You’re single, and you’ve been single for several months, perhaps even years. But now you’re ready to get back out there and start dating again. But the last time you hit the scene, they were calling it “the scene.”
So what should you do? How should you act? What should you wear? And even before you get to that point, you’re probably asking yourself, How the f–k do I get a date?
With advancements in technology and the ease with which you can connect with people all around the world, when it comes to dating, you have it all in the palm of your hands–literally.
Think about it; You have so many people to choose from now, and while that may be exciting for some, others can find it intimidating and overwhelming.
But STOP! Take a deep breath, and don’t panic.
If you’re brand new to dating, or you’ve been out of the game for a while, we’ll help you discover new and exciting ways to put yourself out there and find that perfect person of your dreams.
However, be warned; there may also be one or two nightmares. But that’s OK because your person is out there, and you will find them.
1. Sign Up for a Dating App (Or 2)
If this is your first go ’round with a dating app, or you’ve tried before and had a terrible experience, try again. It may seem scary for some, but it’s an excellent way to meet people from diverse backgrounds with whom you wouldn’t typically contact.
Additionally, a sense of ease and safety comes with sitting behind a screen and picking and choosing who you would like to get to know better. There’s no pressure, and you don’t have to deal with cringy guys (or girls) invading your personal space and asking questions that have you eyeing the nearest exit.
Dating apps are the most effortless and uncomplicated way to introduce or re-introduce dating. They’re simple to navigate and can filter out undesirables. For example, you can filter such categories as:
Using a dating app is also a great way to meet and talk to people who you may not usually come into contact with because you:
Even though you have these specific differences, it doesn’t mean they aren’t your perfect match. Ever heard of opposites attract?
If you still feel hesitant to try a dating app, look online and do some research. Then, check out the reviews of sites that interest you to see which ones best fit your needs.
2. Know and Understand What You Want
This step is essential because it makes it easier to put the wheels in motion and get the momentum going. People who know what they want immediately look toward that direction and go for it instead of simply taking what comes and then realizing later that this ain’t it.
The sooner you gain clarity, the better. For example, do you want a long-term relationship, or are you looking for something more casual?
Physically speaking, are you looking for someone tall? What about hair color? Before beginning your quest, you should know what you’re looking for. Doing so will save you a lot of time and energy.
The easiest method is to take a pen and a piece of paper and jot down all your desired values and characteristics you’d like a partner to have.
Also, write down what type of relationship you want. This is only a general idea, so you don’t need to stick to your list. However, you do want to have a guideline. Once you’ve figured this out, navigating the dating world will be much less unnerving.
3. Get Your Butt off the Couch and Get Out There!
This can be tricky because once you’re comfortable being a homebody, there’s not much that can pry you out of your comfy bed. It’s just so much easier to snuggle up with a warm blanket, pizza, and a marathon of GOT.
However, you made the decision to get out there, so stick to it. If you’re going to get serious about meeting someone, you’ll need to put away the flannels and turn off the channels. Your perfect match will not magically knock on your door and whisk you away from single-dom if they don’t know you exist.
So, here’s what to do; put on your best outfit, invite some friends and hang out for a night on the town. This way, you’ll start meeting and interacting with exciting and new people outside your friends.
Great Places to Strike Up a Conversation with Strangers
Public places are the best for talking to people who may be open to chatting. People are more at ease in public than in a secluded or empty restaurant. Some good places to find strangers to talk to include:
4. Keep an Open Mind
I understand blind dates and speed dates can seem like the Big Bad Monster, but what’s the worst that can happen? What if you did meet your perfect match?
What would happen if you allowed your friend to set you up with someone? They may not be the right person for you, but you may get a good friend out of it.
They’ll be able to set you up, and as a fellow matchmaker, trust me when I say they’ll love the challenge!
If you were able to magically take a poll on all the world’s successful friend setups, you’d be pleasantly surprised. Often, this is one of the best ways to meet someone because your friends already know your type and have vetted the prospects.
