Yesterday I watched a movie that really made me think - which was funny, because I watched "The Guilt Trip" so that I could laugh! What caught my attention was a line from Barbra Streisand's character to a man who was showing interest in her - basically hesitating to accept a date offer because "dates are so awkward, sitting across from a person you don't know" (paraphrasing). This is so true! I remember every time I had a breakup, one of the hardest parts was afterward, when I finally had to decide whether to take a step to give someone else a chance. I don't know about any of you - but it can seem so exhausting to think of dating someone else as starting over from scratch. Having to get to know a whole new person, figure out whether and how you can best get along, help them figure you out, then potentially have all that effort and emotional energy go to waste. It's very discouraging! In the movie, her potential date's answer was adorable, something like "well, how else do you get to know them?" And that's exactly right. You don't even have a chance if you don't take steps to get to know someone new, or even get to know someone already in your life a little better. This is also true for friendships. I think one way I dealt with this in the past was to try really hard not to think about the whole long game, and just focus on meeting a new friend - then let whatever happened just go from there. That's really hard to do, but the alternative (thinking of everything that could happen) would just make me feel paranoid and unwilling to give it a shot. Also, it really can be awkward to go to a date where you have to sit in front of someone you don't know (there was a very funny episode of New Girl that portrayed this well). So how about doing something not so awkward and date-like while getting to know someone new? Choose an activity that isn't just sitting across a table looking awkwardly at each other, and maybe it will loosen you both up enough to have a real conversation and get to know each more easily (or find out quickly if it's not meant to be. more relaxed people behave more honestly). It's hard to get back out on the field - but you can't find anything great unless you do!