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5 Tips for Preparing to Date Again

By Carly Sackellares, MSW

Getting back out into the dating scene, especially after a long hiatus, is an understandably intimidating feat. The uncertainty and fear conjured by the COVID-19 pandemic included new dating norms—virtual dates and masked meetups. No matter the reason for your pause on dating, these tips may provide some strength and motivation as you prepare to dive into the deep end of the dating pool once again.

1. GET TO KNOW YOURSELF MORE INTIMATELY The cool thing about online dating is you have the opportunity to create a profile—a creative outlet to express to potential matches all your exceptional qualities. However, it can be easy to stray away from this purpose.

2. WRITE AND DRAW YOUR FEELINGS ALONG THE WAY Online dating can bring up emotions of control. We want people to like us. We may have a fear of rejection. These feelings may entice you towards manipulating your profile as an attempt to appeal to the masses. When we journal with words, shapes, colors, we stay in touch with our feelings and might better appreciate our authentic selves.

3. SHIFT YOUR MINDSET Instead of trying to manipulate, you can use the process of creating your profile to explore who you are. When we have a better sense of ourselves, we can show up more authentically. Speaking of showing up, keep in mind that if you manipulate, you won't always be able to hide behind your curated profile. Eventually, you'll have to show up to the date!

4. BE PLAYFUL WITH IT So, have fun with your profile. Take your time. Nothing is permanent. You may want to revisit some things every once in a while—maybe you've picked up a new hobby you want to share.

5. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY The experience becomes more playful when we let go of our focus on response and redirect our energy towards getting to know ourselves more intimately. Dig deep, and allow your authentic self to shine!

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