During your weight loss journey you might be considering other areas of your life that you’d like to change and, if you’re single, part of that might involve renewing your efforts to meet a special someone. Here, LighterLifer Caroline Buchanan shares her advice for hitting the dating scene after a break…
Online dating is no longer something you do in secret; everyone who’s looking for love now looks online. The great thing about it is that you have many more chances to meet like-minded people. In fact, I heard last night that there are 1,400 dating sites in the UK alone!
A numbers game
When it comes to dating today, you need to be prepared to meet a lot of frogs before you find a prince. There are so many men and women on there that it’s worth not pinning all your hopes on one person’s profile. Someone who sounds great on paper may not live up to expectations. Likewise, someone who is a bit shy online may turn out to be a hoot in real life. I suggest lining up a few dates – have a bit of fun meeting a few different people. If nothing else, it will help build your confidence and self-esteem.
The right reasons
I reckon for all of us who are on the lookout for love, we first need to make sure we don’t pick a man because we need one. We have to learn to live on our own again, and happily, before we choose to allow a man or woman into our life on a regular basis. It’s two whole people who make the best relationships, not two halves.
Chartered psychologist Maddy Campbell, who specialises in relationships, warns against ignoring any negative thoughts or feelings you might have initially about a prospective boyfriend.
She says, ‘If there’s lots of chemistry flying around at the beginning, those negative thoughts will lessen, so it’s very important to listen to them when they do occur. They are, after all, part of the mix – the real person. In cases where there is instant attraction, it’s a very powerful experience and it can blind us to other less attractive qualities that some might have.’
Of course, there are all sorts of ways to meet new men or women. Dancing classes, singles holidays, joining a course or group that interests you in its own right. Common interests are always a good starting point. Less nerve-wracking too…
Talking of which, don’t let lack of confidence hold you back. Fake it to make it as they say. Starting acting confidently and the feeling will soon catch up. The thing is, if you want to find love again, you will, believe me… Remember the Carl Jung quote: ‘He who looks outside dreams, he who looks inside awakens.’
Top tips for date night
- Tell a friend: Make sure you get your date’s phone number before you meet them. Then give the details and information of where and when you are meeting, to a close friend. Text the same friend when you are back home alone.
- Dealing with nerves: If you’re nervous, breathe through your nose for the count of seven, breathe out to the count of 11. Do this a few times and you’ll feel so much calmer.
- Play it safe: Don’t drink too much because you must keep safe in all senses of the word. And no sex until you’re absolutely sure of them. When in doubt, leave it out! If you do have sex, do NOT forget to use condoms!
- Trust your instincts: Do not suppress your doubts and suspicions about someone, just because you might be longing for a relationship.
- Don’t pin your hopes: Don’t put all your longings for a lovely relationship onto your date. If you put them on a pedestal because you’re needy, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. Beware of the projections a date might put onto you, too!
- Have fun! Relax, enjoy yourself and don’t put too much pressure on the situation.