The concept of dating has always filled people with butterflies in their stomachs, not only for romantic reasons but getting to know a stranger is a tricky process that can be daunting even for experienced lovers. Asking someone out on a date feels like a leap of faith when you're young, but the plunge seems steeper when you're going back to the playing field in your 30s.
The jitters of asking someone out can be heightened when you're approaching someone you don't know as well as they do. The "Do you want to go out with me?" can feel harder as we get older, so how do you ask someone out without making an awkward mess of it?
Tips for Dating Again in Your 30s
Tip #1: Know What You Want in a Relationship
Knowing what you want out of a relationship is key to asking someone out. Do you want a one-time date, a new friend to hang out with, or a long-term relationship? The more specific you are, the better your chances of getting a firm yes or no.
If you're looking for a long-term relationship, you have to have a clear understanding of what you want out of the relationship and how it can grow over time. You might not want to rush the relationship, but there should be an agreement on what the two of you see in the future.
Tip #2: Know Who Your Target Is
If you're dating in groups, what you can do is wait for the person to be alone for a moment and then discreetly ask them. If it's a one-on-one situation, you can ask them after a conversation, when the moment feels right. You can even ask them out without them knowing it's a date, but make clear the tone if it's not a set-up. For example, you can suggest a hike or a bike ride as a simple way to get to know the person you're attracted to before taking the plunge.
Tip #3: Let Go of Past Hang-Ups
For some of us, old habits die hard, and we might be so used to doing things the traditional way. If you're the type of person who can't see yourself asking someone out, you have to consider that change is an important part of life. Getting older doesn't mean that you have to forget the lessons you've learned, it just means that you have to re-think old ways of thinking about getting to know someone.
Instead of thinking about asking someone out as something that's awkward and uncomfortable, think about how it will make you feel. If you're thinking about it for too long, you're probably overthinking it, and it might be a good idea to just go for it.
Tip #4: Be Open and Vulnerable
Remember that the point of asking someone out is to get to know them. So, be open, be honest, and don't be afraid of rejection. If you don't ask, you'll never know.
If you're worried about being rejected, you shouldn't be. Most people have been rejected at least once, especially because of a bad pick-up line. So, when you're asking someone out, don't be a comedian. Be real and don't overstep your boundaries. Be straightforward and let them know that you're interested in them.
If you've been through a divorce, you shouldn't avoid asking someone out because of that. If you hide behind your past, you're just wasting your time. What's the point of growing older if you can't think about the next phase of your life?
Tip #5: Communicate
It's important to voice your feelings. If you're nervous about asking someone out, it's okay to say it out loud. When you open yourself up to the other person, it's easier to gauge their interest.
Sure, dating in your 30s isn't easy. But then again, dating isn't easy for anyone. You'll be amazed how much easier it is when you're open to change and willing to set the old ways of doing things aside.
The Bottom Line: Finding Romance in Your 30s
Whether you're looking for a fling, a new partner, or a soul mate, asking someone out is a way to get out of the shell of your comfort zone. If you're nervous, remind yourself that you're only asking someone out, not asking them to marry you.
You might ask someone out and they might say no. That's okay. It means that you're moving forward and you're probably going to learn something new. No one ever knows what the future holds, but you can be sure that the past has already passed you by. So, why not get out there with action rather than letting life pass you by?
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