I don't know what to do about dating anymore. COVID has of course put kinks in going out and safely meeting people, but I also am (admittedly) quite cynical about dating again online and letting that become something. My last relationship was seven years ago and was with an immature girl that I had to teach. I left a little bitter and wasn't interested in dating again until five years later and that was simply getting numbers and flirting in public with girls I found attractive here and there. Nothing long term. Now, I'm not sure. I'm at the age where I handle a shorter-term real relationship because I know what I want and what I can offer. But I don't know if I'm able to open myself up to someone without having one foot out the door. Which is a sign of my generation dating patterns. Please help.
Daniel, 36
Answered by:
Dating Coach

Hi Daniel,

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Going through a breakup can be brutal, but if we take the right steps, the end of a relationship can be transformational and help us grow into better partners. When we hold onto feelings of bitterness or any negative emotion for that matter, it means that we have not completely healed from our previous breakup. Holding onto past relationships will stop you from moving forward in a healthy way, and it will cause you to attract the wrong type of partner. Mindset is fundamental when it comes to dating. Often even subtle hints of anger, resentment, jealousy, bitterness, and sadness can turn our new partner off and send them running for the hills.

So, what can you do with these feelings? I tell my clients, first and foremost, to go through the emotions. You can’t heal if you can’t feel! Recognizing how you truly feel in the present, your limiting beliefs, negative patterns, and fears regarding dating and relationships is the first step toward working through these blocks. Thankfully, there are a ton of resources available to you. For example, working with a coach on moving forward and setting a goal for yourself, seeing a therapist, reading books, or listening to podcasts on these topics and journaling are useful tools to explore. Working on yourself can be challenging, but it’s so worth it in the end! When you’re able to let go of your past experiences, you’re in a more positive state of mind and excited about dating again (because it is supposed to be fun, remember?). Only then will you start seeing better results and attracting the right type of woman for you.

Dating during the pandemic, in my opinion, is a great opportunity! This period of isolation has given us the gift of time. Time to reflect, time to work on ourselves, and really figure out what we want moving forward in all facets of our lives. It has also brought back some old school dating practices like chatting on the phone for hours or having a face to face video chats. This has forced us to connect more authentically and take things slower. It can also save you a ton of time, money, and energy on ‘in person’ dates that can sometimes be disappointing after weeks of endless texting. Dating during COVID is all about your personal comfort, so it’s up to you if you want to keep things online for now or you would like to meet your potential date in person. Communicate with them and make sure you’re on the same page about it. You can plan dates outside that include social distancing and masks if it makes you both feel more at ease. Countless love stories have come out of the pandemic. Sometimes we just have to think outside of the box and take that leap of faith!

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