Becky Johnston

Becky Johnston

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If you are returning to the dating world after a long time away or if you have not had the dating life you hoped for, maybe it is time to try something different.

Your appearance

Superficiality is reality on the first date. List out the pros and cons of your appearance and what you can change and improve and what you need to make up for in sweetness, humor and personality. You will need more than good looks for a successful relationship, but be your best initially and attract the most options. We all age. Just look good for your age — that is all anyone should expect. And be realistic in terms of your potential partner’s appearance. Look in the mirror and pursue equality here.

Your first impression

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

People do make quick decisions while dating (even though you have been instructed not to). So make sure you are looking at yourself clearly and are aware of anything that may be a turnoff, that you don’t think is a big deal (teeth, grooming, toenails, fingernails, wrinkled clothes, a loud laugh, a twitch). Address any obstacles and correct what you can.

Your mindset about town

Be open and aware. When you are in active dating mode, look your best when out and about. It can happen anywhere. Keep your eyes open and make conversation or be approachable. It is just a conversation, nothing to get too excited about or read into. Get comfortable in approaching and being approached even if you are not that interested — comfort is the key. If you write him/her off quickly, you may be trying to protect yourself — no need to take it that seriously.

Your mindset on the date

Your mindset orientation needs to be just observance. If you are thinking, “Does he like me? Does she like me? Will I get rejected?” you will come across as too eager and not confident. Take this date as an opportunity to learn about someone. Save your decision about him/her for later when you know more and just enjoy the process. Don’t think at all about what he thinks of you, just what you may want to get across throughout the evening. You will know the results soon enough.

Your personal best

Visualize who you want to be and make it happen. Be your best self to attract the most options. Make sure you have something to offer your potential partner, for everything you are hoping they have to offer you. Change the things that you can to improve and accept those you can’t with a positive spirit. Personal best areas include fitness, work, hobbies, kids, friends and finances.

Your mental health

Get a mental health wellness check. While most of us are not seriously mentally ill with psychotic or delusional behavior, most of us have had a little bit of mental health bumps along our road in life, manifested by either depression, anxiety or addiction. Address your avoidance issues and be your best mental health self before entering the dating world. Whether talking to friends or a therapist, just make sure you are not looking to this potential partner to make up for a lack of stability within. Address your issues, make decisions and solve them yourself.

• Becky Johnston, MA, MBA, LPC, is the author of “The Dating Coach Workbook,” a tool that she uses in her dating coaching practice. Her practice is located in Ahwatukee, 5010 E. Warner Road, Suite 108. Reach her at (480) 245-6080 or visit

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