed, you’re better able to open up to the guys you meet. You’ll likely go on a lot of first dates as .
If your attitude isn’t ugg, not another first date that will end abysmally, you might actually have a good time. At the very least, you get coffee or a meal out of it. And even if you don’t feel romantic sparks, you might find a new friend.
Maybe your next date will be your new hiking buddy. Maybe he’ll eventually introduce you to his friend, who you fall for. You just never know. So don’t set your expectations so high for dating. As you adjust to how to start dating again, be open to dating being another activity you do to be social and have fun. Bonus Tip: You might get tired of going on the same types of dates over and over again, so take control next time and suggest a fun venue like mini golf, hiking, or a picnic to shake things up and keep things new.
How To Start Dating Again Tip #3: Try Something New Give something new like online dating a try. You might have sworn that you would never ever in 1,000 years try . Let me ask you: why?
Why would you write off a proven channel for meeting men who are looking for a relationship? Dating apps aren’t just for people looking to hook up on Tinder. In fact, you might be more likely to find the guy you’re going to marry on an app. In a study funded by eHarmony and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that .
There was also less incident of separation or divorce for those who met online. So what’s the harm in trying it out? Set up a profile, peruse a few men’s profiles, and see what happens. I bet you’ll get a message from a hottie that will get you excited and thinking differently about online dating. Bonus Tip: Try at least two different dating apps or sites to start with, because they all have slightly different features.
Bumble, which allows you to swipe right on guys you’re interested in, lets you make the first move in starting a conversation.
OKCupid and Match have large pools of men and more detailed profile data, and either the man or the woman can initiate conversation. How To Start Dating Again Tip #4: Update Your Routine Learn to start dating again by updating your routine. The older you are, . While in some ways that’s true if you have continued the same patterns you’ve always had (go to work, go to store, come home), it doesn’t have to be your reality.
The trick is to get into a new routine that will maximize your opportunity to meet potential dates and to see opportunity everywhere. You might not have considered the , but 47% of Americans find that to be true. And just think: it’s one more motivating reason to put on your yoga pants and head there, even if you feel like eating ice cream on the couch. Singles mixers are another place that can be great for making contacts. Check Meetup.com to see what events target the demographic of men you’re trying to meet, then grab a single girlfriend (or be brave and go alone) and have a good time.
Again, set your expectations low; you may not meet Prince Charming, but you might get your dance on, which you might not have done for years. Be confident, talk to as many people as possible, and don’t be shy about giving your number to that cute guy with the nerdy glasses. Make being open to meeting someone part of your new routine. If you’ve taken my advice offered on how to start dating again by venturing into online dating, plan to spend 5-10 minutes each day browsing men’s profiles, sending messages, and responding to messages.
Schedule at least one singles mixer event a month. Fit more opportunities into your schedule. Bonus Tip: One great way to invite new opportunities into your life is to start saying yes more. If a friend invites you to a party with people you don’t know, resist your habit of saying no. You never know who you’ll meet. Say yes to trying new things like attending a ball game or kayaking. Even if you don’t meet a man, you will expand your experiences, and that when you do meet a guy.
How To Start Dating Again Tip #5: Be Optimistic About Love Believe in love again. One of the biggest barriers to adjusting to how to start dating again at 40 (or 30 or whenever) is a mental one. You’ve been hurt before, and your heart wants to protect itself from future pain.
If I date again, I’ll attract the same narcissistic asshole. I can’t risk being vulnerable again. If my 17-year marriage wasn’t love, then love doesn’t exist. Your mind tells yourself all kinds of things to keep you from risking pain again. But you know the saying: no pain, no gain. Look, I can’t promise you that you’ll never get hurt again in love. Probably you will. We all do. But that’s part of it. That’s the price you pay for eventually finding the kind of lasting and beautiful love you have only dreamed of until now.
So . Be open to falling madly, deeply into it. Because if you base your opinion about love on the last guy who broke your heart, you’re doing yourself a disservice. He wasn’t love. If he was, it wouldn’t have ended. So yes, you might have wasted years with the wrong man, but now you’ve freed yourself from him and are completely open to finding real, true love.
