After a breakup you may quickly realize that dating in reality carries a lot more nuance than fantasy.
First, of course, you have all the emotions that typically come along with a breakup. Such a major change can put you in an anxious mental space that isn’t exactly conducive to flirting and romance.
Over time, you will notice an easing of the emotional load. Dating is sounding better by the day. But where in the world do you start? And how do you know you are truly ready to take this step?
Are You Ready to Date?
A few factors to consider as you try answering that query:
No Chance of Reconciliation
This may sound obvious but it bears repeating. You do not want to start dating until you are certain that you and your ex-partner are not getting back together.
Processing Your Grief
Even if the divorce was the best thing for both partners, there will be grief. This cannot be discounted or rushed. Unless grief is processed, you may be recovered enough to enter the world of dating.
What Are You Looking For?
Are you looking to play the field or start a committed connection? Are you aware of your deal-breakers? What did you learn from your past relationships? (More about that below.)
How to Start Dating
Learn From the Past
You and your ex committed to one another. But now you’ve broken up. Surely, there are some large and important lessons to draw from this experience. What can bring with you as you meet new people? This question is often best addressed in the presence of a skilled therapist.
What’s the Rush?
Even if your current goal only involves hooking up, take your time. You have a fresh start so why not move at a pace that allows you to make wise decisions that are informed by previous experiences?
Dating Apps Offer Clarity
It matters not whether you actually meet anyone online. The process itself can be very beneficial. Creating a profile puts you in the position to truly analyze who you are, what you’re looking for, and how you want to present yourself to the world. Also, reading the profiles of potential dates helps you to more sharply clarify where you stand in this brave new world of relationships.
If you were looking for a job, you would take steps that increase the odds of success. The same can be done when re-entering the dating pool, e.g.
- Get Fixed Up: Tell a few (very) trusted friends and family members that you are open to being set up with someone. People who know you well may have a good sense of who you might like.
- Join Groups: Find in-person groups that center around one of your interests or hobbies. Also, you can branch out and try a new interest. If nothing else, the people you meet in such groups have at least one thing in common with you!
- Get Social: Stay in touch with your local community to keep abreast of upcoming social events. Get out there and remain open to meeting new people.
What If You’re Just Not Sure?
First of all, that’s normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Secondly, counseling is an excellent venue for exploring this giant step. Meeting regularly with an experienced guide is a proven way to discover more about yourself. Everyone needs a safe space to openly discuss fears, dreams, issues, and goals. Your weekly sessions in relationship counseling can help you get ready to mingle. Let’s connect soon.