If you’ve just come out of a long-term relationship, chances are dating is the last thing on your mind; but when you do decide you’re ready to get back out there, the idea of starting again can be a pretty daunting one. If you’re wondering how best to get back on the horse, we asked Susie Lane, matchmaker at Mutual Attraction, for her top tips on getting back into dating after a breakup…
Allow yourself time to come to terms with the end of your relationship. There’s no timeframe for how long that can take, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you ever feel you should be ‘over it’ already. To find happiness with someone new it’s important you’ve come to terms with the ending of your past relationship.
Don’t Think All The Good Ones Have Gone
There are lots of great people out there, whatever your age. Many people find themselves single after a long-term relationship or marriage, and they, too, might be trying to navigate the world of dating. Once you start opening your eyes to it, you’ll see there are plenty of people out there.
Try All Options
What worked for you five years ago might not work now. Dating has changed and there are more ways than ever to meet someone. Dating apps, dating sites and singles events are all available to you – try them out and bring some friends along for the ride.
Make The Effort
If you’re going on a date, make the effort. Whether that’s getting your hair done or wearing your favourite outfit, when you feel great about yourself your confidence will naturally soar and things are more likely to go well. A little bit of effort will go a long way.
Trust that you, as you are, have plenty to offer. Be honest and open both on dating sites and on dates. You don’t need to make yourself seem younger, more exciting or more outgoing – they want to get to know you, so give them the chance.
Be Open Minded
Go into each date with an open mind – this means no looking them up online beforehand. Don’t shut someone out because they’re not your ‘type’, you never know who you’ll actually end up with. Never compromise on your values but be open to meeting people from all walks of life and you’ll find dating much more exciting.
Understand That Not Everyone Is Like Your Ex
Whether good or bad, don’t assume everyone will be like your ex. Spend time getting to know someone and don’t make snap judgements. You wouldn’t want to be compared to their ex, so treat them as an individual and you’re less likely to miss out on a possible connection.
Remember A Date Works Both Ways
It’s not just your date's responsibility to ensure things go well, so don’t leave everything to them. If they’ve suggested drinks at a pub you don’t like, rather than going and being unhappy, suggest somewhere else. Dating takes effort. It doesn’t always flow seamlessly and you need to be willing to put some leg work in too, but the rewards are definitely worth it.
Surround Yourself With Good Friends
Having someone to talk to and share your dating experiences with makes everything more fun. Supportive friends will be on hand to give you a pep talk and of course will be more than happy to have a dating debrief over a glass of wine.
Enjoy it! Not every date you go on will blow you away; in fact, you might go on some when you wonder why you’re bothering, but that’s part and parcel of dating. You aren’t going to have an amazing connection with everyone right away, so instead of going in thinking, “Is this person the one?”, focus on having a good time.