Monday, May 26, 2008

Jumping Back Into Dating?

I recently went out with some friends for a special event. Before the event, I hesitated to go. Why? Well, because before this event every attempt at going out and having fun had been tainted by my recent relationship breakup. It seemed like every time I tried to go out and have fun, I'd think about *her* and make myself miserable. Sure, I could have some fun. But I was really trying to fake it and just get through the pain of the breakup and perhaps the feelings of still "being in love" with my ex-girlfriend.

With dating, though, as in all things, there comes a point where you have to just feel the pain and go out again, anyway. If you really loved someone, you'll still feel something - perhaps even a feeling of "betraying" the trust you had with your former partner, by dating someone new. If this feeling is overwhelmingly strong, you probably aren't yet ready to date anyone new. So, be alert to your inner heart and soul communication.

Yet, in time, those funny feelings and feelings of betrayal will fade. New memories will fill up the space of your dating memory bank, and although the old memories will always be there, the new memories will become more important in the forefront of your mind. While it isn't easy to jump back into the dating game, at some point, you've got to do it, right? Unless, of course, you're comfortable being single the rest of your life. Personally, I enjoy love, friendship, and companionship that comes with relationships. So, I'd rather be dating than not dating. That's me.

Recently, I found that by experimenting and creating a few dates showed me again, ever so clearly, what I *don't* want in relationships. I can attract women easily enough, but I need to be cognizant of what I want, for sure. Yeah, a couple of those recent dates didn't quite end in bliss (some do, some don't, next!). The old cliche that "you have to kiss enough frogs to find the prince" also holds true for women, apparently. However, one woman, in particular, gave me a nudge towards what I DO want from my relationships.

You see, I went ahead and went to the event (a cruise with salsa dancing as the main event) and had the time of my life! My date, arranged for me by my salsa instructors, was a pleasant surprise: smart, pretty, sexy, and well-dressed. Not only that, but she's super fun and definitely a better dancer than I am. Anyway, we had a great time. While I can't say at this point where the new relationship will lead, I can say I'm quite glad I put myself back out there again.

If you're a guy, it is a little harder to get back into dating. After all, men have to take the initiative in dating and ASK women out (usually). If you were dumped or rejected it will be harder, also, because you've got to beef up your power and self-esteem to be the confident man with swagger that attracts women. My advice: begin with small steps.

Guys: if you're sitting at home, not doing much dating, it is totally up to you to begin to ask women out again and start to date anew. I recommend you ask women out with the sole (soul?) purpose to just have fun. Don't try to take her to bed or anything like that. Just have a good time. In time, you'll start meeting people that will stir your desire for more. Gals: if you're sitting at home and wondering when or if you'll ever date again, it probably won't be long before someone asks you out IF you're sending out signals that you're available. Put yourself in places where you're most likely to meet a man who you'd like to date, and if you're friendly and having fun, as well as looking good, you'll probably get asked out. It starts with a smile, a hello, and a "sure, I'd love to" when someone asks you out. Of course, make sure you DO want to go out with whoever asks you. And, whatever you do, don't go to bed with anyone who doesn't seem right to you, in your heart, mind, and soul. Take your time!

I'm new in the dating scene again, but I am quite certain of what I want in my next relationship. Can you relate? If so, you probably won't need a huge downtime or "time alone" to figure out who you are or what you want, so go ahead and date. Another way to test the waters is to go out in a group. It's safer, easier, and there's less chance you'll do something stupid you'll regret later. If you're really worried you'll do something you're not ready for, keep your dates limited to public places, and don't go to their house or have them come over to your place, either.

If you're not freaking out over the feelings from your past relationship, and you're clear on what you want and sure that what you're sending out is what you want to attract, then you're probably ready to date again. If not, just take it easy. Everything will come naturally within time. Don't rush anything new and make sure to be true to your heart and your dating experiences will get easier and easier as you move towards want you want in dating and love.

How can you know you're not? Well, if you've made it this far through this particular article, my gut tells me you might need a little more time. (Yep, when I wrote it, I sure did!) How much time? How about this:

1. When you no longer read their horoscope.
2. When you go a few days without thinking about them or talking about them.
3. When you can only think of the new person you wish to date.

When you can check "yes" to each of the above, you're ready to date someone new again.

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