"Don't set your expectations to high, leave the check list at home, enjoy the moment". - Susan
10 ESSENTIALS TO GETTING BACK ON THE DATING (& SEX) SCENE AFTER A DRY SPELL
If you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while it can be a bit daunting to get back on the horse.
We spoke to LELO sex and dating expert Stu Nugent to get his top tips on how to dip your two back in the sexual pond (although that doesn’t make it sound too pleasant).
1/ BE PATIENT
The most frustrating thing about re-entering the dating pool is that it can feel like you’re never going to meet anyone exciting while you’re actively looking and you only meet people when you’re not trying.
But if you’re looking to date for whatever reason, it’s important to keep trying, keep persevering, stay patient, and always remain sensitive to opportunities.
2/ USE DATING APPS
The most obvious (but not necessarily the easiest) way to re-enter dating is to use one of the countless dating apps and sites available.
Dating apps have shed a lot of the stigma it inherited from the old days of online dating, and now there’s generally a good mix of good people using these sites, and you can keep up to date with messages pretty much anywhere and at any time.
If the idea of Tinder brings instant anxiety - it's not for everyone - there are other ways to meeg people.
It sounds obvious, but socialising and networking is often much more fun, and creating a real human connection with someone is a lot easier in ‘real life’.
You sometimes have to wade through quite a lot of chaff to find any wheat online, but your instincts about a person are more complete if you’ve met them in person.
4/ DON'T CHANGE YOUR DATING APPROACH
Whatever the reason for you taking a break from dating, you shouldn’t change the way you approach guys.
Whether you went through a tough break up or you took some time to reach some goals you set yourself, you should always approach someone as you.
If you have to change things about yourself to attract a particular guy, that guy’s probably not for you in the long term.
Honesty, confidence and self-esteem are what really matter, especially in the very earliest stages of a relationship
5/ TRY TO DITCH THE BAGGAGE
When a serious relationship breaks down, it comes loaded with a huge amount of emotional complexity.
Loss, grief, remorse, anger, numbness, trauma, anxiety, all of these feelings and more can be experienced during a break up.
These emotional extremes take a long time to hurdle, and re-entering the dating pool can occasionally open up old wounds and expose you to the insecurities you might have collected as a serious relationship came to an end.
6/ DON'T FREAK OUT ABOUT SEX
Sex, believe it or not, is not the be all and end all, and it’s easy to be perfectly happy without it (really!).
Masturbation, self indulgence, comfort, human interaction, all these things take the pressure off the feeling that you should be having sex.
Remember, it’s just sex.
We pile a massive amount of significance onto it, and it’s easy to feel pressure to have it because you think everybody else is having it.
Once you take that pressure off yourself, everything gets easier.
While sex isn't everything, a one night stand is perfectly healthy – if you’re the kind of person for whom it is perfectly healthy.
Casual hookups can be absolutely fine and have no repercussions, but only as long as you’re not reckless, you stay safe, and you’re the kind of person who knows she will have no problem internalizing and dealing with it.
Casual sex can allow us to lower our inhibitions, express our sexuality without judgment and just feel sexy, but it’s not for everyone.
There are plenty of people for whom the thought of a one night stand is really horrible, and that’s fine too. If you don’t want to do it, don’t. if you do, do.
Just make sure someone you trust knows where you are
8/ THE RULES DON'T CHANGE
The biggest mistake people tend to make in new dating situations is thinking the person they're meeting knows something different about how dating 'works'.
When you’ve come out of a relationship it’s easy to assume that the whole dating world has changed while you were betrothed; that the first person you go on a date with will know all the tips and tricks, and somehow be wiser than you.
That’s not the truth though: dating is the same as it has always been, it’s only the technology that’s changed.
Actual dating and sex still both come with all the same nervous excitement, self-consciousness and complexity as they always have, and the likelihood is that your date is feeling it too.
9/ PRACTICE SEX SOLO
Practice alone first. If it’s been a while, it might mean you have to re-learn the sensations of sex and foreplay again so that you feel comfortable to have sex should it happen.
Really the biggest obstacle to having sex – or good sex, at least – is self-consciousness.
Sex is mostly in the mind, but unfortunately so is insecurity about sex, and the most effective way to combat that is through positive self-perception and confidence.
That’s easier said than done, but it’s at least a starting point.
10/ FOCUS ON YOURSELF
Take some time to focus on yourself and your confidence levels, that’s what really matters and it’s a good starting point.
The more value you put in yourself, the more value others will perceive. Then potential partners and dates will just happen naturally.
It’s important to be fully aware of your self-worth. Dating can take strength and fortitude – even bravery, if it’s after a serious break up, so take some time to evaluate yourself before you begin.
Take stock of everything you have to offer and be aware of it all the time.
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