If you’ve been off the dating scene for a while, whether after a break-up, divorce, or a dry spell, getting back out there isn’t always easy to do, especially if you aren’t feeling confident about dating. You know you need to be vulnerable, but it can be hard to open yourself up to possible rejection and the struggle to meet the right person.
Thinking about going on a date after a long time off the market, this can make you feel anxious and stressed. Whether you’re considering a dating app, blind dates, or being set up, you need confidence to out there. Here’s how to get it.
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Close The Previous Chapter
It should go without saying, but before you get back into the dating pool, you need to have closed the door on your previous relationship. You need to be over it, so you can close that chapter. Without doing this before you start to meet new people, you can run the risk of getting stuck in the past or bringing emotional baggage to a new relationship.
Move onto the next chapter. Remember that life is a series of chapters, and some will be more joyful than others. Keep turning the page, so you can move on and grow from each experience.
Tap Back Into What You Love To Do
If you have been in a relationship for a long time, it’s likely that you might have disconnected from what you love to do and have instead replaced it with what you did as a couple. Spend some time reconnecting with yourself.
You can write out a list of things that bring you joy. Perhaps you used to love going for long bike rides, cooking elaborate dinners, or knitting. Going back to what you love will help you come up with fun date ideas in the future, but will help you feel like yourself again and give you confidence. Knowing what you love can also help you to find common interests with potential new partners.
Focus On Self-Love
Before you think about starting to date again, concentrate on finding some self-live. You can’t make room to love someone else if you don’t have love yourself.
You can do this in any way that makes you feel good. Spend time with loved ones, make time to see a therapist to help you shed baggage, or invest in some pampering.
If you love a pamper, spoil yourself pre-dating. Have your hair done, get a pedicure, or treat yourself to those veneers that you’ve always wanted. Whatever makes you feel confident in yourself.
Get Clarity On Your Needs
Starting to date before you know what you’re looking for in a partner is like driving with no direction. Before going on a first date, get clear on your non-negotiable needs from a relationship and a partner.
Remember that there’s a big difference between what you need and what you want. Needs are the things that you actually need, without which the relationship will fail. This might include feeling safe, and good communication. Wants might include things like physical characteristics. Wants are nice, but aren’t a required part of the solid foundation of a relationship.
Take Your Time, But Not Too Much Time
Rushing into dating before you really feel ready is not going to go well. You might be holding onto some negative emotions from the relationship you had before. These can come across on dates. Don’t be afraid to take your time before you decide to get back out onto the dating scene.
However, don’t wait too long. If you don’t feel ready, that can easily become an excuse that will just hold you back from a healthy romantic future. It’s easy to get comfortable in your box, but push yourself to get out of it. Give yourself a deadline for getting back out there. Stick to your deadline.
Stay In Touch With Your Feelings
Decide if there is a timeframe for you to get back on the market. There’s no set timeline that will suit everyone. The best guideline is when you feel ready, not when everyone says when need to start dating again. Your family and friends mean well, but don’t get to decide. Don’t be tempted to go to soon because you can see from Instagram that your ex has moved on to someone new either.
Knowing when you’re ready to date again is entirely up to you, and only you can know when it’s time. Jumping in too soon can have a negative effect on your hard work on self-love. If you feel weak, lonely, or needy and jump into dating, this can be a disaster. Be honest with yourself about how you feel.
Recognize A Lack Of Fear When It Comes To Dating
How do you know when you’re ready to date again? You’re ready when the thought of sitting across from a stranger doesn’t scare you. You will feel emotionally ready to date when you don’t feel scared anymore of exploring romance with someone new. You need a greater sense of curiosity about meeting new people than you do a sense of risk.
Give Yourself Permission
If you’ve healed from your breakup, you can give yourself permission to start dating again. It might seem silly, but it can help you to feel ready by writing out an actual permission slip for yourself. An external green light can help you to feel ready.
Throw The Dating Rules Out The Window
If it’s been a long time since you’ve been on any dates, don’t stress yourself out feeling as though you need to catch up on all the new rules around dating. Don’t worry about doing things that you think you should, or playing by rules like calling after a certain number of days from the first date. Instead, just do what feels good and right to you. Let your intuition guide you, and don’t worry about what other people think the rules of dating are.