Let’s be real: divorces and breakups are messy and painful and the last thing we can conceive of doing after one is jumping back into the dating game. It can take months or even years before you find you are able to open yourself up to someone, much less find love again! We know how difficult it can be, but it’s no reason to give up on something as beautiful as love altogether. Just know that once the storm has passed, you can and will be happy again. Here are some helpful tips to getting back into the dating game fearlessly.
#1 Make sure you are healed before you start dating again
If you are still broken, the worst thing you can do for yourself is to jump into another relationship hoping the other person will help fix you. Dating from a place of anger or despair don’t usually lead to good choices, and for a relationship to be successful, both parties need to be in a good space in order to progress together. Take your time to heal and remember there is no need to rush back into dating – the right person at the wrong time is still the wrong person.
#2 Embrace your fears
Maybe you’re afraid of being alone, or never being able to find someone again. The best thing you can do for yourself is to embrace this fear, instead of letting it consume you. It is perfectly normal to have doubts and insecurities post-breakup – you just need to channel that energy into something positive. Join clubs, start a new hobby you’ve never had time to or travel to a country you’ve always wanted to visit. You are on your own, but you are still your own person. Never forget that.
#3 Reach out to your support group
Friends, family or even therapists, it’s crucial to be able to talk to someone instead of bottling it all in. Don’t lose yourself and your mental health because you are afraid or ashamed to talk to someone about your breakup/divorce. Having a support group allows you to work through this difficult time in a healthy way. They’ll remind you that you are loved, and that a breakup/divorce doesn’t define your worth. Just because it didn’t work out with 1 person doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of love!
#4 Give yourself permission to be happy
During and after a divorce, it is common to have the feeling of grieving, similar to that of the loss of someone. Many people feel the need to stay busy to keep their minds off of this stressful time, and it’s important to remember that you deserve to do something special for yourself every day, even if only for 10 minutes. It can be as simple as taking a walk or reading a book with a glass of wine. Give yourself permission. Take your time to grieve, then emerge a stronger, and happier person knowing that you’ve gotten out of a tough time in one piece.
#5 Learn to let go
Holding onto regrets and bitterness will only keep you from moving forward. While it is normal for a period of time to be constantly questioning yourself; how if only you had done this or maybe if you had done that, know that these thoughts won’t make you feel better or help the situation. Acknowledge your feelings, reflect on your past experiences and prepare yourself for the next exciting chapter of your life. Yes, there is life after divorce, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy every minute of it.
#6 Keep a positive attitude and remain hopeful
We know that this is easier said than done, but it is crucial in your recovery process. No matter how difficult your previous relationship might have been, know that not every relationship has to be that way, or will end badly. Keep your head up, tell yourself that it is possible to find love again and remember that like all the other couples out there who are happily in love, you deserve that too. It might take a while, but be patient and love will find its way to you.
#7 Don’t rush into a relationship
Once you’ve healed and started dating again, it’s important to remember not to rush into anything! You’ve been down that road before, so you should know to take your time and see several people before committing yourself to anything. It’s difficult being lonely, but that should not be an excuse to settle for the next person who comes around – that is selfish and won’t work out in the long run, especially if there are red flags you are deliberately ignoring. You deserve better.
#8 Know what you want this time
Finding love again gets easier if you know what you want the second time around. Some divorced men and women are afraid of being attracted to the same kind of person, but you can avoid this if you can confidently list out what you want in a relationship. It is important to be able to reflect objectively on your previous relationship and understand what wasn’t working and what was as this will better help you identify traits and characteristics to look out for (or avoid) in your next partner!