Awkward Around Former Date

Q: I live in a small town and go to a dance club with members who learn different types of partner dance (ballroom, swing, etc.). I started to meet women and briefly dated another member. Now that we've broken up, it's awkward during classes and mixers. I imagine it will be even more awkward if/when I date someone else there, which was the whole reason I started going in the first place. I'd go to another club, but our town isn't big enough to support two partners-dancing clubs. I really enjoy the people and the dancing. I don't think I can handle going back on the singles bar and dating website circuit, but I'm afraid this woman may have poisoned the well. — Richard, 41

Dr. Susan: Unless you did something to or with her that you're ashamed of, it might be best to just hang in there and learn to be cordial to her now. If your town is that small, I imagine it's hard enough to meet eligible women, so eliminating this friendly club doesn't make sense. The woman you briefly dated may feel exactly like you do, that she doesn't want to let your relationship get in the way of her meeting new people. The whole point of dating is to learn more about someone and then decide if you want to continue on to a committed relationship. So it didn't work out with this woman, and it may not work out with the next one or two or more. Put your fears aside and be your best social self, smile, and keep dancing. And when you do date a woman in this club, be sure you behave ethically so she'll have no poison with which to mess up the well.

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