8 Tips for Success When Dating After a Breakup
Dating after a breakup is hard, but it’s important to remember what you liked and didn’t like about your ex. This will help you find a new partner who is right for you.
Surround yourself with positive people who will support you and uplift your confidence. Set achievable personal goals and work towards them.
1. Focus on yourself
Taking some time to focus on yourself is crucial to feeling ready for a new relationship. This may include reflecting on your previous relationship to identify silver linings and learn more about yourself.
When you’re ready to start dating again, you’ll be more open to meeting people and allowing yourself to become vulnerable in a way that feels healthy. You’ll also be more confident in your ability to choose a healthy relationship.
You’ll be able to cook meals that make you happy without worrying about what your partner will think of them, spend time with friends you missed out on during the relationship, and pursue hobbies that were neglected during your romance.
2. Take care of yourself
While focusing on other people in the dating game can help you move on, remember to focus on yourself as well. Whether that means cooking meals for just yourself, or taking up a new hobby you enjoy. It can also be a good idea to reconnect with friends you may have lost touch with over the course of your relationship.
It’s not a good idea to jump into another relationship right away, as rebound relationships rarely work out. Instead, try dating casually at first, and see if you’re able to connect with someone without comparing them to your ex. This is a great way to gauge your readiness to find a more serious relationship.
3. Get back to work
No one gets over heartbreak at the same speed, so it’s important to know your own triggers and how to deal with them. Some people can hop right back on the dating scene after a breakup, while others may need to take it slow.
It’s also key to avoid obsessing over your ex, which can be especially hard when you start dating again. Try to avoid scrolling through their Instagram posts or refreshing their Facebook profile every time they post.
Instead, focus on your work or a hobby you’re passionate about. This will help you “focus on something other than your heartache,” Winch says. It will also give you a sense of normalcy that can keep heartbreak from consuming your life.
4. Find a hobby
The best way to heal after a breakup is by getting back to the things that make you happy. Whether that means taking up a new hobby or reviving an old one, it can help distract you from your ex.
For example, try a new exercise class or give that pole-dancing class you’ve been eyeing a shot. You can also find a relaxing hobby like knitting or coloring.
Or, simply hang out with friends more often. This will not only lift your mood but also remind you that being single is actually pretty rad! Plus, it will give you some people to turn to if you do decide to date again.
5. Reach out to friends
Some people equate their self-worth with the success of their relationships, so if they are struggling, try to be supportive. Providing reassurance from a healthy point of view can help them get back on track.
It’s also important to reach out to old friends who you may have neglected during the time you were a couple. Spending quality time with people will remind you that you have value outside of your romantic relationship and will give you a fresh perspective when dating again.
You should also avoid comparing any new potential partners to your ex. This will only set you up for failure. Instead, approach each person with a platonic point of view.
6. Don’t bring up the past
It’s usually best to avoid crossing paths with an ex-partner. If that’s not possible, setting boundaries through a “no-contact” period can help.
Rumination, or repetitively revisiting negative thoughts and memories about an ex, can stifle your ability to move on. Try to break this habit by distracting yourself with a new hobby, going back to school or even signing up for a half-marathon.
It’s also helpful to talk about the past with a counselor or other trusted loved one, psychologists say. This can help you gain perspective on your relationship and figure out how to prevent it from ending in a similar way in the future.
7. Be open to meeting new people
If the idea of meeting new people excites you instead of scares you, that’s a great sign. It shows that you’re moving on from your last relationship and are open to dating again. Try taking a class or joining a club that will help you meet people with similar interests.
However you choose to meet new people, don’t compare them to your ex. That’s not fair to either of you. You’ll know you’re ready for dating again when you can appreciate a new person for their unique qualities without constantly comparing them to your ex.
8. Don’t forget about yourself
It can be tempting to date solely to fill the void left by your ex, but it’s important to be clear about why you want to start dating again. If it’s to prove that you’re still desirable or to make your ex jealous, that could be a sign you’re not ready to move on.
Keep in mind that the end of a relationship is also the end of a version of yourself that you’ve spent time cultivating. So take some time to rediscover what interests you and what parts of your personality were developed in your previous relationship. That may be as simple as revisiting old hobbies or taking up a new one.