No matter how old you are, dating can be a stressful exercise. Playing the field comes naturally for some of us, but for many more, skills that make for successful dating can take practice to acquire. Particularly for those of us who consider ourselves introverts, the idea of working at dating can be a daunting prospect. If we haven’t dated in a significant amount of time, it can seem even more so.
But dating isn’t all awkward exchanges or worrying about etiquette. When done with the right perspective, meeting new people can be energizing, rewarding, and even transformational. (Link to piece about the importance of being social as you age.) Here are three tips to help you discover, or even rediscover, the wonderful world of dating.
1. Experience new things while dating.
People bond over shared experiences. One of the best ways to get to know someone is by seeing how they respond to new challenges. Hardly a master in the kitchen? Take your date to a cooking class. Not much for the outdoors? Go bird watching. You will be amazed at how much you’ll learn about yourself and your date when you find yourselves confronted by the unfamiliar. There is no downside: You both hate the activity? You have something to bond over. You both love it? Even better.
2. Take chances.
Love often comes from unexpected places. In dating, just as in any activity, fear of failure can stop us from even attempting something. We must get over this fear. Even the proverbial trainwreck date is a learning experience. Relationships are so important to health as we age, and dating is one of the best ways to learn about what we need in a relationship. It’s one of the best things about dating: through learning about another person, we learn about ourselves.
3. Manage your expectations.
It can be easy to build up your date to a point well beyond the realistic. Especially for those of us coming off of long, happy relationships, it is all too easy to forget that dating is a fundamentally human exercise. People have flaws, and that’s okay. Perfection is boring. One of the biggest challenges to early relationships is unrealistic expectations. Go in with an open mind, and you’re much more likely to enjoy your date’s good qualities.
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and it is not meant to be relied on as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician before starting any exercise or dietary program or taking any other action respecting your health. In case of a medical emergency, call 911.