There are many mixed emotions you can feel when re-entering the dating world. You might feel as excited as you did in high school when you first met that special someone, or you may be consumed by dread at the very thought of dating again.
Before you dip your toe back into the dating scene, be mindful of what exactly you’re looking for. Ask yourself if you had enough time to heal, so you can ensure you are emotionally equipped to put yourself out there again.
Start with simple dates, whether it’s a dinner outing, going dancing, or going on a hike. During these first outings, be clear with your intentions, for the sake of both you and your date.
You will want to make a lasting impression, after all, when we meet people in any circumstance, we want to display the best and most authentic version of ourselves. Your visual representation is just as important as how you conduct yourself. My overarching advice? Keep it simple and don’t overstress.
Here are some style tips to get you started and give you the confidence you need to be the best version of yourself.
A casual dinner might be an early dinner, an outdoor meal, or a quick bite after a workout. For a casual dinner, consider a sleek pair of tailored pants or polished denim, paired with a blouse, blazer, and a mid-heel shoe. Always try to have your shoes polished and your garments pressed. Alternatively, you can go for an athleisure look. This might look like a well-fitting jogging suit or a t-shirt style dress with a great sneaker. Never go for too casual: after all, you are dressing to please yourself, as well as to make a good first impression.
Little Black Dress (LBD), Little White Dress (LWD) or Little Red Dress (LRD). The silhouette of an LBD will make you feel fabulous, and also convey the message that you care about your personal brand. Depending on the venue, you can pair it with a moto jacket. If you remember, do your homework about the venue so that you don’t feel out of place. You will probably already have butterflies in your stomach; so eliminate any additional stress! If you prefer another look, go for the suit, an extremely chic option and a favorite of mine. Depending on the season, you might choose a garment with a summer hue and a light underpinning, or go for a midnight navy piece and add a pop of color with an elevated shoe.
This can be tricky, as some BBQs are casual, while others might call for a formal dress code or a theme. You can never go wrong with a breezy summer dress, a polished Bermuda short, or a nautical t-shirt or blouse.
Perhaps you want to have a short date to gauge whether there’s a “spark.” Still, don’t underestimate a coffee date and avoid putting in an effort. Even if you go for a pair of jeans with a t-shirt and flats, make sure your hair is polished; a ponytail or a wavy look are safe bets.
Re-entering the dating world is stressful. Meeting people isn’t the only thing that consumes energy and time; so does preparing for dates so you can put your best foot forward. While the main point of going on a date is to get to know the other person, we cannot deny the importance of being your best self.
As is true of all areas of our lives, dressing with care when we re-enter the dating world is critical. It makes us feel better about ourselves and, consequently, helps us exude confidence. This does not mean over-dressing or going for a super “sexy” look; while there is nothing wrong with embracing your femininity, you don’t want to give the wrong message. This does mean, however, doing what you can to feel confident so that you have a bounce in your step.
When the date finally comes around, be concise and clear. Talk about yourself and your interests. Be a good listener and ask questions, but keep it light-hearted, especially in the early stages. Most importantly be safe, have fun, and remember to laugh!