Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Sex + Relationships

How to Start Dating Again After a Dry Spell

Late night cocktails, dinner and movies, one night stands, dating in the twenty-first century has changed dramatically in the last year. If you’re like me and you found dating during the pandemic too scary to even attempt, it can be difficult to know when it’s time to date again. 


Whether it’s been a few weeks, months or even years, putting yourself back out there is no easy feat. It can feel like everyone is speaking some foreign language you are struggling to understand. If the mere thought of dating again induces feelings of anxiety, then you are not alone. 


It’s hard to decide where to even start. Are dating apps still useful to find a worthwhile relationship? Is sliding into people’s DMs considered confident or desperate? Is dating in a pandemic even worth your time?


But dating doesn’t have to be a tortuous minefield. There are so many things you can do right now to revamp your dating life.


Firstly, you need to be content by yourself. This might seem contradictory since you are trying to date again, but people can tell when you are dating because you are desperate not to be alone. Anyone you date should be an addition to your life, not your whole world.


Reflect on what went wrong before, don’t repeat your mistakes. Relationships aren’t perfect because people aren’t. Taking accountability is the first step in the healing process, and you’ll need to heal before you throw yourself back into the dating ring. Otherwise you’ll use your baggage to drag down the next individual who comes your way.


Make the first move. If this is not something you’ve tried before it can seem a lot more daunting than it is. So take it slow, swipe up on their story with a funny comment when they post. If you’re feeling a bit more daring, invite them out for coffee or on a zoom date. Anyone worth your time, will appreciate your confidence and not shame you for it.


Download a dating app. With everyone in their homes 24/7, there are very few ways to meet new people that don’t include the internet. One good thing about dating apps is everyone is there for some sort of companionship. It takes out the guesswork. You don’t need to wonder if they actually like you or if they’re just being nice because you enjoy the same type of movies. They swiped right? Then you know they find you at least somewhat attractive. Whatever happens after that is up to you.


Try new things. The reality is, if what you were doing previously worked, you wouldn’t still be single. So whether it’s trying a new food for the first time on a date, taking that zoom dance class you’ve been too shy to participate in or giving someone a chance that you wouldn’t normally even acknowledge, taking a step outside of your comfort zone is always a good thing. 


“Honestly, I just had to throw myself out there. I knew that if I kept overthinking it, I’d psych myself out’, a student in DCU said, when asked what encouraged her to start dating again. 


When it comes to dating, there is no one way to do it. You need to decide what works best for you- the type of person you want to be and the type of person you want to attract. It’s not easy, but when you think about the fact that we are all still figuring out this whole dating thing, you can have confidence in that fact that you are not alone.

Law graduate at DCU.