1. Don’t date until you’re really ready—go out with friends, go dancing for the pleasures of physical touching, have friends of both genders to whom you can talk honestly and deeply.
2. Engage in activities you really enjoy where you’ll meet other people (friends or potential dates) who also like your favorite activities, like hiking, book discussion groups, and dancing.
3. Try online dating. Some people have great luck with it. Others don’t. Keep in mind that people often describe themselves inaccurately and sometimes even lie about their age, their looks, their finances, and their emotional stability.
4. Meet new people for coffee or a walk in a public place. Don’t go on a “date” before getting to know him/her.
5. When you do go out on a real first date, be sure a friend knows where you’re going and with whom. Call your buddy when you get home.
6. When you’re ready to have sex again, use condoms every time. Don’t believe someone who tells you, “I’m safe, we don’t need to use condoms.” If she/he’s willing to go to bed with you without protection, then how many other people has she/he done this with? It’s a hassle, sure, but it’s a myth that only young people are at risk for HIV or other STDs.