And this should make you feel better: a study by found that women are happier after divorce. They’re no longer . They know they’re worth more than the last man made them feel they were worth. They’re optimistic about love. You can be too. Bonus Tip: Even if you can’t possibly believe that love is around the corner, pretend that you believe it.
Use the “” strategy to convince yourself that you can find love. Don’t believe that will work? A study way back in the 20th century by Victorian philosopher William James proves otherwise.
James had a theory (though, unfortunately, no one really took it seriously until much later) that forcing a smile should make you feel happy, and frowning should make you feel sad.
He further hypothesized that So go ahead. Prove William James right. Pretend that you believe love will come your way soon and see what happens. How To Start Dating Again Tip #6: Take Your Time Take your time getting to know him. One issue I see time and time again with women who are getting back into the dating game is that they rush it.
Some may simply want the comfort of being in another relationship quickly and may rush the dating process to get to that familiarity. Others may simply not want to be in the dating pool and may settle for the first guy that looks their way. What’s your excuse? Why do you want to rush into a relationship? The first reason I urge you to take your time as you navigate how to start dating again is that you’ll probably need more time than you imagine to heal from the pain you’ve been through if you .
I know that just a few months after the end of one relationship, you can feel like you’re totally ready to move on, but believe me: you might not really be. What will dating do to you when it reminds you of those unresolved trust issues you thought you were past? Will you come undone the with someone new? Will you be defensive with every guy you date, assuming he’ll break your heart like the last one?
And even if you have fully healed from past relationships (experts say it can take 6 weeks for a shorter relationship, and months or even years for a long marriage), there’s still plenty of reason to take things slow when first getting to know a new man. Think about how long it took you to really know your past partner. It might have been a year or more before you knew every quirky thing about him.
Every fear. All his past stories. When you learn how to start dating again, the first thing you might realize is: wow, I don’t know this guy at all. You’ve got to start that getting-to-know-you process all over again.
And that takes time. But take it from me: there’s something completely beautiful about the process of getting to know someone and in . So go slow. Don’t rush it. Savor every last minute of it. Because if this particular guy is the one, you’ll one day look back and remember these early days fondly.
Even if you’re going on dates with multiple people, take your time and enjoy the single life. One day you won’t be single, and you want your memories of this period of your life to be pleasant. Bonus Tip: If you get frustrated with dating, take a break in between.
It’s perfectly okay to have some “you time” in between where you aren’t focused on finding someone to quell your loneliness. Because in truth, you have to be okay being alone before you can be a good partner to someone else.
How To Start Dating Again Tip #7: Accept That Some Things are Different Be open to new ways of dating. There’s no question that . You’ll need to adjust to meeting men through mobile apps and websites. You’ll need to step up your texting game. You’ll learn all about things like and . But those are all superficial changes that you’ll adapt to as you learn how to start dating again.
Realize that the fundamentals of who you are as a woman seeking a man are probably the same as they ever were. Standards and personality don’t change that much over time.
If you were unable to date more than one guy at a time in your 20s, you’re probably not suddenly going to be able to develop the knack for doing so now. If you could never have a one-night stand back then, trying to have one now will probably be something you end up regretting. So stay true to who you were and who you are. Be willing to try new things like online dating, and to adapting to the new way of dating and finding a relationship.
It may be uncomfortable at first, but in the long run, I guarantee you’re going to have fun. Bonus Tip: You don’t have to become an overnight dating expert. Take one thing at a time and master it. So maybe your first stop is learning Spend some time gaining confidence in that area before moving on to say, online dating. Conclusion: You may wrestle with the question who am I now that I’m older and dating again, and you may try to be as different as you can be from the young woman who ended up in a relationship that hurt so much.
You are different. You’ve had different experiences — including that negative one — and now that you’re older, you know better what you want.
But there’s still value in being true to who you were then. So allow that former self to shine a little bit, especially if she was .
