Things to keep in mind as we return to IRL dating

Returning to in-person (IRL) dating can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience after a period of virtual connections. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition:

1. Safety First The world has changed, and so have the norms around personal health and safety. It’s important to discuss comfort levels regarding health precautions and to respect boundaries.

2. Pace Yourself If you’ve been out of the dating scene, it’s okay to take things slowly. Don’t feel pressured to dive in too quickly; allow yourself time to adjust to in-person interactions again.

3. Be Prepared for Awkwardness After prolonged periods of isolation or virtual dating, social skills might be a bit rusty. Anticipate some awkwardness, be forgiving of yourself and others, and use humor to lighten the mood.

4. Update Your Expectations People may have changed during the time of isolation or virtual dating. Be open to these changes and adjust your expectations accordingly.

5. Digital Detox While it’s normal to have gotten used to constant digital connection, try to be present during your dates. This means setting aside your phone and other distractions to focus on the person in front of you.

6. Rediscover the Joy of Shared Experiences IRL dating allows for shared experiences that are difficult to replicate online. Enjoy the small things like walking side by side, observing each other’s reactions, and experiencing new activities together.

7. Communication is Key Communicate openly about your feelings towards dating. If you’re feeling uncertain or anxious, it’s likely that the other person might be feeling the same way.

8. Reflect on What You’ve Learned Use the insights gained from virtual or solo dating to better understand what you’re looking for. What worked for you in virtual dates that you want to keep applying?

9. Consent and Comfort Levels Always seek affirmative consent, not just for physical intimacy but also for the sharing of personal space, and be respectful of the other person’s comfort levels.

10. Have Fun Remember that dating should be enjoyable. While it’s easy to get caught up in the seriousness of finding ‘the one,’ it’s important to have fun, laugh, and enjoy getting to know another person.

In the end, returning to IRL dating is another step towards finding connection and intimacy. Keeping these points in mind can help make the transition smoother and more enjoyable.