The inside scoop
for when you want more than the official line! Your last relationship ended and you've spent some time on your own. Now you're ready for romance once again. But it's been a long time since you've surveyed the dating scene, and the rules have changed. Where should you go to meet new people? How should you act on a first date? Who pays for what? And what about
sex? You need to know how to catch someone's eye, arrange a date, and avoid the common pitfalls that can turn a first encounter into a nightmare. And you want to keep yourself safe in the process. You want the inside scoop. The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again is designed to give savvy people like you a foolproof appraisal of what works and what doesn't-the good dating strategies and the bad ones-with unbiased recommendations that are not influenced by any company, product, or organization. This book, like every Unofficial Guide, is intensively inspected by the Unofficial Panel of Experts, a team of highly respected relationship experts. They ensure that you are armed with the most up-to-date insider information on dating and are told exactly what the Official establishment doesn't want you to know. Vital Information that other sources can't or won't reveal-from how to boost your self-esteem to salvaging a first date that's going nowhere fast. Insider Secrets from relationship counselors and real people who've survived the dating scene. Money-Saving Techniques for everything from investing in a little dating finery to dating venues that won't break your bankroll. Time-Saving Tips for keeping your soon-to-be blossoming social life from interfering with your day-to-day responsibilities. The Latest Trends in social etiquette-from meeting people on the Internet to safe sexual practices. Handy Checklists and Charts that help you get ready to rediscover romance without feeling nervous or stressed.
Here you go again... For the first time in a long time, you're revisiting the dating scene.
You have picked up this guide for one reason: you are contemplating dating again, and you want to know what to expect. You may be facing the wonderful world of dating for any number of reasons: you're recently out of a relationship, or you're thinking of getting out of one, you're recently divorced, or perhaps even widowed. There are lots of reasons you may be dating again, and many special circumstances in your situation. The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again will tell you what you need to know.
This guide's for you if you are:
dating as a grownup
dating after a relationship disaster
dating as a single parent
dating as a widow(er)
dating as a senior
dating after giving up on relationships
dating after years alone
In the pages that follow, you will find what you need to know no matter what circumstances brought you back to the dating scene. We'll cover all the basics, some things you already know, and many things you never thought of.
You're not alone
If you are not currently married, you are certainly not alone. According to the U. S. Census Bureau 1996 report, half of American adults (that's 77 million people!) is single, and the currently divorced population is the fastest growing marital status category -- It has more than quadrupled from 1970. In 1996, the Census notes, 44.9 million adults age 18 and over had never been married, more than twice as many never-marrieds as was reported in 1970.
In 1996, never-married adults accounted for 23 percent of all adults. They constituted. the largest share (59 percent) of the unmarried population in 1996. The next largest group were divorced people at 24 percent, followed by widows and widowers (18 percent).
The Census report goes on to note: "Sharp increases in the proportion never married have been primarily seen among men and women in their late twenties and early thirties. Between 1970 and 1996, the proportion of 25- to 29-year-olds who had never married more than tripled for women, from 11 percent to 38 percent, and more than doubled for men, from 19 percent to 32 percent. Among the 30-to 34 -year- olds the proportions never married tripled from 6 percent to 21 percent for women and from 9 percent to 30 percent for men." (Saluter, Arlene and Terry Lugaila. "Current Population Reports, Population Characteristics" Bureau of the Census, website: www.census.org
While (and to an extent, because) the number of unmarried people has risen dramatically, social mores have also changed drastically. Women have far more social approval and freedom today for doing what they want than in 1965, and, as we have seen endlessly in the media, social attitudes toward sexuality, living together, relationships and courtship are much more relaxed than they were three decades ago.
For instance, the 1996 Census Bureau statistics show that "the number of unmarried-couple households (couples of the opposite sex) has grown seven-fold since 1970, and the proportion of children under 18 years living with two parents has declined from 85 percent to 68 percent between 1979 and 1996." This marks a significant change from the household and family structures of the 1960s.
These dramatic changes in the census counts have been accompanied by equally dramatic changes in what we expect from relationships, how long they last, and how we find them.