You may fret over not being as thin as you once were, or think that no guy’s going to want you with the wrinkles and gray hair that might be showing up, but you’re wrong. Many men will jump at the chance to ask you out and to spend time with you. Realize, they’re on the other side of this equation. They worry that a beautiful woman like you won’t be into them because they’re balding or heavy or out of shape.
Everything you feel, they feel. Doesn’t that make you feel better? My best tip for learning how to start dating again is simply to be yourself and enjoy the process. Being fake never helped anyone. You might have tried to be someone you weren’t when you were younger.
But you’re older now and know better. You also know better than to take any shit from any man. If a man you’re dating isn’t giving you exactly what you want, move on. There’s a reason they say there are other fish in the sea.
There absolutely are, and as a sexy, confident fisherwoman, you have your choice of fish to catch! If you’re ready to get serious about finding a real partner as you learn to date again, check out my . In just 10 weeks, you’ll have the tools you need to find the love of your life.
best way to start dating again - The Best Way to Date Again After a Tough Breakup
You're trying to do everything right this time. You're processing your breakup feels. You're not rushing into a rebound relationship. You're taking the time to work on your own stuff.
So again? Well, there's no exact formula or measurement that can tell when the time is right, but there are a few signs you might be out of love purgatory. There's nothing worse than rushing into something before you're ready, especially if your last partnership ended badly or involved unhealthy behaviors and abuse. As a former Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, I saw a lot of people for a multitude of reasons (financial, housing, fear of being alone) only to realize later that it was the biggest mistake of their lives.
In a perfect world, you should only enter into a relationship with another person when you have a healthy relationship with yourself. This means something different for everyone, but at it's core is the universal truth that relationships are two whole people enhancing each other's lives, not two halves that complete each other. Here are some signs that you're strong and while you enhance theirs, in a healthy and loving way.
1. You Don't Feel The Need To Text Your Ex At 3 a.m. You have to be over your ex before you . I mean all the way over your ex.
Don't mistake the anger phase of a breakup as you being over your ex, because being angry (even feeling hateful) and being over it are two wildly separate things. One good test that you're truly over it is to ask yourself when the last time you got the urge to text them in the middle of the night was. If it was last week, odds are you still have some stuff to work out.
2. You're On Your Feet One and one equals two. There's not one person out there who is meant to complete you. Before you can work on a "we" you have to know what "I" is all about. You have to know you can stand on your own two feet. You have to be the best version of yourself. You have to have balance and happiness without a relationship. If because you think it will fill a void or bring you happiness, you'll be in for a struggle later on.
3. You Know Your Goals And Priorities If you're all goals, all the time (because you're a boss), and you don't have time for a relationship, that's totally fine! Timing matters, and your goals and priorities are yours to determine. If you're ready, and you feel like you have the , go for it. If you're juggling work school, family, and other commitments, and feel like you barely have time to take a real shower and eat something that didn't come in a microwavable box, now might not be the best time.
4. You Like Yourself RuPaul is famous for saying "If you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?" and it's so true. Poor self-esteem, or even just being in a place in your life where you really want to , will make a relationship tricky territory to navigate. You'll know you're ready to date — when you feel like you're stable and happy enough to be able to bring good stuff to your relationship. While a relationship can be good for your self-esteem, it can't be the source of it.
5. You Know What You Want The universe has unfunny jokes, in that as soon as you think you know what you want, you'll meet someone who wants the complete opposite. And you'll fall deeply in love. Still, knowing what you want is essential because it helps you filter out . And while it's totally OK to change your mind and your plans in life, you need to know what those plans are first.
And you need to know what's truly important to you, so you can let your partner know there are things you are not in a position to compromise on. 6. You've Learned From Your Mistakes If you were part of the problem in your last relationship, or if you had trust issues, communication problems, a temper, or other factors that lead to the demise of your love, you can't really expect things to go better with a new love until you get a handle on those issues.
That doesn't mean you have to be a flawless human being. It just means you have to be aware and in a meaningful way. Otherwise you're just asking for a repeat of your last bad relationship. 7. You're Emotionally Available If you're still emotionally scarred from your last breakup, you might find that you're not . When you think of the work it takes to get to know someone, to accept their flaws, to start slow, to get over that first fight, and to live unselfishly n a world of compromise, you'll either think "I'm ready" or "that sounds exhausting." If you feel the later, you might not have the emotional energy yet to get back into the dating game.