Speed dating may seem too drastic for you, but what do you have to lose? It’s a fun and interesting way to meet new people. Plus, it’s good practice on how to strike up a conversation if you go the traditional dating route.
5. Join a Class
Have you ever taken a cooking class? Do you want to try one? Classes are one of the best ways to meet people because the focus is mainly on the activity, and meeting someone is secondary, so there’s no pressure.
From dance classes, gyms, art classes, book clubs, hiking clubs, and sports clubs, you have endless opportunities to start a conversation and meet people with the same interests.
Signing up for a club or a class is one way to develop skills and interests. Joining a gym is not only a good way to meet people, but you’ll also get in shape, which is a bonus.
Clubs and classes take place in a casual setting, so there’s no pressure. Plus, when you meet someone this way, you already have something in common and plenty to talk about.
Again, don’t feel pressure to meet someone in a class. Instead, focus on and enjoy the lessons. At the very least, you’ll end the class with brand-new skills and possibly some new friends.
6. Enjoy the Single Life (And Learn More about Yourself)
Slow down, and don’t be so quick to hop into the dating pool. Instead, enjoy a solo life that can be super amazing as you learn more about your strengths, weaknesses, desires, and needs.
Often, we want so badly to be one half of a couple that we don’t take time to relish in what we already have, and that’s peace, time, and freedom.
Being single, you don’t have to check in with anyone and can come and go as you please. This is the time to figure out who you are and what makes you great–because you are!
You’ll also be more likely to find a long-lasting, happy relationship because you’re more secure in who you are and will be able to communicate your wants and needs easily.
What are some benefits of taking the time to get to know yourself on a deeper level? Glad you asked because there are plenty, but here are some top advantages.
7. Start Expanding Your Friend Circle
While staying within your comfort zone is nice, expanding your friendship circles will help introduce you to many new people. As previously mentioned, one great way to meet new people who may be perfect matches is through friends. So, get dressed and get out there and meet new friends!
Easier said than done, huh? But you can do it, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as complimenting someone standing in line next to you at the grocery store.
At your kid’s school, strike up a conversation with another parent waiting in the pickup line. Additionally, you can interact with people at a sports club or become more sociable at your workplace. The possibilities are endless.
Ways to Expand Your Friend Circle
The more often you encounter people, the better it is to increase your social circle. Begin by attending a regular activity, whether once a week or once a month. Then, when you see them regularly, start building up commonalities. Here are other ways to expand your social circle.
Most times, we have nerves because we lack confidence in ourselves, and we have a fear of being judged or rejected. So figuring out what you’re nervous about is an excellent start to eliminating your worries.
Then try the worst-case scenario method. Ask yourself what’s the worst thing that can happen if you try something new. For example, what’s the worst thing that can happen if you go up and talk to that guy? If he blows you off, big deal. There are plenty of other guys. But what if he’s interested and finds it refreshing for a girl to approach a guy? You won’t know unless you try.
If you’d like to meet new people, combine it with assisting others. During tough times, people need more help than usual, so if you can be the person to help them, it may be a solid beginning point for a future friendship.
When was the last time you spoke to your neighbors? Why not call and see if they need anything? Volunteering is also a great way to meet others and offer assistance. A big mistake people make is that everyone already has their social circles intact, and that’s not necessarily true.
Before attempting to make new friends, reach out to those you haven’t talked to in a while. They may be waiting to hear from you.
One reason you’re talking and seeing each other less could be due to work, family obligations, or medical reasons. So reach out. Send a short “How are you?” text or call them.
Another way to reach out is through social media. Have you commented on their posts lately? You can even DM them and ask how they are. Of course, you don’t owe it to them to give them another chance at reconnection, but it is a nice gesture, especially if you’re looking to make friends.
Even though most social connecting apps are for dating, some offer assistance with finding platonic relationships, one of which is Bumble BFF. Apps like this allow people to communicate with long-distance workout partners and for people nearby to chat with.
