Dating Advice for the Newly Single
Dry Those Tears and Get Dressed Up Because You’re Going Back on the Dating Scene!
Dating After a Breakup
Life has dealt you a blow – one that seems as if you might not recover from it anytime soon. Your heart is still bleeding from the break up and depending on how long you dated or were married, the harder it may be to pick up the pieces and start over. But you have to pick yourself by your bootstraps and get back to living.
We’ve all had times that have tried our souls and this is no different. When we’ve been hurt by someone else, we tend to take too much to heart the things they said and did. While some of it may have been true, much of it is simply the hurling of angry words – and even if it’s true, it’s changeable.
So with time and by getting involved with others, you can heal from the hurt. Dating can help in at least two ways. Either it will help you get your ex back if that’s what you want, or it will help you get over the pain of the break up and put you in touch with “other possibilities.”
In either case, dating new people and resisting the temptation to retreat into a corner and lick your wounds is essential. I’m going to supply some solid advice to help you to approach dating after your recent break up in order to avoid pity traps or rebound romances.
It will help you figure out what it is you’re looking for in your partner and the best ways to prepare your heart again for a fulfilling, balanced, and loving relationship.
Know The Purpose for Your Date
Before we dig into the tips and advice for what to look for when preparing for and choosing future dates, it’s important to take a look at your heart and your purpose for dating.
It’s true that getting involved in the social scene is vital to your emotional and mental well-being. But beware of rebound dating – where you’re tempted to throw yourself into the arms of the next cutie that happens to look your way.
Getting back into the dating scene as soon as possible is important, but not if you’re just going to throw yourself into a spiteful romance where you “use” the other person while you lick your wounds.
Avoid jumping into bed with a string of willing partners because it can undermine your long term mental health – not to mention ruin your chances of having a lasting solid relationship in the future. This form of rebound dating can be most damaging to all parties involved.
So examine why you really want to date right now – make sure you’re in a healthy state of mind. It can make the difference between a good start and a bad one. Sure, you feel lonely because of the loss in your life and have a void to fill, but think hard about why you want to get involved with another man or woman.
You’re most vulnerable after a break up and are apt to make rash decisions based on emotions, which can lead right into another foolish relationship. So ask yourself if there is any chance that you will reconcile with your ex.
Do you even want to? If it’s possible, then this time of dating is more for staying involved socially, letting both of you have some time apart to think things over. Dating can be a help to you in ways that might not make sense right now.
It can take your mind off of your ex for a time and can actually be the best thing for both of you. Then if they happen to see you happily engaging with someone else, they may “see what they were missing” and attempt to reestablish connections.
On the other hand, if you’ve determined that you need to leave that old relationship behind, dating will expand your horizons and prepare you for other better relationships in the future.
A healthy approach to dating is like a smorgasbord. Tasting new relationships is a normal, healthy way to approach meeting your future mate. You test the waters with those of the opposite sex through casual meetings in the form or drinks, dancing, dinner out, movies, walks in the park, etc. There are no commitments – just have a good time getting to know a new person with no expectations beyond that – yet.
While sexual intimacy may be the driving force behind dating for some, be honest and don’t make this your #1 goal. Just because he or she is a hotty on the outside, it doesn’t mean there’s much in common where it really counts. You need to resist the urge to rush into the sack for some quick casual sex.
We all need that part of a relationship, but it will mean so much more if you two really have more in common than over-stimulated hormones. Solid, lasting relationships rarely begin with casual sex on the first date. So think long and hard about jumping right into bed. There will be time enough for sharing intimacy if it is right for you.
How Soon Should You Start Dating
Knowing when to get involved with others while picking yourself up from a bad break up is probably one of the hardest things to do. But once those initial tears are drying up, it’s time to make yourself get on with life.
This may come easier from some than others, depending on how long you were involved in the old relationship and how serious it was. Take an initial time out for reassessing your life.
It’s important to take some time out after the break up and evaluate things a bit and not dash head long after the first sympathetic soul who will listen to your heart cries. Some experts say a month is enough time off from dating. You might need more or less time.
Just know that you need to have this time to think, to calm down and collect yourself. It’s really a good time to get with a close friend – a confidante – and have them as your listening ear. This person should be willing to listen to you from the time that you broke up, through the tears and anger.
