Be positive – Make sure you’re in a good place and feeling fulfilled first before you try and get into a new relationship. Looking to another person to make you happy will not last and is likely to create unwanted pressures and resentments down the line.
Keep your friends close – Develop and maintain a strong network of friends and family support around you. These people are your counsellors, cheerleaders and your safety net to catch you if you fall. They can also be good for introducing you to new people.
Be real – When you’re getting to know someone be honest about who you are and what you think, don’t say things just to make the other person like you. In order to find a real lasting connection you have to be your most authentic self.
Take your time – Listen to your head as well as your heart and your hormones! Really get to know the person before rushing into a relationship, a premature commitment, or bed.
Make a list of your ‘deal-breakers’ – Think about what you absolutely cannot put up with in a relationship and stick to it.
Be curious – On your date, as much as you talk, also ask questions, listen, be curious about what makes the other person tick. People like people who are interested in them.
Make eye contact and smile – In a study pairs of strangers were asked to reveal intimate details of their lives and then to look into each other’s eyes for 4 minutes. Many of these couples reported feeling deeply attracted to each other and two of the couples in the study actually married afterwards!
Be safe – In our modern culture of online and virtual dating, people can present themselves however they want, so always make sure you keep yourself safe. Let someone know where you’re going and send them a text to let them know you’re OK later.
Find support – If you’ve had bad relationship experiences in the past or are worried that your ‘picker’ is off, you might find it useful to talk this through with a Relate counsellor either before you start dating again or during the process so they can help support you to become more aware of your patterns and make better choices.
‘Rejection is protection’ – Finally, when you open yourself up to love you also open yourself up to the possibility of heartbreak. If you are rejected, try not to take it too personally. There’s no point dwelling on what happened, what you did wrong, why they didn’t call back etc. It could be any number of reasons, none of which are about you at all. Don’t lose heart, keep going and don’t give up on your search. It will all be worth it in the end.
Relate provides impartial and non-judgmental support for people of all ages, including individual counselling for people looking for love. Call 01234 356350.