So, you’ve decided you’re ready to get back into the dating scene and you want to know what it’s going to take to jumpstart your love life. Believe it or not, where you go to find that special someone to join you on this amorous adventure can make all the difference in the world. If you pick a comfortable meeting place, you’ll feel free to flirt and open up a bit. With the right start, things can go from cool to hot in no time. Try some of these strategies to get started.
If you are reluctant to start with a one-on-one date, think about going out in a group with the person you are interested in. Playing cards, dancing, wine tasting or visiting a fair can all be done in the company of others, creating a lighthearted atmosphere and encouraging conversation. Having others around takes the pressure off you to initiate all the conversation if either you or your date is shy.
Whether it’s building supplies or garden furniture, home appliances or cooking demonstrations, the exhibits at a home show are bound to capture the attention of you and your date. Walking from booth to booth creates a space to discuss what you have seen, want to see or would like to do to your home. This gives you the opportunity to talk about styles and preferences and offers insight into the thoughts of your date.
Do you contribute your services to others? If so, invite your date to come with you. If you do not volunteer, maybe now is the time to lay that groundwork for future dates. There are countless nonprofit organizations that need your help. Animal shelters, food banks, nursing homes, daycare centers and homeless shelters all need an extra hand.
Try a familiar setting
There are many ways to meet someone: through friends and family, through your beliefs, interests or hobbies, and on the Internet. Places to go to meet people are at your place of worship, reunions, parties given by family and friends, funerals, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, community celebrations, classes, sports events and work-related gatherings.
The computer is a great means for meeting people. Even if you don’t have a computer, you can use one at the public library. The Internet has introduced many grands to each other through dating sites or chat rooms. If you feel isolated or alone or if you are without a family, you can find many new friends in this way. If you are unfamiliar with computers, ask a neighbor, get a high school or college student to help you or ask someone in your church.
Once you find someone to date, plan an activity where you can talk. If you want to share a meal, going out to breakfast or lunch is less formal than going to dinner and may be an easier setting to feel relaxed in. Activities where you do something versus sitting through a movie or a play in the dark also create the space for being able to talk. Strolling through a park, zoo, museum, art gallery, flower show or aquarium gives you something to talk about. If you are both sports enthusiasts, invite your date to play golf or tennis or to go bowling. Movement encourages talking.
Find a mutual interest, hobby, person or value to talk about. This will establish an immediate connection, and then you can build on what you have in common. If you knew this person in the past, you can catch up on old times and share what you know of former friends or schoolmates. Do you have the same religion? Do you both like to garden? Do you share the same political views? Do you both like to volunteer at the literacy center? Find the bond that transcends “dating” and you will be on your way to a warm relationship.
TONJA EVETTS-WEIMER, M.A.