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
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{ 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
David
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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.
Lucie

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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.
xo
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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.
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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.

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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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