Dating after a long-term relationship can be a challenge, and it’s normal to feel a little bit nervous or daunted by the whole experience. Whether you’ve gone through a divorce, just separated or broken up with a long-term partner, getting ‘back in the game’ can be difficult for anyone. However, making new connections can be extremely rewarding, especially after a breakup. We’ve compiled a few tips so you can ease into the dating scene again.
A breakup can be a great opportunity to connect with yourself and your own needs. Your new single status can be a time where you can reinvent yourself in terms of what you want of out of life and relationships. It’s also a great time for a makeover. Head to your favourite shops for a new outfit; if you’re looking for a date, the clothes you wear can boost your confidence which will radiate when you’re meeting new people.
Singledom can be a strange world, and it may take some time to adjust to liking your own company. If you are finding being alone a bit difficult initially, you could start ticking off your bucket list to try new activities and to connect with new people. Maybe you haven’t taken that Spanish language class you’ve been meaning to go to in years, or you’re itching to finally take that holiday to Thailand. List everything that you haven’t had the chance to do over the last couple of years, and set aside time to do them – the process could feel quite liberating!
Take your time
Whether you’re sad, confused, frightened, excited, relieved, angry or anything in between, you must allow your body to process the whole gamut of emotions relating to your recent break up. Everybody is different when it comes to processing these emotions, so don’t feel like you need to start dating straight away. You may need a little or a long time to get over a relationship, so take the time you feel that you need before hitting the dating scene again.
When you’re ready to start dating again, great! Before you take the plunge, take some time to work out you want out of a new connection; perhaps you just want company, or a casual relationship – this is perfectly fine. Remember, you don’t have to rush into anything you might not be ready for. All that matters is that you’re comfortable with each situation.
Talk with your single friends
If you’ve neglected your single friends in the past, the great thing about being single is the opportunity to reconnect with them. You might be feeling a bit rusty after being away from the dating scene for quite some time, and they can offer some great dating tips and advice. Most importantly, they understand what you’re going through and can empathise with you if you’re having a hard time…and can share a laugh with you about your dating adventures!
Approach dating with an open mind
Keep an open mind when dating so you can get the most out of the experience. Everyone is different and your expectations may have to be adjusted when meeting new people. You may have become comfortable with usual routines and communication with your last relationship, but not every future connection may have the same approach to relationships. Be patient with your date and try not to expect too much too soon –embrace the change and new experiences that come with getting to know another person.
Allow yourself to have fun
Above all else, have fun! Enjoy getting to know new people and the process of rediscovering yourself again. Think of your time as a single person as an opportunity to meet new people, spend more time with your existing friends and try new things. The more you are comfortable with being single, the greater chance you’ll have to meet someone who is attracted to your new found confidence and independent spirit.