There’s something nostalgic about this back-to-school time of year..newly sharpened pencils, binders in all your favorite colors, old friends and new friends. Back in the day, your mom probably took you shopping for new clothes, and you stocked up on all of those fresh, new school supplies that armed you with confidence for the new school year.
Just like you had to get your ducks in a row before school started, it’s smart to prepare yourself before you go back out into the dating world after you get divorced or end a long-term relationship. Not only will it set you up for success, but it will calm any nerves and make you feel more confident when you go out on that first date. Just like sixth grade when you had those brand new Chuck Taylors. Think you’re ready to get back out into the dating world?
Here’s our It’s Just Lunch back-to-dating checklist from the Toronto and Vancouver matchmaking teams:
Get a haircut
You don’t need a major change to your ‘do, a trim is enough. Men, most women prefer you to be well groomed. It shows you care about your appearance, which will make her feel like you care about the date. That doesn’t mean you have to ditch the facial hair, just keep it trimmed and neat. Or if you really want to treat yourself, head to the barbershop for a nice hot towel shave.
Ladies, even a quarter of an inch off the ends will make your hair feel lighter and healthier. Who doesn’t feel more confident when they walk out of the salon? If you want an even bigger boost, go for a blowout before your first date. Indulge – you deserve it!
Wear some new duds
The women out there probably don’t need an excuse to go shopping for a new outfit, but men are sometimes a tougher sell. We know many of you hate shopping, but consider grabbing a new shirt for your first time back out on the dating scene. It’s tough to go wrong with a nice button down that fits you correctly (i.e., fitted without buttons bursting across your chest or your stomach and the sleeves are the right length for your arms), and you can keep it untucked with jeans if you’re going to a casual venue.
Purge photos and mementos of the ex
Go ahead and throw out or put away photos and mementos of your ex – not because you expect this first date to come back home with you, but because it’s time to put yourself in the right mindset for meeting someone new. Imagine coming home from a great date and spotting the piece of art you and your ex picked up in a downtown gallery last year. That will kill your mood quickly and make you less receptive to new possibilities.
Let go of the anger
While we’re talking about exes, if you’re ready to date again, you’re ready to let go of any anger you feel for your ex. Have you ever been on a date with someone who couldn’t stop talking about their ex and how they were so inconsiderate or did so many things that drove them crazy? If you haven’t, you will. It’s not pretty, so don’t be that guy or gal.
Get excited for your new adventure
You’re likely to go through a whole range of emotions as you re-enter the dating scene: nervous, anxious, hopeful and even angry. Embrace the excitement of starting a new chapter in your life. Take some time to think about what makes you happy, and then open yourself up to finding someone who enjoys those same things. Imagine what it will feel like when you find that person, and let that fuel you forward.