When you’re considering dating after being single for a long time you can feel anxious about how to get started and wonder what has changed since you last went looking for love. Dating doesn’t have to be a daunting experience; with the right mindset and purposeful action you can make dating fun and effective.
Dating when you are in your 20’s and even into your early 30’s is much different than dating after you’ve been single for a long time. Back then you had a much larger social circle and probably spent more time hanging out with friends than you do now. It was easier to make connections and you had more opportunities to meet other singles.
Now that you’re older and looking to date again, you’ll want to update your dating strategies so that you are not disappointed right out the gate and lose your motivation.
If You’re Dating After Being Single For A Long Time, You Need to Know These 11 Things
Your Old Dating Strategies Won’t Work For You The Same Way
It’s easy to date when you’re young. You have a large social circle. Most people your age are single and it’s easy to meet new people who are single too. When you meet someone you’re interested in if you both find each other attractive, then you can quickly get into a relationship.
Dating when you’re young is intuitive and instinctual. You don’t have too many other obligations that get in the way like children or a busy career.
Dating after being single for a long time has a lot more complications. Being older you can be more settled in your ways, less likely to socialize as much. Most of the people you meet out in the world are married or in a committed relationship.
Your dating strategies have to change to adjust to these differences. Since you don’t have as much free time, you’ll have to be more intentional about your search for love.
Your Online Dating Profile Is Your Marketing Materials
The majority of people put too much importance on a prospective date’s online profile, while not putting enough attention on their own. They quickly create a profile like they are donating blood – go in get it done and don’t think about it again, and never update it, make changes, or look to improving it.
Your profile is your marketing materials and if it isn’t getting you the results you want, it is important to make changes to it. If your dating profile isn’t bringing you quality matches then you’ll want to make sure you have recent photos where you are smiling and looking directly into the camera. Dress to look your best and be sure to include a headshot from the shoulders up, as well as a full-body shot. It may sound cliché, however, facts show that men swipe right for a woman wearing red more than another color.
Regularly update your profile so that the dating site sees you as an active user and keeps you at the top of recommended matches. It’s like shuffling your profile to the top of the deck.
Thinking about your profile as marketing material is important so that you understand you are advertising yourself to potential matches. It’s not personal – it’s simply important for you to work at showing up in a way that will attract the right kind of man and turn off those who are not a match for you.
Don’t Look For Your Soulmate In A Dating Profile
You’re busy. You don’t want to waste time with men who aren’t what you’re looking for. So, like many women, you make the mistake of deselecting any man who doesn’t fit exactly what you have in mind.
When you are returning to dating after being single for a long time, you can waste a lot of valuable time scouring through profiles attempting to find one that is a perfect match to your criteria for a mate.
Stop looking for your soulmate in a profile! Instead, look for someone to have a cup of coffee with. It’s like shopping online – you may put a bunch of dresses in the shopping cart before pairing them down to make your purchase.
Sending a wink, a smile, a rose, or swiping right is not a lifelong commitment and is not something you should agonize over. These actions equate you putting them in your shopping cart BEFORE you buy. There’s no commitment. Send off a smile or swipe right and don’t think about them again.
Online dating is a numbers game. The more people you contact and go on dates with, the more chance you have of meeting someone who you can create lasting love with. Plus, every person you meet knows other people you have not met yet.
Don’t Get Attached To Someone Before You Even Meet
There are countless stories of people who are scammed from someone they met online. The easiest way to avoid this is to not invest emotionally in someone you’ve never met in person. Never send money to a stranger is an easy rule to stick to, however, it’s just as important that you don’t invest your heart in an acquaintance.
At the very least, you’ll want to meet via video chat before you even allow any thoughts of a possible match to enter your mind. Letting your imagination get the better of you because you want it to work out will only set you up for disappointment.
There is no reason to get attached to someone who writes interesting emails and is easy to talk to on the phone. Wait until you meet that person in person and share the same physical space with them to know that you have a connection and real attraction before you stop meeting other potential matches.
Nothing is real until you meet in person! When chemistry is present it’s easy to get excited when you discover an interesting person especially when you are dating after being single for a long time.
Take Your Time Through The Dating Process
This may seem counterintuitive, but you will get better results if you date slowly, take your time before jumping into a commitment, and get to know him for several months before exclusivity. You are worth loving and that means you are also worth the wait.
Many people jump into a commitment ASAP and date for 3-9 months before figuring out the guy is not an ideal match, or he isn’t the kind of person they had hoped. If you keep committing early on you’ll spend more time in short term relationships and continue spinning your wheels instead of finding the man you can share your life with.
Chemistry is great when you’re young, but if you really want to create lasting love, chemistry is only one ingredient in the lasting love pie. You need chemistry, but chemistry alone won’t sustain a relationship.