If you can pass this checklist with resounding shouts of "yass queen" then you know you're ready to open the floodgates that lead to the world of dating. Images: ;
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You may want something entirely different now than you did at another time in your life — that’s OK, too. Don’t allow other people to dictate what they think is best for you. You may want to date causally, increase your social circle, or just have someone to do things with on the weekend. You may be looking for a committed relationship or even marriage.
Going into dating with clarity about what you want allows you to match your interests more closely with those you choose to date. Plus, it tends to make things less complicated.
It’s almost unthinkable not to include online dating as part of your re-boot strategy. Not only can you meet people you would never meet in real life, but you can also use dating sites and apps to help you look for a date in your sweats or pajamas. People of all ages are finding success online, especially on popular and trusted sites like Match.com, Zoosk, and OurTime. If you’re looking for a well-rounded online dating experience overall, Match would be our #1 choice.
As for our other favorites, Zoosk is great for a more casual dating setting, and OurTime is great if you want to use a senior-specific site. For even more choices, check out our top picks as well as full reviews of each: Also, don’t overlook the tried-and-true method of meeting someone through family, friends, or other social channels.
If you’ve been out of the dating scene for some time, they might not even know you are ready and willing to date again. Many people love to play matchmaker, so share your desires with others.
Ask them if they know anyone to introduce you to or set you up with. It’s easy to do the same things day after day, week after week. If you feel like you never meet anyone new, look for ways to vary your daily activities. You’ll soon be seeing new faces and meeting new people. This requires some effort and creativity, but the pay-off could be big. Consider joining a health club, visiting the local farmers market, attending business, cultural or community events, or taking a cooking class.
You could even try something bolder like starting your own meet-up group or going on a singles cruise. Make eye contact, smile, and talk to people you meet. Add some variety in your life every week, if not on a daily basis. It’s good to have a plan. Many people believe opportunities are just supposed to magically happen without any effort. While you do hear of people meeting under what seem to be serendipitous circumstances, more often than not the two people involved have put themselves in situations where they can meet someone new.
Being intentional means you’re making something good happen, not waiting for it to happen. Being intentional about dating is entirely different from being desperate. If you have that restless voice inside saying “I’ve got to find someone right now or I will die,” it will come across in your interactions and will be a turn-off. However, being intentional about meeting new people is actually very empowering. You’re not just sitting around hoping something good will happen — you’re putting yourself out there and making something happen.
Through it all, develop and maintain your sense of humor. There is a tendency to overanalyze things in the early stages of dating — lighten up if you can. If you are overly focused on the outcome of any one date or encounter, it can sap the fun, spontaneity, and joy out of the experience. You have to allow sufficient time to get to know someone and see if a connection develops.
Be present in the moment and realize that even if someone doesn’t turn out to be your love match, you can still enjoy yourself. Physical attraction and chemistry are important, but almost everyone you meet will have some quality you can appreciate. Think of each first date as an opportunity to meet someone new and to increase your confidence. It’s alright to start out slowly and gradually pick up speed as you re-enter the dating scene, but don’t wait too long to get started. Love, dating, and romance can be some of life’s most enjoyable experiences.
Don’t stay on the sidelines — take a chance and get back in the game. Photo sources: omghow.com, cnn.com About The Author Michelle Marchant Johnson is a writer, speaker and relationship coach who partners with single women who want to find love and romance.
Go to to receive your complimentary "7 Attraction Principles" e-course, "Love Notes" newsletter and request a complimentary "Find Your Love" coaching session. Michelle found love at age 43 and is a breast cancer survivor who believes life is meant to be filled with love and passion. Connect with her on . Disclaimer: Great efforts are made to maintain reliable data on all offers presented.
However, this data is provided without warranty. Users should always check the offer provider’s official website for current terms and details. Our site receives compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear).
Our site does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.
How To Get Back Into The Dating Scene