Taking Small, Courageous Steps

by Kelly Sajonia on · 12 comments

Recently I wit­nessed a friend become open again to the pos­si­bil­ity of dat­ing. She had an unusu­ally dif­fi­cult past rela­tion­ship where deceit played a major role. The friend chose to give up entirely on the pos­si­bil­ity of a healthy, hon­est, lov­ing rela­tion­ship as a result.

Slowly, over the past few months, there were men­tions of pos­si­bly con­sid­er­ing dat­ing again. Not actu­ally doing it; just think­ing about the pos­si­bil­ity. There was one obsta­cle stand­ing in the way of progress: it seemed over­whelm­ing to make this change in her life.

What hap­pened next was a con­tin­u­a­tion of casu­ally men­tion­ing the idea, but also work­ing through the obsta­cles she iden­ti­fied. Her chil­dren needed her, she was busy, she had a great life just as it was, and it wasn’t worth all the work involved are just a few of the rea­sons she felt it was a bad idea to try dat­ing again.

I lis­tened and gave a con­sis­tent mes­sage of encour­age­ment as she men­tally processed all that was caus­ing her angst over dat­ing. I never pushed too hard, but rather con­tin­ued with a pos­i­tive, pro-dating mes­sage to coun­ter­act the neg­a­tive voice she was debat­ing in her head.

What I real­ized after a few months of our back-and-forth dis­cus­sions was that she didn’t know how to pro­ceed. Yes, she was fear­ful of being lied to and hurt again, but it also seemed insur­mount­able to make this life change after tak­ing such a long break from dating.

So, how does one move for­ward, begin­ning a new search for a poten­tial mate?

It’s sim­ple: by tak­ing small steps.

My friend’s great­est strug­gle with dat­ing again had noth­ing to do with going out on a date with a new man. Her hes­i­ta­tion was wrapped up in the fear of being hurt by a deceit­ful, unfaith­ful man again. While this is a very real fear for her, it is not going to hap­pen to her on the first step to dat­ing again. It’s impos­si­ble, actually.

By break­ing it down into small, man­age­able steps, it becomes less scary. Here are a few ideas for the first step:

  1. Let friends know you are inter­ested in the pos­si­bil­ity of dat­ing again. This might lead to a blind date or two.
  2. Cre­ate an online pro­file on a dat­ing site. Keep it hid­den if you are not ready for con­tact yet; just cre­at­ing it is a great first step.
  3. Join a club or orga­ni­za­tion align­ing with your inter­ests. Like-minded peo­ple will also be in atten­dance, which of course means you will share com­mon interests.
  4. Seek out sin­gles’ activ­ity groups in your area. Meetup offers groups for sin­gle, sep­a­rated, and divorced individuals.

These four ideas will sim­ply lead to greater expo­sure and oppor­tu­nity to meet some­one. It doesn’t mean any­one is on the verge of a long-term com­mit­ted rela­tion­ship with the poten­tial for heart­break. It is only a first step, hope­fully lead­ing to step two: meet­ing some­one. The third step would be to accept a date. And the baby steps con­tinue from there.

What is most impor­tant is tak­ing the first, small step towards the goal.

Every­thing else will fall into place with time and a bit of courage.

by Kelly Sajo­nia

Kelly Sajo­nia is a writer for many sites, but spends most of her time writ­ing for her award-winning blog Naked Girl in a Dress. Her inspi­ra­tional blog cel­e­brates redis­cov­er­ing life and love at any age. Kelly also has a full ser­vice social media mar­ket­ing busi­ness, runs a social media site for writ­ers, teaches blog­ging, and occa­sion­ally takes a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy gig.
Kelly Sajonia
View all posts by Kelly Sajo­nia

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

David Stevens July 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Hi Kelly,
Small steps are fine especially when you are having difficulty with the journey/change. Getting started can be the toughest & this is where taking small steps can help build confidence to continue. Thankyou
be good to yourself
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Kelly Sajonia July 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm

Thank you for visiting David. I completely agree moving slow is essential when having a difficult idea with the life change. Breaking it down into small, manageable parts will help overcome the hurdles.
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Lucie July 26, 2012 at 8:23 am

Hey Kelly,

i visit your site and find these interesting article about your friend and dating.
on my page I have also written articles on dating after a disappointment.
my girlfriend broke up with her ??man and wants a new relationship.
The question is: how??
I agree with you and share your opinion that small steps are helpful.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us.

With best wishes and have an awesome day.


Kelly Sajonia July 27, 2012 at 9:09 am

Thank you for visiting Lucie!
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Jess @ Sparrow + Sea July 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Such great advice, Kelly. When things are broken down into bite-size baby steps, it always seems far less insurmountable. Whether it’s completing an exercise session, writing a book, or searching for a partner, as long as you’ve got one next step – no matter how seemingly insignificant – you’re on your way.
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Kelly Sajonia July 27, 2012 at 9:11 am

Thank you for visiting and for the comment Jess. Paralysis can result if one hasn’t taken the first step, but worrying about the 12th step instead. Small, manageable, comfortable smaller goals lead to success.

I hope you will visit again soon.
Kelly Sajonia´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Single Mom Dream: Resting and Doing NothingMy Profile


Gabriela July 31, 2012 at 9:10 am

Great and useful advices, and I totally agree, small steps could be stronger than the big revolutions. I have always preferred the baby steps, although I used to make big resolutions when I was younger. But unfortunately, I often felt disappointed when I couldn’t reach my big goals quickly. That’s why I have started with small steps, and a successful series of them could lead to the highest goal as well.


Kelly Sajonia September 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

It’s an excellent shift in thinking and planning, Gabriela. I hope being kinder to yourself with more achievable goals continues to work well for you.

Thanks for commenting!
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Lena August 2, 2012 at 1:09 am

Such an inspiring article! I totally agree, small steps are much better to reach a high and complex goal. Every day a step, or maybe two – and resolution can be realized.
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Kelly Sajonia September 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

Thank you, Lena. Breaking down a big goal into small, manageable steps is the only way to accomplish a large task; it is overwhelming otherwise.
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Chris Edgar August 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Yes, it does seem to be true that change takes place gradually — it’s not, in my experience, something that can be forced in a short period of time. In the past I’ve tried to achieve fast transformation by forcing myself to do things that seemed particularly difficult (walking up to lots of people I don’t know and talking to them was one big example) and I realized that, for what I’m doing to “feel real” to me, a foundation needs to be built over time.
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Kelly Sajonia August 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm

It sounds like you are on the right track with taking your time, Chris. Thanks for sharing your insight.
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