At the beginning of a new school term, you may be setting goals and making resolutions for yourself. For many, finding love is at the top of the list. You may be thinking about dating for the first time, want to date better or make the dating process easier. Here are some suggestions for dating in a healthy way.

Be open to new experiences: Love can come from unexpected places, so don’t limit yourself. Say yes to that invitation to a party or try out a new hobby. You never know who you might meet, and if they’re not single, maybe they have friends who are! Many people become friends first so don’t give up if there doesn’t seem to be any chemistry immediately with someone you meet in real life.

Be yourself: People can tell if you’re not being authentic and genuine. Don’t try to be someone you’re not in order to impress someone else. Love is about finding someone who accepts and loves you for who you are. You won’t be able to keep up that perfect act for long in any case! On the other hand, I often work with people to tweak themselves a little to become a little gentler or more relaxed, so they show the best of themselves right from the start. If you’re feeling at ease and good about yourself, that’s much easier.

Take care of yourself: Love starts with self-love. Make sure you’re taking care of your physical and emotional health. This will not only make you feel better, but it will also make you more attractive to others. Notice what your inner critic says and challenge that with self-compassion. Take time to think about how you have have internalised beliefs from your upbringing, such as “I’m not lovable” or “I need to achieve to be loved” or “I can’t trust anyone”. Meet new people in real life as well as on dating apps, to get a healthy balance. You might also want to buy my dating workbook to help you reflect and set goals,or buy my self-directed Self-care in Dating course.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself: Finding love is a process and it can take time. If you’re desperate or lonely, that vibe will come across on dates. Focus on having fun, getting to know new people and enjoying the journey. Getting the next date with someone is not the only positive outcome from a date: have multiple goals for each date, such as learning something new, experimenting with different topics of conversation, or trying a new experience or activity.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help: If you’re struggling to find love on your own, don’t be afraid to seek help. This could be in the form of or enlisting the help of friends to set you up on a date, therapy or coaching, or joining a dating coaching group programme . A group experience is like travelling with others who are dating, and it makes the journey much less daunting, helps put things in perspective and gives you a chance to ask “Is this normal?” or “What have others done in this situation?” The next round of my Healthy Dating programme starts on 25th September 2023, and is great value for money.

Finding love in 2023 is possible, but it takes time and effort. Remember to be open to new experiences, be yourself, take care of yourself, and don’t put too much pressure on the process. And above all, have fun and enjoy the journey!

Main photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash.