Finding someone to date is challenging enough. Finding a person you can be happy with for the rest of your life can feel impossible. Take your time, spend time with your friends, and take care of yourself. Date, but date calmly. Commit, but commit carefully. Love can't be rushed.
1. Put yourself out there. The more time you spend dating and socializing, the more likely you will find someone you like. Put yourself out there by attending social events organized by your friends, by taking classes and chatting with classmates, and by signing up for dating sites, apps, and services. Be adventurous and open minded: try speed dating, for instance.
The most common way to meet a future partner is through mutual friends. Spend time with friends, and ask your friends to introduce you to people they think you'll like.
The second is in social spaces. This can include everything from bars, to concerts, poetry readings, and gallery openings, to church gatherings.
The third is through work. If you work from home, consider participating in a co-working space. Make visits to the home office and attend conferences when you can. Be slow to ask someone out if you work together regularly, however, as this can potentially complicate your work life.
The fourth is through dating websites or apps, and the fifth is social media. Sign up for dating platforms like OkCupid, Tinder, Grindr, and Hinge.
2. Ask people out. If you know someone in real life, ask him or her out in person. Ask directly, so that they know what you're saying and can respond in a straightforward way. To minimize awkwardness, ask on the exit. As you leave a situation, say "I've really enjoyed talking to you, but I have to go. Would you like to have dinner sometime soon?"
If you are absolutely too shy to ask someone out in person, you can call. You'll have to ask for his or her number, though.
If you found the person you're interested in online, send a friendly message. If you want to get a better sense of the person, message back and forth 2-5 times before you ask him or her out.
If you are asking out a friend, leave plenty of room for a "no." Make sure that you ask your friend out before you get so wound up that a rejection would devastate you. When you notice yourself crushing, go for it.
Stay friends if it's not too painful. The person who turns you down might end up introducing you to the person you stay with.
3. Date calmly. If you're feeling anxious about finding "the one," you might end up scaring your dates away. Plan dates as you would plan other events: an activity you might enjoy doing with another person, and a friendly commitment to enjoying the meeting. During a date, focus on the date.
Ask open-ended questions, listen actively, and be honest in your answers.
Be genuine. Tell the truth when asked a question. Worry less about being judged and more about seeming phony.
Stay off your phone. Focus on your date!
Don't spend the whole time worrying about ascertaining whether or not your date is a good match. You can't tell something like that on a first date. Rather, focus on the conversation and the activity of the date.
Don't say "I love you" or try to talk about long-term commitment on your first few dates.
4. Be kind. If you are dating to find a life partner, show your best self. Don't try to dominate or play mind-games with your date.
Putting your date down, or talking critically of others on a date, will show your date that you are insecure or cruel.
Even if you have a sense you might not want to go on a second date, do your best to enjoy the date you're on. Treat your date well! Even if you won't meet again, he or she still deserves your polite and friendly attention.
5. Arrange a date you can enjoy. Dates don't have to be dinner, wine, and eye contact. Plan something you would feel more comfortable doing. Get coffee and take a walk in a park. Visit an exhibit at a local museum. Meet for breakfast at a diner and sit at the counter.
Invite your date to a party or other social event. If you get nervous in isolation, try hanging out in a group.
Say yes to your date's ideas. If someone asks you out, let that person name the date. Don't assume you won't enjoy a new place or activity.
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