Getting Your Groove Back
You’ve been experiencing a dating dry spell, and now it’s time to get back on the scene. Here are some tips to help get your groove back.
By Low Pei Hua
Perhaps it’s because of a relationship that ended poorly, or you’re tired of going from date to date hoping to meet The One, or maybe you’ve been putting dating on hold to focus on your career. Now that you’ve decided it’s time to get back into the dating scene, here are some tips to help you get started.
Before you jump in
It’s always wise to reflect on your past dating experiences.
Asking yourself what made you stop dating for a while is a key first step. Be it a bad former relationship, a cheating partner or a series of unpleasant dates that left you jaded, finding acceptance and closure helps you gauge your emotional readiness and goes a long way to helping you take that leap into the dating game again. Remember Harry Potter’s disastrous first (and last) date with his crush Cho Chang? One of the reasons it didn’t work out was that she hadn’t quite recovered from the unfortunate death of her ex Cedric – in other words, the lack of closure from a past relationship.
So give yourself time to move on from past break-ups before you start dating again, or it will likely end up driving a wedge between you and a potential partner.
Search for clues about the types of personalities you are attracted to and how you tend to behave in a relationship, advises Mr Alex Tam, CEO of GaiGai, an SDNTrust Accredited Agency. This extra consideration will give you a good understanding of your own unique qualities and “help determine the kind of partner who will complement (you)”.
Keeping an open mind
Once you begin going on dates again, you may find yourself swayed by your own doubts. It’s hard, but it can also be rewarding when you are able to find the courage to acknowledge your past and embrace your concerns, yet not let them stop you from moving forward.
The fear of starting another relationship, only for it to fail again might make you close off and wary of advances, says Alex. “(But) when (you) are too quick to reject someone, it leads to missed opportunities.”
What’s the worst that can happen if you take a chance with someone? Perhaps a bad date or two that leave a sour taste in the mouth, but that’s nothing compared to the regret of a missed opportunity – the little “what-ifs” that may haunt you down the road.
Alex suggests casting your net wider for a better shot at success, for example, by “(taking) the time to reconsider someone (you) might have previously said ‘no’ to”.
Relationships are as much about timing as they are about chemistry or anything else. You could be in for a pleasant surprise and find that someone whom you thought wasn’t a suitable candidate before is much more compatible with who you are now.
The start of something new?
If you start getting serious about someone, it’s respectful to be honest about your old relationships. This means that while you should exercise good judgment and avoid mentioning your exes at inappropriate moments, it’s better not to lie or cover things up. Attempting to build a new relationship on shaky ground spells tough times ahead.
It’s important that the sharing is mutual, for “understanding past relationships is the key to knowing (the other party’s) behaviour as a person and what you’re about to take on with this individual”, says Alex.
Even if you’re anxious to find The One, take things slow and let the relationship follow its own course. You may not meet Mr or Ms Right immediately, but don’t be disheartened. Whatever new memories that come out of it will still make for great stories to share with friends or your kids in future. Now go and try it out!