It's a Friday in February...that means it's time for another guest blog! This week's relationship series blog post comes from Gupta Psychiatry; providing insight and encouragement for those preparing to re-enter the dating world.
Batter Up! Dating the Second Time Around
A Collaborative Piece By: Dr. Mona Gupta, Amy Murray, LCSW and Natalie Chigozie, LCSW of Gupta Psychiatry
Dating again? So what now? Where do I meet people? Do I text or call? No one will like me. What is Tinder? Should I update my profile pic? How does one make a “duck face”? Do I even want to date? Am I ready? You are not alone in asking these questions. Dating in today’s world is sometimes difficult to wrap your mind around. Making sure you are ready is key to getting back in the field.
First and foremost before you step back into the field of dating you must ask yourself have I recovered from my divorce, the loss of my spouse, or another significant life stressor like a move? By “recovered” you are asking yourself: Have I processed the emotions that come with end of a marriage or relationship? Have I started to adjust and accept my life as it is today? These emotions you may experience include: sadness, anger, and/or feelings of abandonment or betrayal, fear, and feelings of insecurity. If you are still asking yourself these questions, it’s time to work on your self-care skills to strengthen your emotional fitness.
There are many options to making you the healthiest person and getting back in the game. Having a supportive team behind you is important. This team can be built from family and friends, a religious group, or therapy. Your goal is to feel healthy and healed, to feel that you are in the best state of emotional fitness. Make sure you pay attention to how you physically feel as well as addressing your emotional health. Are you eating a healthy diet? Exercising? Can you look at yourself and say, “I like me!” Then you are much more prepared for the new dating world and you can find someone else who likes you too. Confidence in yourself is one of the most attractive features you have.
Now, that you’ve completed your training program, you are ready! But the internet has made the dating world a different ball game altogether. No longer are you interested in bar hopping, and you’re not in college anymore, so where and how do you find people you can connect with? There are so many different social media resources that can help you. There are dating resources like: Tinder, Plenty of Fish in the Sea, OurTime, Match, eHarmony, Zoosk, BlackPeopleMeet, JDate, and ChristianSingles. You can access them online or through an app on your phone. Some dating resources focus on religious beliefs, ethnicity, or age group but some are more broad in terms of their search criteria. Write a profile that authentically shares some interesting facts about you and identifies your interests but remember that you don’t want to take all of the mystery and fun out of getting to know someone! These resources help you to meet someone but you still need that one on one interaction to build a healthy relationship. Remember, social media alone does not allow you to fully get to know someone. Go get a coffee, go to dinner, go work out together, and have a conversation.
If you are not ready for dating but feel you are ready to meet people with similar interests and create new friendships then look into small gyms or exercise classes, MeetUp.com, book clubs, or art classes. Research each one and see which one or ones look like a good fit for you. And then get into the game! Remember that it takes practice to hit the ball and to make a home run, so be kind to yourself as you start this journey. You can do this!