Tips to help you start dating after a break-up

Getting your heart broken is a horrible feeling and one that can last a long time. The good news is you can use this time to empower yourself.

It’s a highly emotional time where you experience depression, anger, hurt, sadness, regret, self-doubt and a feeling that you’ll never recover – it’s a mixed bag of emotions.

Dealing with all these emotions is not the only byproduct of the relationship ending – but you also wonder if you’ll ever be able to date again and how are you going to find the right partner after all this time? The end of a relationship, especially if it was a toxic relationship, is a tumultuous time. Make no mistake; it takes a lot of strength and mental stamina to get through the tough times.

A big question is whether or not you have the capacity to jump back into a relationship so soon after the break-up, and have you had enough time to heal? Of course, many relationships are over before the break-up, meaning you have started the healing process already. But, break-ups that happen suddenly may require many months to repair the damage to one’s ego, heart and mental state. So, you should be asking yourself is; are you ready to dive back into the dating pool? And following are some great tips to help you get back on that horse and start the dating process after breaking up with someone you’ve been involved with for years.

Have A Positive Mindset

It’s important to stay positive and be optimistic about the future. Ask Men in their article How To Remain Positive After A Break-up tells us that changing your brain works and processes information to a more positive inclination. Having a negative approach will get you nowhere in your search for a new partner. Being proactive and open-minded is the first positive step you can take to meet someone special and repair your broken heart. The last thing you want to do is wallow in self-pity and angst over a past relationship with zero hope of resurrection. The best thing you can do for yourself is changing your attitude and kick start the dating process. Having trust in life, and knowing that everything is an opportunity for your own growth, looking at breakups as a redirection in your life, putting you on the right path for your own happiness.

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Learn more about what you want in a future partner

If you have distanced yourself far enough from your previous relationship, it might be a good time to see what has worked and what hasn’t. There may be certain traits or characteristics that you’ve put up with for a long time that bothered you; it might be an excellent time to work these out now so you can recognise these traits in a prospective partner.

The trick here is to avoid going down the path and tolerating the same attributes or habits that annoyed you or caused the relationship to end. Instead, steer well clear of these and learn from the past. Look for chemistry on your next round of dates but keep in mind those tiny habits that drove you up the wall. It might help to write a list of things that bothered you in your past relationship while they are fresh in your mind, so you don’t forget them. Life Hack tells us that letting go of the past allows you to focus on the here and now and helps you choose more empowering thoughts. Focus on how you want to feel rather than the details. Focus every day on feeling good, feeling love and inspiration.

Give yourself time to heal.

Don’t expect to be dating in a week. Instead, give yourself time to heal the wounds of the past relationship. You might need a few months or even years but make sure you don’t pressure yourself into the next relationship and never put a time limit on how you feel. Instead, recognise the fact and signs that you may be hurting, acknowledge this and give your body and heart the time it needs to process everything that has just transpired.

Rushing headlong into the next relationship is simply a rebound, and you might end up doing more damage or sinking further into a slump. Feeling down is a natural response to a break-up, and you should never feel guilty or ashamed about your thoughts and feelings. Instead, embrace these feelings, learn from the past so you can progress to a future with a clearer head and understanding of what you truly want. Be kind to yourself and others.

Don’t Compare Dates To Your Ex

The absolute worst thing you can do is start comparing the person sitting opposite you with your ex. It’s hard to do, but you must learn to separate any feelings you’ve had for your ex from any potential dates or partners during the healing process. Yes, you’ve had good times in the past but keep these as fond memories. However, comparing your date to your ex is a recipe for failure and shows that you have not entirely healed. If thoughts about your ex creep into your mindset during the date and you start comparing them to your ex, try to switch these off. It doesn’t give the other person a fair chance and inhibits any chance you have of making a connection with someone new. WikiHow elaborates on this by saying, learn to drop the comparisons about your ex and truly move on from this failed relationship by remembering why the relationship ended and recounting the reasons why you two weren’t a great match. A great way to stay present is through gratitude for where you are now and what you have in your life. Appreciate your experiences and the people near you.

Take Things Slowly

You don’t want to put pressure on yourself to rush into the next relationship. Instead, take things slowly and be by yourself for a while, which may be hard to do if you do something with your partner. Take this period in your life to learn more about yourself, and you might be surprised by what you find out. Never rush into a new relationship feeling you need to fill the void in your life. Your date will sense your desperation, and you may end up pushing them away. Instead, take a measured approach to your subsequent relationships. Eventually, you will meet someone new, but this has to happen organically. Try to let go of all conditions, and be open to surprises and new experiences.

It’s not all about dating

After a break-up, you might become obsessed with meeting someone new. It can become all-consuming and can impair your judgement about potential partners. Instead, take a step backwards and look at doing other things and put your energies and focus into other areas of your life. For example, get a hobby, focus on your business, career or work and allow your mind to concentrate on other areas of your life other than meeting a partner. Putting too much pressure on yourself to find a partner adds stress and anxiety, which means you won’t attract the right type of person. Focus on loving yourself and doing things for you and your well being.

Enjoy being single

Yes, that’s right! Love yourself again! Enjoy the chance you have of being single and meeting different people. Go on a few dates and meet new and exciting people. You might have been in a relationship or married for many years, and now you’re single, it’s a fantastic time to get to know the real you. Invest time in yourself; you might be surprised by what you find. You might just like being single. Be in the moment, and if you feel that you’d like to meet someone new, make sure you don’t jump into the first relationship prospect that comes around. Take your time and build friendships and connections first without conditions.

Connect with old friends

Being in a relationship may have cocooned you for years in your bubble, and now is an excellent time to reconnect with old friends that have left your life. So make an effort to call a few old mates from school or uni and go out for a coffee. Knowing how their lives have progressed and seeing what they have been up to for the last 10 or 20 years may make you feel better about your life’s current predicament.

It is ok to be vulnerable

Don’t pretend that life is all rosy and put on a happy face all the time. Instead, open up to close friends and tell them how you’re feeling. They are there to help you get through this challenging period in your life. Pretending you’re something you’re not will exacerbate the feeling of loneliness and insecurity. Remember, it’s OK to feel bad about your current situation and the break-up. We are all human and we all want to feel accepted and loved for who we are. Being vulnerable can feel daunting and scary at first, but once you take that step, you begin to step into your power and it in turn builds connections around you that would not have happened if you kept your emotions to yourself.

robyn nind - professional matchmaker

Robyn Nind is a dating coach and matchmaker at Blue Label Life. Robyn has helped countless singles find love and a partner.

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