8. Change Up Your Routine
I love routine and knowing what I’m doing, so I get it if you’re the type that prefers to stay in your lane. But you’ll need to switch it up if you want to meet someone. I’m not saying to alter your entire lifestyle. Instead, I suggest making small changes that will put you out there to meet more people.
For example, try someplace new instead of always going to the same cafe or bookstore and seeing the same familiar people over and over again. Changing your routine opens up new opportunities to try new experiences and meet a new crowd.
That said, if you’re going to change it up, be open, friendly, and especially approachable. Unfortunately, when people step out of their comfort zones, they withdraw because they feel uneasy and awkward in a new situation.
When you find yourself someplace you don’t usually frequent, look for a friendly face and initiate a conversation. For example, if you’re in a coffee shop, tell them you’re new to the shop and ask for recommendations.
Figuring Out Where to Meet New People
Meeting new people isn’t that challenging, but it can be if you don’t know where to start looking. When figuring out where to meet people, keep these tips in mind.
You probably don’t even know about many places in your own city. The best way to find new spots for socializing is through your local visitor’s bureau, Chamber of Commerce, or a newcomer’s guide. These options are the perfect way to find your city’s hot spots.
It’s easy to become discouraged when looking for new friends because, at times, it can feel awkward to initiate a conversation with a stranger. Also, doing it for the first time can be daunting, but it’ll be much easier after the second or third time.
You may not meet your best friend immediately. However, the one person you did meet may have their own circle of friends that you’re now a part of, and your bestie may be one of them. So, keep at it.
Often, we say we want new friends but then don’t attempt to find some. Make finding new friends a second job. Be willing to invest time and effort and try different socializing options.
9. Ask Them Out
Often, we shy away from making moves on something (or someone) we genuinely want, and what happens? We miss out.
For instance, if you had your gaze on someone for a while, why not work on building up the courage to ask them out? You’ve flirted and even gone out for a work lunch or two with each other, so why not take the plunge and ask them out? What’s the worst that can happen?
So what if they say no? That just means you’re free to move on and find someone hotter. However, if they say yes–it’s on! This could be the beginning of something great. You never would’ve known if you didn’t grow a pair and asked them out. So good for you!
For those more timid, if asking them out in person is way too intimidating, send a simple text and ask them if they’d like to join you for a lunchtime coffee. An afternoon event makes it more hang out-ish and less date-ish.
Never regret taking a chance and putting yourself out there. All it takes is one time to find love.
10. Be Ok with Going on a Couple of First Dates
You will likely go out on a couple of dates before one clicks, and you meet someone who matches your vibe. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. You can learn to enjoy the journey to get to the prize.
The more dates you go on, the more you’ll learn about yourself. Plus, you’ll make necessary tweaks to your ‘want list.’ Remember when I said it’s only a general rule and not set in stone when you make your list?
When dating, you’ll meet people who want more than what you’re willing to give, and sometimes you’ll be the one desiring more.
Some people may be great to look at, but the conversation lacks. Other people may end up being friend-zoned, which is OK. It just means they weren’t for you. Dating is supposed to be fun and not stressful, so relax and enjoy the ride.
11. Maintain an Active Social Media Life
How exactly do you put yourself out there on social media? Of course, a straightforward way to meet and reconnect with people worldwide is by checking out global trends–and social media is the best way to do that.
Show snippets of your life by posting your interests. This allows others to interact with you. In turn, you should regularly interact with other people by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts.
The best thing about social media is that even the shyest person can find a way to strike up a conversation because it’s relatively un-intimidating and effortless.
It’s also a good method for finding out what someone likes and dislikes. Additionally, check out their posts. They may enjoy some of the same hobbies you do. Social media apps easily identify commonalities by simply browsing through a profile.
Putting yourself out there for dating can seem terrifying at first. But the trick is to take baby steps to build self-confidence and find that amazing person.
Each date gets easier, and you’ll find yourself having fun. However, to be successful, the important thing is to set a clear goal for yourself and define what you want. Once you take that first step, the rest will fall into place.