The only thing more challenging than getting over a breakup is re-entering the dating scene after a long hiatus. Coming out of a serious relationship is an ideal time for self-reflection and reconnecting with what you really want out of your life, and eventually, your next partner.
Before downloading the newest dating app, make sure you are in the right headspace mentally and physically to start a new relationship.
Give Yourself Time
One of the most common mistakes committed by the newly single is jumping headfirst into another relationship. Of course, not every rebound relationship is destined for failure. Still, if you don’t have the space to process your breakup, you are far more likely to bring emotional baggage into the next relationship.
Staying single for at least a few months after a breakup also gives you the chance to rediscover who you are. Long-term relationships require a lot of compromises, and it is not unusual for people to feel a loss of identity or purpose after they end. Taking a temporary break from romantic relationships allows you to grieve your breakup properly.
You can also use this time to analyze what worked and what didn’t. If this breakup is the latest in a series of abusive or emotionally unfulfilling relationships, it may be worthwhile to talk to a therapist and uncover the roots of these unhealthy relationship patterns.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Long-term relationships offer a level of comfort, trust, and intimacy that takes a long time to build. If you enter the dating scene expecting these types of connections right off the bat, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
Instead, outline what you can reasonably expect from someone you’re just getting to know. For example, while expecting a potential partner to reach out the morning after a fun date is reasonable, declarations of exclusivity are not.
While being overly idealistic can lead to trouble, don’t go too far in the opposite direction and eliminate your standards. Dating becomes a lot more enjoyable if you identify your deal-breakers and stick to them, no matter how cute your date seems at first. Also, never accept abusive, dishonest, or controlling behaviors.
Focus on Your Health
Breakups are really hard on the body. Many people become depressed and turn to sugary or salty foods for comfort. Some people even develop broken heart syndrome, which feels very similar to having a heart attack.
Once the clouds start to lift, you may find that your health is in a much worse place. Get back on track by adding a few healthy routines to your day, like a light workout or meditation practice. Incorporate more fresh produce and whole grains into your diet and avoid overdoing it with caffeine or alcohol.
Monitoring your sexual health is also essential when you’re dating. Men and women can benefit from a routine Mycoplasma genitalium test. Practice safe sex and seek out reliable contraception if you want to avoid pregnancy.
Learn the New Rules
Technology has rapidly changed the dating game. This can be quite a shock if you have been out of the dating pool for the past few years. In general, dating has become less spontaneous and more casual.
Since most dating apps only connect users who show interest in each other, people have become more risk-averse to rejection. For this reason, it is much less common to be approached for a date in the real world.
Each dating app also has its own culture and dynamics. For example, the best-known app Tinder has gained a reputation as a hook-up app, while those seeking relationships may have better luck on apps like Bumble or Hinge. There are also a plethora of niche apps that connect people based on their age, interests, and other characteristics.
No matter which app you choose, you will need to upload professional-quality photos that showcase your personality. If you want the best chance of finding compatible matches, put thought and effort into your bio.
If you decide to meet any matches in person, always choose a public venue. Dating experts recommend a low-key activity like grabbing a coffee for a first date. This makes it easier to cut the date short if the chemistry just isn’t there.