How to Start Dating Again

Masthead Image
Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Monday November 30, 2020

Body + Mind is reader-supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through some of the links on our site. 

After you get out of a long-term or meaningful relationship, the last thing you want to do is start dating again. It takes time to grieve a lost love, especially if you have to end it with legal separation and child custody arrangements. Now you’re beginning to feel conflicting emotions because the idea of dating doesn’t seem so bad.

You want to meet someone new, but the anxiety-inducing thought of ice breakers and online dating gives you pause. Use these tips to learn how to start dating again with a renewed sense of optimism and self-confidence.

1. Make Peace With the Past

Before you venture out in the dating world, do some soul-searching. How much of your heart still aches for your ex? You might miss that time of your life for a while, but you should feel ready to accept new love without guilt or unease.

Work through your breakup with healthy coping mechanisms. Talk with a therapist or write your thoughts in a journal to process and let go of your pain. Permit yourself to let go of the past so your heart can heal.

2. Think About Your Future

Everyone wants something from their dating experience. What do you desire for your future? Consider if you want to remarry eventually or find a particular character trait in your next partner. Once you know what you want from your experience, you’ll have an easier time figuring out which dates are more promising than others.

3. Love Yourself First

When you don’t love yourself, you’re likely looking to fill some hole in your heart. Relationships can’t thrive if you expect someone to make you feel happy or content. They’ll also fail if your partner has to fight the way you tear yourself down.

As you prepare yourself for a new phase of life, practice three steps to self-love so you understand and value your identity. Embrace what makes you unique. Indulge your passions and learn how to extend self-compassion for the mistakes you make as you grow. 

4. Explore Something New

Your future love interest should be an important part of your life, but they shouldn’t be your sole focus. Ensure you have a support group of great friends to help you through the good and bad times.

While you have fun with your pals, you might meet someone who catches your eye. Try new things like volunteering in the community together. Cultivating better relationships all around will make you more content and a better partner.

5. Check in With Your Needs

Before and after you start dating again, remind yourself to check in with your needs. What you want when you start dating might change after a few weeks or months. 

Write down your goals and dreams so you can reflect on them. If you feel lost, work with a virtual therapist to begin self-care that strengthens your outlook on life. When you stay in touch with your needs, you won’t waste time on superficial dating expectations.

6. Pace Your Conversations

It’s tempting to rush back into a relationship when you’re ready to date. True love makes you feel safe, unlike opening your heart on endless first dates.

Still, it’s better to pace your conversations. Don’t dive in deep after you find something in common with someone new. Give the relationship time to develop naturally. It will either strengthen what you have with someone or expose a few red flags. 

7. Fight Your Fears

After you find someone and realize you’re falling in love, a wave of fear might wash over you. Will it work out? What if they hurt you? What if it’s too soon?

Anyone can overcome fear in new relationships by changing the pattern. Accept fearful thoughts for what they are and acknowledge the purpose behind them. Release each one from your heart and take action.

It helps to talk through your fears with your partner, family or friends. Speaking your concerns aloud will either validate them and reveal the path forward or show you they’re baseless.

8. Look Forward With Excitement

Don’t forget about all the things you can look forward to once you start dating again. You’ll experience butterflies, first kisses and new memories formed in the warm haze of falling in love. Dating can seem scary, but there are also plenty of reasons for excitement.

Take Charge of Your Love Life

You are always in control of your love life. Now that you know how to start dating again, you can move forward with whatever makes you comfortable. If you get overwhelmed, you can put things on pause until you’re ready to dive back into the dating pool.

Previous ArticleHow to Maintain a Good Relationship With Friends: 9 Tips Next ArticleHow Long Should You Sit at a Time? Is Sitting the New Smoking?
Subscribe CTA Image

Subscribers get even more tailored tips & deets delivered directly to their inboxes!