I haven’t dated for a long time, where do I start?
For me, dating has always been scary. I was always capable of conversation and enjoying common interests but due to my inability to say, “I like you, do you want to go out sometime?” always landed me in the friends’ zone. In my later years, I still struggled with the first step of showing that I am (more than) a nice guy and saying or showing that I want to be your guy. That’s me though, and things I have done in my life (and not done) have made me the kind of person I am today. I’m not perfect, but I am trying my best with everything that I do and everyone that I do it with. In other words, I feel your pain and know first-hand that dating is scary and more so if you have not dated for quite some time. Let’s look at some ways that we can address this.
These days a date could be a swipe or click away; the digital age has given us the efficiency. Given the appetising choice of dating apps and websites, it’s not difficult to filter and browse through the profiles of other people who are supposedly looking for something similar to you, a relationship. Even going old school and finding someone offline, it’s not impossible to meet new faces and let your’s be seen. For those who haven’t for a long time, here are five ways you can get back into the swing of things and in the grand dance hall that is dating.
Let’s look at things from the outside in
Now, there is nothing wrong with you but let’s set things up, so you get off to the best possible start. You have been away from the dance hall of dating that maybe your dancing shoes just aren’t up to much these days. Times have changed, people have changed, and believe it or not you have changed. Some more than others, but we all change.
I read in a couple of relationship courses – A Female’s/Male’s Guide to understanding and dating Men/Women by Kain Ramsay. The courses are great to get things going and truly understand what you are bringing to the relationship dance floor. It looks at some theories and models, adapting to and using pillars of healthy relationships. But something that I found value in was reflective questions that tested my attitude.
The questions were as follows:
"Can my partner and friends be themselves around me?"
"Do I conduct myself in a way that honours other people?"
"Do I tell people the truth about what's in my heart?"
"Do I respond maturely in tight situations, or do I react and blame my attitudes and behaviours on other people?”
These are all very valid questions that you need to ask yourself. These questions are related to the seven pillars of healthy relationships, but even on their own, the questions are thought-provoking. Try them out now.
The real value I found in these courses is that you really learn about yourself. I personally learned how to take more responsibility for my own thoughts and actions. It’s only when you truly know yourself that you will know what and who you are looking for.
Take a course - The Alpha Male's Guide to Dating & Understanding Women or The Alpha Female's Guide to Dating & Understanding Men. Currently, they are priced at £10 for the next few days through Black Friday season, and who knows maybe longer.
Take the ultimate outside looking in approach, and set yourself up well for every dance on the dating dancefloor.
Being honest is one of the single most important things you can do if you are looking to get back into the dating scene, but you have been away from it for quite some time. Being honest these days in under-rated. We have all struggled at some point to be completely honest in the past because sometimes a white lie is more comfortable, or results in fewer questions or takes someone away from the topic that you are trying to avoid.
Being honest though will ultimately set the tone for not just your date but for you too. If you can’t be honest with yourself, then you are always going to miss-manage your expectations and miss the opportunities that are ahead of you. Now, being honest doesn’t mean declare your most inner darkest secrets or taking the opportunity to be rude. It means knowing what you want, and the type of person you want. It means knowing that you understand and accept that you are not perfect, but you are trying to be the best possible version of you every day. It means owning your imperfections and accepting those of others without judgement.
Being honest also means owning your state of mind and your emotions.
Take your time
Not rushing is critical when you are trying to get back into the dating scene. If you rush, you are destined to make more mistakes that you can handle. Mistakes are okay, but you need to be able to learn from the mistake(s) and to do that objectively and emotionally you can’t be jumping into date after date and relationship after relationship.
This almost seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people that I work with as a Life Coach and they tell me that at one point (… “and I think this was when it all started to go wrong”) “I just acted too quickly”. Believe it or not, by structuring this blog the way I have, I am already trying to encourage you to keep a steady pace, one that you can consume and fundamentally benefit from. You are an adult, and you owe it to yourself to take it slow. Make it a slow dance if you will. You won’t regret it.
Visit Two or Three of the Places that you see Yourself Having a Date
This works, and I’ll tell you why… Athletes (especially Boxer’s or MMA fighters) picture themselves not only winning a fight, but how they will win the fight, and not just how they will win the fight, but every practical way that the fight could go wrong before they go on to win the fight. A big breath required for that last part, but this technique works just as well for everyday people like you and I; it’s called Positive Response Foresight.
