That’s it. It’s time to get back out there. Although dating is something fun and you’re excited because you haven’t been doing it for a while, it can be also terrifying.

You haven’t been playing the game for so long, so you are afraid you might have forgotten how.

Anyway, spare yourself lousy dates and beginner’s mistakes by doing some of the following things:

1. Think through who you want to date

Seriously, before you decide to date him, make sure he really cares for you. Don’t be that stupid to give all your attention to the first guy who likes you even a bit. Don’t look for someone just to fill your void.

Take time and get yourself together. Don’t rush into things because nothing good ever comes out of rushing—forcing stuff.

2. Lousy dates are real

Don’t expect every date to go well. You’re not in a movie, and you’re not going to meet the love of your life on the first date you have. And neither will he save you from being hit by a car. I mean come on—let’s be realistic.

Jerks happen. There are plenty of them. You’ll stumble upon a rude idiot who will make you want to stop dating again, but that’s really not something unusual. Do not give up. There are a lot of idiots and jerks you have to meet before you run into someone worthy of your attention.

3. Keep your friends in mind

Two men and a woman sitting on rocks watching the sunset

Remember who was there for you when you were at your lowest. Never ever forget about your friends. They are there for you forever. This new guy who you started to date might not be. I can’t stress this enough. DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR FRIENDS!!!

4. Don’t rush into love

Now that you’ve decided to date, don’t force love to happen. Don’t pretend someone likes you more than he actually does. Don’t imagine things. Sometimes, people get so euphoric that they overexaggerate things.

Focus yourself to take baby steps. Take one thing at the time. Putting too much pressure on the relationship can destroy it from the beginning. Take things slowly.

5. Do not compare every guy to your ex

Just don’t. Maybe you were dumped, and you still didn’t get over your last relationship. If this is the case, then you most definitely shouldn’t date yet. If you are over him and still comparing him to others, you will never be satisfied.

On the other hand, who guarantees that your ex was the best at everything? Be open to new experiences, and you might even find something fresh and exciting about the new guy.