I have always been that girl who loves being in a relationship and is almost always in one. From my junior year of high school to my junior year of college, I was not single. I had three relationships, the first lasting about nine months, the next lasting almost four years, and the most recent lasting about six months. After some time as a single woman, healing from the wounds of my previously failed relationships and learning to love myself, I have developed an interest to start dating again.
Jumping back into the dating pool after some time sun bathing solo on the deck can be intimidating. After my breakup, I was vulnerable. I had low self esteem. I had trust issues. I didn’t want to be hurt again. These are all normal things to feel, which is why I strongly advise taking time to focus on yourself after a breakup before starting to date again.
Take time to develop a love for yourself. You are so amazing and beautiful and intelligent! You have goals you want to pursue and passions you want to explore. There are so many interesting tidbits of personal information about you that make you unique. Take your single status as an opportunity to try out new things, because once you’re “tied down” it’ll be harder.
Dating is supposed to be fun, so, make it fun! There doesn’t have to be so much pressure when going out, like trying to find someone and make it official and go on vacation and check everything off that relationship milestones list. I personally think one of the most lovely things in the world is that “getting to know you” phase of a relationship. Savor it. Take your time. Enjoy yourself and enjoy this other person’s company. Someone wise once told me: “when it’s no longer fun, maybe it’s time to reevaluate it.”
Put yourself first (at the start). Before getting back out there, ask yourself this: what are you looking for in a partner? Once you have your answer, don’t settle. You deserve someone who is good to you and who will be the person you’re looking for (and maybe you’re the person they’re looking for).
A side tip: do you have a type? The bad boy, the guy who is into cars, the nerdy guy? Maybe try to expand your horizons and go out with other types of people who fit what you’re looking for. My own anecdote is that I recently went out with someone who I would never think of going out with, and I’m truly very smitten with him.
Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. When you start to date again, you will probably meet a bunch of “wrong” people, but you also will meet the “right” person…and you’ll know it. As someone who tends to be a little more cynical, having a positive attitude is key when meeting new people. While it might be hard, let that “right” person in and love them with everything you’ve got.
Only you can decide when you’re ready to start dating again. Don’t listen to what your friends or mom or some article says–you have to find the best place and time for you. Don’t ever let anyone pressure you, because everyone’s healing process is different.
Moving on from your ex can be tough, but you can check out these tips on how to move on (and deal with your ex moving on) in a healthy, positive way. Thinking about trying a dating app like Tinder but are unsure? Check out some of the pros and cons of the most popular dating app.
Also published on Medium.