Positive Response Foresight is a technique where you mentally visit a place or situation where you will need to react and interact with variables that you can’t control. All you can control is you, so you might as well do this so that you can be comfortable in any given situation.
What you should consider though is kicking this up a notch and visit the places long before you agree to go on a date there. In fact, do this before you decide to take the first physical leap into dating. If you are struggling for places to go or things to do as a first or second date, keep an eye out for a future blog where I explore this.
As discussed in steps two and three be honest with yourself and don’t rush. You wouldn’t expect your date to take you to Paris on a first or second date, so there is little point in jumping and doing a Positive Response Foresight visit to here as you will gain nothing and get nowhere fast.
Use a Matchmaker Service Provider
Dating Apps are easy, I agree entirely. They are quick, to the point but don’t yield the best and most satisfying results. Are they rubbish? No, they aren’t rubbish, far from it but if you are coming back to this beautiful world of dating again after an extended sabbatical, do you genuinely want to engage in an App that 99% of its users will judge your suitability of a date purely on aesthetics? After all of the great work you have put in up to this point do you want to fall into the trap of being judgemental on looks alone? It’s more than a possibility that you would and remember you are not perfect, but you are trying to be.
After putting all of that effort into being honest, do you want to risk your personal progress based on something that someone has written about themselves within 2 minutes?
After taking your time do you want to contradict yourself by using the fast decision app or website where you are very quickly swipe left or swipe right?
Can you really picture yourself with someone (on a date) that you have initially qualified them for a date based on looks? Their profile was maybe quite funny but the info being just the banter that you would expect from immature boys and girls in the street, do you want to do a Positive Response Foresight location visit with that in mind?
I am guessing that you just answered no to most, if not all, of the above questions. But what if I’m not ready to use such as service that INTRO NW provide? Oh, I thought you would never ask.
Matchmaker service providers and personal introduction agencies spend a fair amount of time getting to know you and will go to great lengths to match you with another person who actually matches with you organically, and not an algorithm. Remember they have also spent lots of time with that person, getting to know them so they are very well placed to gauge how you will get on with each other.
Are they going to get in right first time, every time? No, remember they are just like you and I. They are not perfect, but they are trying their best every single day.
You got me, Christopher! Your number five suggestion makes a lot of sense but how do ensure that I give the service provider all the right information to ensure they get me and find me the perfect date, that will hopefully go on to be a very long, successful, loving, and satisfying relationship.
Go back to my first suggestion. Take a course that indeed lets you explore yourself. Does it need to be Kain’s? No, but I trust him after spending several years studying with him, working with him and fundamentally getting to know him. If that’s not enough, Kain is, and his courses are in the top 2% rated courses on the Udemy platform. He has over 50,000 students and has a near perfect 5-star rating from over 5,000 students who have ranked the respective courses they have taken of his.
Kain Ramsay or not, taking a short course will help your matchmaking service provider understand you completely, as you will at this point understand yourself entirely without hesitation, bursting with confidence, faith, trust and hope.
Thanks for taking the time to check out this blog. Next time I’ll be writing a blog that some of your that are already in long-term relationships or marriages after using a matchmaker like Intro NW, it will be entitled “Tips for Making your Anniversary Special.”
And In case you missed my last one here is the link to my Dealing with Your First Fight blog - https://www.intro-nw.com/single-post/2017/11/05/Dealing-with-Your-First-Fight
Cheers, Christopher McPhillips
Details and Links:
Telephone: 07968 996 271
About Christopher: Born in Edinburgh (1984) but was brought up and has lived in Bathgate all his life. Now that he has retired from professional wrestling, yes, that’s right he used to wear spandex pants and do that “fake” wrestling stuff. Christopher recently left his role as Marketing Team Leader at a small a communications and IT provider company in Edinburgh to pursue a self-employment as a Life Coach, Social Media Consultant and Professional Blogger/Writer. He is naturally creative and all round a people person. A very hard worker and will go an extra mile after he has gone the extra mile for a colleague or client. Christopher has blogged and written knowledge articles for large communication companies such as Sky when he was part of their Social Media and Communities team and has written blogs about various topics via LinkedIn, now his writing is hosted on his own site. His interests are broadly people, places and culture. Despite being retired from actively performing on shows he is still a big fan of the wrestlin’ and when he gets the time will spend an evening watching.
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