Dating again, particularly if you're just coming out of a long-term relationship, is very difficult. Whether you've experienced the death of a spouse, a marriage that has ended in divorce or your long-time boyfriend or girlfriend has decided to break off the relationship, picking up the pieces can be a daunting process.
One of the most common questions following the end of a long-term relationship is, "When is it okay to start dating again?" Clearly, the answer to that question will be different from person to person, and only you can determine when the time is right.
Keep reading to find out why you should start dating again, as well as how you can gracefully re-enter the dating world.
Why You Should Date After a Breakup
Maybe you've had a bad experience, and the relationship that once made you happy has since caused you deep pain. However, this is no reason to swear off dating. Dating after a breakup can be part of the process of rediscovering who you are. It's a great way to take charge of your love life while meeting other singles. Even if you start out by simply looking for friendships, post-breakup dating is a healthy, normal part of rebuilding your identity as a single person.
Knowing When You're Ready
After injuring your body, you tend to test the wounded area. Bend the joint, stretch the muscle, press the bruise. It may take days, weeks or years, depending on the extent of the injury, but eventually you regain the ability to use the injured body part without pain. Healing from the emotional injury that results from a breakup can be a little like that. It may take time, but eventually you will be able to think and talk about that relationship without feeling pain.
Should you have completely healed from your previous relationship before diving back into the dating waters? Once again, this question doesn't have a one-size-fits-all answer. However, if you've allowed yourself time to grieve, you feel like you've reclaimed yourself and you feel ready to trust another person, you can begin dating with confidence.
Tips for Re-entering the World of Dating
Follow these tips to gracefully enter back into the world of dating.
Hold Off on the Details
Even if you and your date share a similar relationship history, there is no reason to discuss the details on the first few dates. At all. Even if you only intend to give a brief, unemotional rundown of your dating history, it's too easy to get sucked into reliving the drama and disappointment of a relationship gone wrong. If your date asks about your previous relationship, it's completely ok to politely say, "I'd rather not talk about my dating history, I've been looking forward to getting to know you!" Then, change the subject to something more positive.
Maybe you've always stuck with one "type." As you're re-entering the dating world, try experimenting by going out with people that have different personalities, interests and backgrounds. Over the course of your previous relationship, your preferences may have changed. Now is the perfect time to look outside of your normal "type."
Take Your Time
There is no need to rush into anything that you don't feel ready for. Just because you're accustomed to being in a serious, long-term relationship doesn't mean that you immediately need to jump into a new serious, destined-to-be-long-term relationship. Take your time and keep things as casual as you want. In time, you may be ready for something more; until then, have fun getting to know new people.
Expand Your Search
If you're like most people, the friendships that you and your significant other built were with other couples. While those people may be able to set you up with someone that they know, you're probably not going to find a date amongst your immediate circle of friends.
While you can and should allow yourself to be set up on a blind date, you don't need to rely on your friends' connections to re-enter the dating world. Online dating provides a great opportunity to meet singles in your area. You have the opportunity to filter your prospective dates based on a variety of factors, increasing your chances of finding someone with whom you're compatible. On the other hand, going out with your friend's husband's second cousin carries no such guarantee.
Are you ready to resume your dating life? At Love2Date Singles, we have a range of lifestyle sites for people just like you. Whether you're a divorced dater, a single parent or you've facedthe death of a spouse, you'll find a community of daters who share your background and experiences. Joining is free and simple, so create your profile today.