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August 2015

Your Back-To-Dating Checklist

Hot Towel ShaveThere’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 there? Here’s our back-to-dating checklist:

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 somewhere more casual.

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 Asheville last year. That’ll kill your good mood fast and make you less receptive to new possibilities.

Stop being angry

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 your forward. 

Are you ready to get back out there and meet someone new? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you. Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.


The One Word Preventing Your Dating Success

9UVAGMWV89One simple three-letter word could be creating a speed bump on your road to dating success. 

But . . . 

"I'm excited about my first date, but . . . "
"I'm ready to start meeting new people, but . . ."

That one word means your mind has shifted gears and the excitement for the first date is now being funneled into reasons not to take a risk or put much value on the event. It is anxiety about what may happen, and your mind has started broadcasting the "All Negative Scenario" station at high-frequency.

In short, you are now putting the brakes on what could be before you even get to the restaurant. You are sabataging your chances of a great first date -- of a great relationship.

According to an article on Psychology Today.com, "[t]he word but allows you to take fewer risks, delay making vital changes, avoid intimacy, resist suggestions, rationalize the status quo, numb your brain with chemicals or mindless entertainment, and decrease your capacity to see opportunities and different points of view."

So, before you can move forward with new experiences and meeting new people, you have to tackle what it is you fear. Failure? Embarrassment? That the other person won't like you? That your ex-boyfriend is right and that you are just too difficult to live with? Jot it all down. Even if it is unrealistic. By getting it out of your head and onto the paper, you take away a small amount of its mental hold on you.

Next, after you have acknowledged your fears, turn it around and inject a positive thought. Do this by stating the fear but infusing a dose of hope. For example, you may be afraid that the guy you are set to have lunch with won't dig you. Say to yourself, "I am a bit nervous about the upcoming date, but I'm going to put my best foot forward and have a good time."

Then, ask yourself:

* What can I control at this moment?
* What if no buts existed? 
* Am I really willing to get stuck at this hurdle in dating?
* What do I really have to fear?

Being mindful of what you can control (hint: emotions, thoughts and actions in this moment) is the first step toward your goals. Choose how to direct your thoughts, especially when you are embracing a new experience or meeting someone for the first time. Let go of the buts and you will notice how much you open up to the possibilities.

Happy Dating . . . no buts. 

This post originally appeared on It's Just Lunch Vancouver's blog