How to gain confidence to date again after ending a long-term relationship

There's nothing quite like the pain and heartbreak that comes with ending a long-term relationship. Breaking up after a long-term relationship can be devastating, in which you may start swearing to yourself you will never love or even date again. Perhaps, in your relationship, you got so used to having your partner with you every day, and now having them gone just makes you feel clueless and unsure about the future. Or maybe, you were so fully invested in your relationship that you decided to get married, and now find yourself a newly singly divorcée. 

And so, the thought of diving into the dating world again after a bad breakup can be a scary thing. Getting over it will take time, but much more if it’s from a long-term serious relationship. You’ll need to overcome series of emotions and fully acknowledge them for you to resolve and move on from them. Simply put, you’ll need to take some sweet time with yourself as it can help you fully heal and move on to the next stage.

So, how can you be sure that you’re finally ready to dive into dating again, and where do you even begin?

How To Start Dating Again 

If you’ve been single and need a little help in getting back on board, here are some tips to help you start dating again after a long-term relationship.

Reflect On What You Want from Your Next Partner 

Now that you have enough time for yourself, you can use this time to reflect, look back, and evaluate which aspects of your previous partner worked and didn’t work for you. You can write them down on paper and create two columns listing their positive and negative attributes to make it easier.

For instance, if your difference in religion was a big hindrance towards having a smooth relationship, then ensure your next partner has the same faith and belief as yours to avoid the same mistake again. If you’re a catholic, you can visit dating websites like Catholic Match and other religion-specific dating sites to ensure your next partner will be in the same religion as you.

You can repeat this habit for all your exes. From this list, you can precisely define what type of person you should look for, and it will help you focus on a healthier and, hopefully, a lasting relationship.

Be Optimistic 

It’s hard to start dating again if your mind is clouded with negative emotions or perspectives about dating in general. After all, you can’t be blamed, especially if you’ve been through a tough breakup from your long-term relationship. However, if you want your next relationship to be successful, then you need to stay optimistic. Having a positive mindset can lead to an optimistic behaviour and eventually increase your chances of finding the right person and a favourable outcome.

Take Time to Release Emotional Baggage 

Before you even think of dating again, you need to check in with yourself first and see if you still have emotional baggage within you. Make sure to empty all these emotional baggage first and see to it that your heart is fully healed and strong enough to handle another set of ups and downs from a new relationship. The last thing you want is dating someone new, and it turns out that you’re still aching to get back with your ex.

Take your time to heal and resolve all the past issues that still hunt and hurt you. Since you recently got out of a long-term relationship, then it’s only understandable if it takes you a year or more to sort out your past issues.

However, make sure you’re also not taking too much of your time by yourself that going back into dating would be daunting for you. Once you feel that you’re finally free of the hurt, anger, pain, and bitterness from your previous long-term relationship, then that may be a good sign of you being ready to date again.

Never Compare Your New Dates to Your Ex 

One of the biggest dilemmas some people face when they start dating after ending a long-term relationship is comparing the new people they meet with their previous ex, which is a big no-no. Comparing your new dates to your ex is only a recipe for a disastrous relationship in the future. It would only lead you to constantly feel disappointed every time the other person does something different from what your ex usually does before.

What’s worst, you’re also hurting the other person in the process as you’re not dating them because of who they are, but you’re only dating them because they reminded you of your ex, which is a wrong way to start a relationship. Thus, if you’re going back onboard into dating again, never compare anyone ever to your previous lover. If you still find it challenging to break the habit, it may be advisable not to start dating yet.

Take Things Slow 

After you’ve finally recovered and healed from your long-term relationship, it’s advisable to take things slow and avoid setting yourself up to numerous dates simultaneously. You don’t need to pressure yourself into settling on another date too quickly. After all, you just ended a long-term relationship, and so it’s totally understandable to pace yourself and just have fun instead of trying to progress your dates quickly.

Never Talk About Your Ex During Your Dates 

When you’re on your dates, as much as possible, never talk about your ex or how you ended your long-term relationship. Doing this will only turn off all your dates and lose your chance of finding a potential partner.

Moreover, talking about your ex or how much your ex has hurt you only shows you’re still keeping some hidden anger or pain in you, which is definitely not beneficial when planning to start a new relationship. If you still find yourself unconsciously starting a topic about your previous long-term relationship, then, might as well pause your dating escapades yet and resolve those conflicting emotions first.

Be Your Real, Genuine Self 

Whether you’re from a long-term relationship breakup or not, the top dating rule you must never forget is to be your authentic self on every date you go. Showing your true self is the only way for you to find your perfect match. Stay true to yourself, your desires, needs, and wants in a relationship. Then, be mindful of how the other person reacts or behaves around you, and as well as you feel around this person.

It may be hard to imagine being on the dating scene again after ending your previous long-term relationship. However, it’s always best to listen to your heart and trust your guts when it comes to dating.

If you feel hesitant to jump to new dates again, you can always choose to stay single and have some sweet time with yourself before finding your next love. As long as you keep these tips in mind while making healthy choices and putting yourself first before anyone else, then you’re on the right track towards finding a healthy and lasting relationship in the future.