So, if it's been any length of time since you last dated, there are a lot of changes you'll need to know about. That's where the Unofficial Guide to Dating Again comes in. Here you'll get the information you need to find suitable people to date, an effective dating process to follow, the current attitudes and etiquette about dating, and the know-how to feel confident about your dating skills.
Coping with life's unexpected changes
For many years, dating was something done by young people, during high school or college, and the expectation was that they would find partners and settle down before too long. But, as the Census Bureau quotes show, more people than ever are waiting longer to marry, and/or becoming single later in life, after a long-term or married relationship. So, for more and more individuals than ever before, the dating phase has been extended into adulthood, through middle age and even into the senior years. Adults who are dating again are often parents with minor children. Whatever stage of life you are in, if you have found yourself single, and want to date again, this is the book for you.
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One of the main differences between you and a teenager who is dating for the first time is experience. Your experiences can have a positive effect, in that you already have learned a lot of social and relationship skills that will be very helpful in dating again. On the other hand, there can be a downside to experience. If you are dating again because you have lost a previous relationship, you may have baggage: leftover anger, hurt, fear or grief that will cause you to react differently in the next relationship. Or, your baggage may be left over from a difficult family situation or a poor self-image. We will show you how to "unpack" your baggage, and get a fresh start at dating again.
How does an adult find a date?
Unlike when you were dating for the first time as a teen or young adult, coming back into the dating scene after years away generally means that you can't just rely on your environment (school or college) to provide opportunities to date. Everyone has some trouble figuring out how to meet suitable people. You are probably not often in an environment that automatically surrounds you with eligible dates. Even if you are, dating people from your work and your neighborhood can present problems. Singles bars and activities aren't always the most successful places to go either.
The truth is that to date again successfully as an adult, you need well-thought out plans, and strategies that work. As an adult with responsibilities, a career, and bills to pay, you probably don't have the time to spend learning to date again by trial and error. And that's no fun, anyway. We will show you what kinds of dating plans succeed, and how to develop one that suits your personality and circumstances.
Because you are an adult, the dating tips and information you will find here will help you draw on your own life experience and know-how and apply these skills to the dating process. And while much of the advice in these pages can be used by just about anybody, the fact is that each of us comes back into the dating world for our own particular reasons. So this guide provides specific counsel regarding a variety of scenarios that may have brought you back to single life:
If you are dating again as a result of a difficult ending to your previous relationship, such as a divorce or an acrimonious breakup, we will show you how to avoid repeating old mistakes.
If you are a single parent, we will help you handle the issues of when and how to introduce a new date to your children, and how to handle the reactions of both your children and your date.
It is very difficult to begin dating again after the loss of a beloved spouse. The grief and disorientation associated with being widowed can make the whole thought of dating seem impossible. We will show you how to complete your healing and move on into a comfortable connection with new people.
If you fear that you are too old to begin dating again, let us help you find appropriate, dignified and fun ways to open up to new experiences with old friends and new connections.
Sometimes relationship experiences can be so difficult that you may have given up on relationships altogether, thinking that living alone is your lot in life. If you are not completely happy with this choice, we can show you how to come out of isolation and make a new, much more successful start. And if you've been on your own now for a span of years, opening up to new experiences can be frightening. The information, facts and how-to's we have collected for you here can get you past your fear and into a more satisfying social life.
What you can learn from this book:
Briefly, this Unofficial Guide provides you with information about:
What to do with the baggage from your past
How to find the right kind of person to date
Dating etiquette for today
How to handle friends, roommates, parents, children
What to do if it becomes a relationship
What to do if it doesn't work out
What to do the night before
What to do the morning after
What to say in person, on the phone
No matter which of these issues you need to know about, or what questions you have, you'll find the answers in here are timely, helpful and fit the world you face as a single person dating today.
Re-entering the world of dating can be a little intimidating if you've spent a lot of time out of the scene, but it doesn't need to be. In fact, it can be a wonderful, exciting, exhilarating adventure. It all depends upon your attitude, preparation, and - yes - your sense of humor. The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again is your handbook for making this new adventure fun, and safe.