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Everybody needs some time off from dating at some point, especially when the dates have not been going well and you are starting to feel frustrated.  However, there’s no need to avoid dating forever -- especially when you have the tools to approach it successfully. You can start re-entering the dating scene by treading familiar territory first.  This means informing your best friends, closest colleagues and perhaps even your immediate family that you want to start dating again.  The reason you will confide such an announcement to these circles is because you want your next date to be someone they know and think would be a valuable person to spend time with.  You might also be surprised that the people you are closest to already have a good idea of why your previous dates ended so poorly – meaning they may know how to help you steer clear of potentially bad dates and help you get back on your feet again.

When someone close to you does recommend that you date someone they know, you should start the process by asking your friend, colleague or relative questions about the new prospective date.  Some important questions to ask are:

  • “Is this date someone I would be interested in carrying on a conversation with?”
  • “Is he/she single now or seeing other people?”
  • “Has he/she recently broken up with his/her previous partner?”
  • “Is he/she in a hurry to date someone new?”
  • “What do we have in common?”
  • “Does he/she expect commitment right away or are they willing to wait to find the right match?”

The reason these are important questions is because you want to take your time in finding the right person.  You definitely don’t want to make the same mistakes that led you to take a time out from dating all over again.  At the same time, you want to nurture your heart now that you are ready to take these risks.  You should explain this clearly to the person setting you up to avoid misunderstandings.

If you feel that the match is someone you would like to get to know, it is time to set the date.  Are you comfortable with a blind date?  If not, you can ask your friend if you can chat briefly with the prospective date on the phone or online.  This will help you get a feel for the person without the expectations of a date getting in the way.  If you think the person would be a good date, you can go ahead and ask them for a formal meet-up somewhere you find comfortable and enjoyable.

Take caution that there is always the risk of rejection whenever you go on a date.  So although it may be thrilling that you have found someone new to get to know, don’t expect that he or she is already your “soul mate” or someone you would want to spend the rest of your life with.  Building a relationship is a slow process of trial and error, because it takes time to get to know the right person in order to gain trust and true affection.