We’ve all been there. A relationship ends, communication is cut, and you find yourself starting back to square one. Suddenly being thrust back into the dating world, being but a small, fragile soul seems scary at best, and impossible at worst. If the relationship was longterm, too, you find yourself having to be aware of a whole new slew of dating rules and mediums (what the hell is a ‘Superlike?’). Sure, it’s new and daunting, but it is, more than anything, a great opportunity to learn and grow. In the interest of making the most of it, we’ve got your how to guide on dating when you’re newly single.
Examine Your Past Relationship
Not to be like one of those faux-inspirational posters, but every experience truly should be viewed as a lesson, and not a failure. There were reasons your relationship ended, and, more likely than not, there were faults on both sides. Take some time to be frank with yourself about what you did right, what aspects of you being a partner need improving, and what you expect from from your next partner. Each relationship that ends is just more information you can gather about you and that eternal mystery known as ‘love.’
Don’t Rush It
Of course, the first thing to ask yourself when you’re looking to date after a relationship is if you actually want to. Your intentions in dating must be crystal clear. If you’re doing it to fill the new gap in your life, seeking nothing but company and affection, you’re definitely going about it for allllllll the wrong reasons. Not being honest about whether or not you’re ready is a sure-fire way to experience heartbreak all over again. There’s no right answer for when you should be ready to get back out there, so take as much time as you need.
Round Out the Other Aspects of Your Life
It’s easy to feel nervous and scrabble to find another relationship when you’re freshly single. Well, stop that urge right in its tracks. Dating doesn’t necessarily mean jumping from one serious relationship to another. While you’re dipping your toe back into casual dating, it’s also a good opportunity to flesh out all the other elements of your life. Work, family, friends, sports, hobbies… there’s so much more than finding another partner. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and get too invested in solely the romantic part of life.
Ask Your Friends
Who better to turn to than the very people who stuck out your breakup with you! Who listened to you cry over the phone, who patiently talked you off the ledge when you accidentally watched your ex’s insta story and saw the shadow of a glimpse of another woman? Listen to your friends. They’ll give you honest feedback onto whether they feel you have truly moved on. You can fool yourself, but ya can’t fool your nearest and dearest. When they do deem you ready, they’re also great ways to meet people that don’t involve those pesky apps. Ask them if they know someone who’d be a good fit for you. More often than not, they know your type more than bloody Tinder does.
Don’t View Being Single Negatively
Again, this transitional time isn’t an inherently bad thing. Don’t feel down about the fact that you don’t have that partner anymore. Now’s the perfect time to grow a little, try things you wouldn’t have necessarily done. While it may not seem like it, life will go on, partner or not. As long as you are open to every opportunity, being single is a great chance to grow. They do always say that the next person comes along when you’re not looking for it, right?