Dating in 2015 is probably one of the most phenomenal, strange and shocking experiences if you’ve been out of the game for a while. The rules of dating have changed over the past decade and yes, there is even a Dating Book for Dummies! Plus, social media has influenced the dating game significantly. So you find yourself dating again and feeling lost, questioning or unsure of what to do, then this blog is for you.
Can you talk to the people you’re interested in? One of the struggles I faced was how do I talk to men, especially when I felt insecure and nervous. What I found was that exposure is best. Engage yourself with activities where you have to communicate with others. Find ways to get connected into a community and just start talking! You can do this through running clubs, workouts, bike clubs, brewery tours, dance lessons (my personal favorite) and or an art class like photography or painting – just to name a few. Not only will you have fun doing what you already like, you’re also more likely to find someone with the same interests as you.
Get friendly with technology. There are several ways technology can be used in your favor. If you’re really uncomfortable talking to potential dates, try using a free dating site like Tinder or Plenty of Fish. I know…they are known as hookup sites, but you never have to meet those you’re talking to in person or share personal information. Or meetup.com is a more casual and interesting way to engage in conversations and learn to be social outside of a dating or serious relationship. Match.com and eHarmony.com are two of the more serious ways to connect and develop a more personal relationship. These sites are designed to focus on compatibility and take care of most of the work it takes to find someone to connect with.
Have some good friends to laugh with. You will most likely come into contact with some interesting characters who bring both a shock factor to the date and/or leave you speechless. Write down these moments and keep a journal to reflect on later. Oddly, this is very helpful to recognize not only your process of dating, but also help you narrow down exactly what you are looking for in a future partner. Sharing these experience with close friends or others in the same situation helps to normalize that you’re not the only one going through the dating game.
Don’t be afraid to be alone. Sometimes there seems to be so much pressure to find someone to take to weddings, special occasions, family functions or just to look normal around the sea of other couples. Stop! There is nothing wrong with being single or going solo to a gathering. Be you, find freedom in trying new things and being secure in your own skin and circumstances. There is not a single thing wrong in being single and just because you’re single, doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you.
Enjoy the process. The dating game has opened up a whole different world for me and who I am. I’ve learned more about myself than I ever imagined. I found out I can take care of me; I can make my own decisions; and I can have as much fun as I want. My life has opened up to chasing my dreams and learning the little things don’t really matter at the end of the day. Good luck and keep your head up!
Tristan Beymer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and marriage and family counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. She specializes in helping couples rebuild their relationship to be strong, healthy and passionate. She also works with individuals to overcome difficulties related to trauma and addictions.