Take your time when dating after being single for a long time. Discover who someone is and what he values. Don’t rush to exclusivity only to discover that you aren’t on the same page down the road.
Have A Dating Rotation
Dating multiple men is the way to move through the dating process when you’re dating after being single for a long time.
This forces you to take things slowly, meet more potential matches, and continue to not invest too much emotionally in one guy before he’s proven worthy of your heart. This will also speed up the process of you reaching the goal of finding an ideal match.
Dating multiple men at once allows you to discover about yourself through the dating process. You can compare your feelings and your behavior from one situation to the next so you can see what is really serving you in your choices and what is an internal block to the lasting love you desire.
A man who really wants a relationship with you will be willing to wait for you. Always remember that you are the prize!
Use Your Dates To Discover More About Yourself
If you truly want to find lasting love then you’ll want to grow your relationship skills. Dating is a great way to discover more about yourself, the beliefs you have about love and relationship, and the strategies you’ve developed over the years.
When dating after being single for a long time you can utilize dating as your own personal growth workshop. See how you’ve grown since your past relationship experiences, See if you’ve improved your communication skills and practice speaking up while dating so there is not a lot of risk involved.
You’re probably not even aware of how you could be getting in your own way and blocking yourself from the love you want. Since you’re now dating after being single for a long time, use this time to learn about your strategies for giving and receiving love while also developing new communication and relationship skills.
These skills are the foundation for creating long-lasting love with an ideal partner. Remember, sex is instinctual, but the skills for healthy relationships are learned. Don’t just rely on your instincts.
Don’t Iron Out Conflicts
How you and your partner handle conflict is one of the most important things to identify through the dating process. Before you make a commitment to spend your life with someone you’ll want to know if the two of you can overcome conflict.
Discord is inevitable in your intimate relationships and if you are dating after being single for a long time you don’t want to have an unrealistic expectation that you’ll find someone you never argue with. You’ll never meet a human being you never have any conflict or problems with.
Life is full of challenges. Having someone by your side to navigate those challenges together is one of the benefits of being in a relationship. Don’t iron out conflicts because you’re afraid you’ll scare him away.
Instead, use conflict as a way to learn more about each other. How someone responds to a disagreement tells you a lot about whether or not the two of you can go the distance.
Don’t Excuse Bad Behavior When You Are Attracted To Someone
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when you are dating after being single for a long time is to ignore red flags when you are really attracted to someone. Giving the benefit of the doubt to someone you barely know can burn you and leave you feeling like there are no good men left in the world.
Don’t make excuses for him when he treats a waiter badly or when he criticizes you or your behavior. A man tells you who he is by his behavior. Believe him.
If he doesn’t treat you well early on it won’t ever just magically get better. You deserve a partner who is willing to take responsibility for his behavior and treats you with kindness and respect.
Ask For What You Want And Share How You Feel
A man who wants a relationship with you wants to know how to make you happy. Tell him. Don’t expect him to be a mind reader. Also, share with him how you feel – both positively and negatively. Emotional authenticity is the quickest way to create emotional intimacy.
Because you’re dating after being single for a long time you may feel a bit rusty sharing how you feel. Don’t shy away from speaking up and making requests. You may discover that the man you are seeing is more than willing to give you what you desire.
There is always a risk involved in giving your heart to someone, and we want to assure you that the rewards are great when you select an ideal mate. By being your authentic self you will know that you are loved for who you really are.
Choose To Be Optimistic And Kind
Judgment and cynicism are your biggest enemies to lasting love. Dating after being single for a long time can be scary, and the best action you can take is to choose to be optimistic and kind.
Resist the urge to share any mishaps or dating horror stories. Focusing on the men who are flaky, too aggressive, or clearly not who they say they are in their profile will only dampen your enthusiasm.
Beware of becoming judgmental or letting your negative experiences make you cynical. Cynicism and judgment are your biggest blocks to the lasting love you crave. Keep your heart and mind open and curious. Move on quickly from men who don’t feel safe in any way and forget about them. Emotional safety is just as important as physical safety as most people on dating sites are looking for love just like you.
Put your focus on the positive and instead of expecting the right guy to sweep you off your feet, allow the connection to grow over time.
Love is available to you no matter how long of a break you take from dating. It’s never too late to meet the love of your life. Approaching dating purposefully and focusing on your bigger goals will make the journey a joyful one.
Love doesn’t have to be hard nor do you have to struggle along the way. Knowing how to recognize the right man and what to do when you meet him, gives you the confidence to begin the journey. Pick up a complimentary copy of our acclaimed ebook: Recognizing Mr. Right to discover the secret to finding your soulmate.
Orna and Matthew Walters are TV’s favorite dating and relationship experts. They uncover subconscious blocks to love so that you can select an ideal partner to share your life with. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.