How to Get into the Dating Scene the Right Way

A man and a woman looking at each other.
If you’re rusty, you might no longer know how to get into the dating scene. Luckily, the fundamentals of love and romance haven’t changed.

Are you clueless about dating? Does it seem like you’re missing the natural instincts to get romantically involved with another person?

For some people, it seems like dating is easy. They go on an app and get tons of matches almost immediately. Or they go out into the wild, into some public space, talk to a complete stranger, and then walk away with their phone number in a matter of minutes.

Some people, it seems, have all the luck when it comes to dating. Or maybe it’s not luck. Maybe it’s just that they’ve got game. Or charisma. Or some other innate appeal.

But what if you have no clue how to get into the dating scene, probably having never done it before? Or even if you did have some dating experience, it’s been so long in the past that the dating scene has changed so much and your previous experiences are irrelevant. Whatever the case, you have no idea how to go about dating and this is a big problem.

How do you enter the world of dating when it’s uncharted territory? In this article, we’ll provide you with tips to possibly find romance for the first time.

So, how is it done?

Prep Your Ingredients

First, there has to be some preparation. You can’t cook a meal if you don’t prep your ingredients beforehand. And you can’t jump into dating and expect prospects to jump on you like a magnet.

Determine What You Are Looking For

The first thing that needs to be done is for you to sort out your preferences. So ask yourself these questions:

  • What kind of relationship do you want to have?

  • What’s your endgame for that relationship?

  • Do you want to dip your toe into the dating pool by finding something casual that’s going to fizzle out in a few months?

  • Do you want to dive right in and find something serious that could lead to something permanent? Or are you open to whatever comes your way?

Finding out what kind of relationship you want will be important because that’s going to determine what kind of dance partner you need to look for.

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Who Are You Looking For?

Speaking of which, do you have any physical preferences? Do you like them tall or short? Do you want someone who’s on the skinny side or do you want someone with a little more to love?

Once you’re done with the external stuff, it’s time to work on the internal stuff. You have to start working on yourself. If you’re not in the headspace to date someone, then regardless of whether or not you’re looking for a quick fling or something long-term, then you’re just wasting someone’s time as well as your own.

If you want to get into the headspace to date, maybe practice a little self-care first. Do something fun. Put yourself in a good mood.

How to Get into the Dating Scene for Yourself

Once you know what kind of relationship you’re looking for and what kind of person you want to have that relationship with, then you can begin wading into the dating pool.

So, how do you do that?

A couple holding hands.
It’s essential to determine what kind of relationship you want beforehand.

1. Try Online Dating

If you don’t already know how to put yourself out there for dating, one of the simplest things you can do is to sign up for online dating. It’s one of the most accessible ways for a person to try their hand at dating. All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection.

While there are a plethora of dating sites you can go for, we recommend you sign up for an online matchmaker. Instead of your geographic location or an algorithm picking the people you might match with, a human being will do it. It’s a more personalized touch, but it’s not as easily accessible as an app.

2. Move Out of Your Social Circle

Another thing that can be done in order to get out there is to use your friends. Either you can go out with your friends to places where you can meet people. Or you can see if your friends have any friends or family who are also single and looking to date.

Go out with your friends. They can be a support system when you meet new people. At the very least, you can go out and have a good time with people that you care about. In other words, use your social circle to move out of it.

A woman looking at a man who is looking at a phone. A woman looking at a man who is looking at a phone.

3. Get a Hobby

Something that you can do on your own is to sign up for things that interest you. Maybe you want to take a cooking class. Maybe you want to learn pottery. Or something else. Whatever the case, sign up for a class or a new hobby. It’ll be a great opportunity for you to meet new people.

Even if nothing comes out of the class itself, you gain a new skill that you can talk about if and when you do find someone or you can put it on your online dating profile to stand out more and potentially attract more matches.

If you’ve already got hobbies, then that’s even better. Lean into them. Join communities of people who share the same hobby as you. You’ll find like-minded people, some of whom you may be able to date.

How to Ask Someone Out on a Date

Out of all the people you end up meeting during the first phase of your journey, you’ll eventually end up falling for one of them. At the very least, on of them is bound to catch your attention and you would like the opportunity to get to know them more.

You begin to imagine a potential relationship with them. The only thing left to do? Ask them out.

If you want to ask someone out, then the only way is to be direct. If you beat around the bush, they might misunderstand your intentions and think of the outing as friends hanging out. If they start thinking of you as a friend, then that’s going to set a potential relationship back several steps and you may not be able to move forward at all.

But come on too strong. That’s going to come across as off-putting. And don’t take it too badly if you get a rejection. Take the loss and then move on to the next person.

How You’re Supposed to Act on First Dates

You know how to get into the dating scene, but what are you supposed to do once you’re there? This is especially important because the dating scene is not a place in which you’ve spent a lot of time.

There are a few general first date dos and don’ts that most people instinctively follow. Here are some we think matter most:

Go At Your Own Pace

The first thing you need to do is go at your own pace. If it’s your first time in a while, or your first time period, then it’s important to go at a pace you’re comfortable with. You may be tempted to rush into things to make up for lost time, but it’s a lot like driving. Go too fast, you lose control, and then you crash and burn.

So go at your own pace. Take the time to really get to know someone if you’re looking for something serious. At the very least, the first month of dating should be dedicated to getting to know someone. Relish the time that you get to know someone.

A couple sitting at a table.
Don’t forget that, above all else, dating should be fun.

Recognize Red Flags

Over the course of getting to know someone, you may notice a few red flags. Maybe they’re rude to the waiter. Maybe they’re a little too clingy after just one date and send you a barrage of texts and call you every hour of the day just to check in. Behavior like that might seem annoying if not harmless, but those are red flags that can point to deeper issues.

You may be tempted to ignore red flags at first. You tell yourself that no one is perfect and that everyone is flawed. You may think that a red flag or two is fine and they might be, depending on how bad they are. There’s a whole spectrum of red flags, with some being minor flaws like being rude to waitstaff to outright crimes like kleptomania.

Tolerance for red flags, no matter how red they are, can vary. If you find a minor red flag intolerant, then maybe another date with the person waving the flag isn’t in the cards. Don’t settle for someone you’ve got a bad feeling about.

Keep Your Distance

Don’t forget to not get attached. Sure, you’ll eventually get attached after a while, but don’t get too attached when you’re just starting out. But if you get too attached, you might get possessive. Some people like that, but possessiveness early on isn’t a desirable trait and will often result in someone losing your number or them asking you to lose theirs.

Manage Your Expectations

Everyone has hopes when they first start dating. They hope to find someone that they like, someone who likes them back. Some people want to find someone to keep them warm and others hope to find someone who can become their home.

The problem starts when these hopes become expectations and when these expectations go unmet, people get disappointed. So have your hopes. Hope is a good thing. But letting those hopes turn into expectations can lead to frustration because reality won’t always line up with what you want.

Enjoy Yourself

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Dating - especially successful dating - is supposed to be fun. You’re supposed to meet new people and hopefully, have a good time with some of them. Even if it doesn’t end with a romantic relationship, it’s supposed to be fun.

But don’t have such a good time that you lose yourself. Remember that even if you do meet the love of your life, your relationship is part of your life, not your whole life. You’ve still got friends and family and a whole life outside of romance, so while you should absolutely carve out space to date, don’t neglect everything else.

Knowing how to get into the dating scene is one thing. But getting ready to go into one and knowing what to do once you’re there are also incredibly important things if you want to have a successful love life.

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