Getting over a breakup is tough no matter what, even if you’re the one who initiated it. Healing your heart after it goes through something like this can be an emotional rollercoaster, but once you are ready to enter the dating world, there are a few important tips to follow. Here’s your ultimate guide to dating successfully post-breakup.
1. Stay positive
Mindset is everything when it comes to getting back into dating. Even if you’re nervous or scared, try to be excited about the process. You’ll be getting to know yourself while you get to know other people — dating can be a great coincidence booster, if you let it. Don’t see it as signing up for heartbreak once more — it’s a chance for a new beginning.
2. Keep realistic expectations
The first date you go on as a single person might not necessarily lead you straight to your soulmate, but remember that it’s a journey, and to keep your expectations neither too low nor too high. Try to go with the flow and appreciate each experience for what it is, rather than judging yourself (or potential partners) too harshly.
3. Take the time you need
We don’t recommend becoming a hermit for months on end, but we do suggest taking some time to heal and get to know yourself rather than jumping straight into dating. Being lonely can feel like a scary process, but it’s actually a precious time to focus on yourself and self-reflect with all the space you need — you might not have that space forever. Work through your past issues before you start another relationship — we all come with baggage, but should also put in the work to minimize it.
4. Never compare
Comparison is the enemy, when it comes to social media, dating, parenting, and pretty much anything else in life. It stops you from focusing on your own journey and makes you feel “less than” for your life not looking a certain way. But every person and situation that we encounter in life is different. You can’t constantly compare every person you go out with to your ex — it’s terrible for your mental health and makes it harder to move on.
5. Go slow
There’s no shame in having a rebound relationship, but if you’re ever properly going to move on and find love, you need to move slowly rather than feeling pressure to partner up again. You also don’t need to immediately tell everyone that you just experienced a breakup. Play the field and enjoy yourself however you see fit!
6. Remember that dating isn’t the only thing out there
Being single is the perfect time to explore your hobbies, travel, having bonding time with your friends and family, and even allow new friends into your life. Remember that celebrating your life doesn’t have to mean finding a replacement partner ASAP.
7. Don’t constantly talk about your ex
There’s no doubt that your ex will be the main thing on your mind after a relationship ends, but focusing too much on them can be unhealthy. While this is especially bad when you’re going on dates with new people, the same rule applies to your support network. They’re there to hear you vent and help you through the process, but bringing up your ex all the time will prevent you from ultimately getting over them.
8. Be yourself
Remaining your authentic self and not trying to be someone else is one of the most important parts of dating after your breakup. On these dates, trust your gut instincts and show off your true self! If they don’t like it, it’ll save you a lot of wasted time.
9. Stop overanalyzing
This is textbook post-breakup behavior, but lurking on new prospects’ Instagrams obsessively (or lurking your ex) is less than ideal. Due to your fragile emotional mindset, you may find it easier to write people off, say no, and make excuses. We all have our flaws, so be kind — to others and to yourself.
10. Keep reminding yourself that time heals all
Sometimes we either avoid dating post-breakup or jump into it too fast because we just want that pain to go away ASAP. Dealing with the aftermath of this situation is extremely frustrating, and our natural instinct is to fix it, even if there’s sometimes nothing to salvage. Breathe, take time to think, and do small daily rituals that make you ok with being single. A month down the line you might still feel raw, but one the calendar keeps turning, that pain will fade, just like everything else in the past eventually does.