It may feel like now is the perfect time to start dating again after months, or even years, of putting our love lives on hold because of the pandemic.

To get us back confidently in our stride, psychologist and member of SmileDirectClub’s Confidence Council, Dr Linda Papadopoulos gives her top tips for resuming the search for love.

How to get your love mojo back after lockdown

Start off remembering what you want
Remind yourself what you value and what you are interested in. Lockdown put our lives (especially the social aspects) on hold and as a consequence re-acquainting ourselves with the things we value in relationships is going to be key. Look through your photos or messages and remember the things you enjoyed doing and people you enjoyed spending time with. Use this to orientate your behaviour on what you do next.

Get out of your comfort zone
We have essentially had government sanctioned social anxiety over the past 2 years, so getting social is going to feel uncomfortable. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone socially. Start small by committing to a coffee or day dates and then work up to more emotionally intimate connections until eventually you feel more able to commit meaningfully.

Flirt
Or at least practice talking to people who you don’t know. Making these small steps to connecting socially will not only make it easier when it matters but you may find that you enjoy it.

Don’t rush
The pre-dating stage of a relationship is often a great way to ease yourself in, so send a few texts, speak on a voice or a video call and when you feel ready you can go on a date.

Have fun
The whole point of any relationship is that it enhances your life so make sure you enjoy the process of reconnecting with people. This is not something that you should feel pressure to do, rather reframe and see it as something to have fun with!