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I'm finding it hard to date

 I'm finding it hard to date (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

I have been on my own for a while, and am finding it hard to start dating again. I am nervous and wary about men, and have not been out with one for simply ages!

Am I destined to become an old maid?

Can't Get Started Again

Chris says,

Hi, Can't Get Started Again!

The trick is to build up your confidence by starting small. Scroll through the dating apps, even though you would not dream of clicking on anything. It will help you get used to the idea of meeting a new man.

And write a profile for yourself, just for fun, to help you start thinking about how you would like him to see you. Tell your friends you want to begin dating, so they start introducing you to their single friends.

Think over your previous relationships. Think about what went right, and about what went wrong. What did you fight about? Did your ex do things to deliberately hurt you? Make a deliberate decision to choose dates that are not at all like those in your past.

Because you are going to be especially sensitive to every little thing that suggests a new partner might do the same things that caused problems in the past. And that is much less likely if you go out with men who do not fit your usual pattern.

As you start going out with a new man, remember that he is probably feeling just as nervous as you. So just be genuinely interested in him, be positive and keep things light, to begin with. Start by swapping likes and dislikes, and gradually fill in your personal histories as you get to know one another.

A good approach is to tell him something about yourself, and then wait for him to tell you something similar in return before you go any further. And do not reveal anything too personal until you are pretty sure he can be trusted to keep your secrets. Soon you will find you are beginning to feel interested in the man sitting opposite you. And that is when you will know you are ready to start a new relationship.

All the best,


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