More than that – they need to be willing to push you out when you need it or put on the brakes when you start to head down the same bad route with your new love interests. They will see this better than you.
But once you’ve had your time off from socializing, it’s time to jump back into the dating game. The important thing is to try to take your mind off of your recent pain and push forward gradually.
Do it gradually because you don’t need to wear yourself out dating, either. Set a goal of 1–2 nights a week at first and then see how it goes from there. Going out every night will exhaust you and make you wish you were in a relationship again – and you might latch onto someone just for that reason alone.
Get the Chip Off Your Shoulder
One thing must be said about that bad taste in your mouth left over from your recent relationship break up and that is – don’t transfer your anger or bitterness over to any future relationships.
So what if your ex slammed you by leaving you for your best friend. Sometimes, life stinks and you just have to roll with it. Don’t carry over that grudge into the next relationship.
Each person needs to be given the respect for being who they are as individuals, so don’t expect every guy to be a creep or every girl to be the type who is going to ignore a nice guy like you for a bad boy.
Treat each person as you would like to be treated. Seriously, all men aren’t cheaters – so don’t punish your date for whatever your ex did. And, guys, not all women are clingy, jealous, and high-maintenance, so give your date a chance to be who she is.
You need to do yourself and your future dates a favor and “flush” your bad dating and relationship experiences. Start each relationship anew. That may be hard – especially if you keep attracting the same kind of girl or guy repeatedly.
And let’s talk about the possibility. Do you find yourself attracted to men (or women as the case may be) that all seem to have similar character traits? Are the guys all dependent, mama’s boys looking for a strong dominate female and you’re sick of this kind?
Are the girls all whiney, insecure types that won’t leave you to yourself on occasion? What is it that attracts you to a guy or girl in the first place? It’s something to think about before you launch into a new relationship.
Take some time to figure out what it is that you look for in a partner, because you just may be setting yourself up again for a sour relationship.
Feeling Comfortable With Someone Who Isn’t Your Ex
Moving into a new relationship isn’t as easy as putting on new socks. The longer you were involved in the last relationship, the more your heart roots are raw and exposed from the break up. You probably have feelings of inadequacy and who wouldn’t. You’ve just been dumped (or ended another failed relationship yourself) and you wonder, “What’s wrong with me?”
So right here and now, let’s get one thing clear – there isn’t anything wrong with you. But maybe you do have a few issues that drove your partner away. So, before you make any new deep commitments, take the time to determine just what it was that might have driven your ex to leave you.
- Simple personality differences – Maybe you just didn’t click. After an initial attraction and time together, you found that you just didn’t make a “good fit.” That’s okay. He started out as a sympathetic ear, but soon lost interest in your problems. She started out sweet and alluring but morphed in a shadow of your mom.
- Insecurities on your part – Maybe you have some annoying qualities that undermined your old relationship that may carry over if you don’t make an effort to change. So, whether you’re a guy or a girl, nobody likes a clingy, possessive person who won’t let them out of their sight.
If you were always checking up on him or if you were always calling her at work, you need to work on being more self-assured. Relationships are for two people giving and taking. If you’re always taking, then you’ll wear out your welcome.
Whatever it was, now is the time to change those “un-fun” traits and become that kind of person others like to be with. You probably don’t even realize this is a problem, so your close friend can help you see what can be changed.
But let’s not get hung up on those things. Change the things that you can, but don’t dwell on the things that are “you” that the other person just didn’t like. Chances are, he or she was the one with the hang-ups, so leave it in the past.
Remember that you are a one of a kind individual with unique qualities to offer. Don’t let a bad relationship cloud your chances to carry on and find Mr. or Mrs. Right. It may seem cliché, but nobody is perfect. So stop trying so hard. Maybe just being “you” is all you need to do – instead of trying to be a little of everyone else.
Be real. Don’t put on an act. Be fun loving and don’t be afraid to be different. Be willing to stand out. Someone once said, “Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out?”
Dos and Don’ts of Dating Conversations
Time for some pointers for you newly single men and women. There are some things to keep in mind that will make your dates a pleasant time for both of you:
- DON’T bring up your old boyfriend or girlfriend and rehash all the bad things he or she did to you. Nothing will turn a date off more quickly than a negative griper that goes over old dates.
- DON’T dominate the conversation with self-promotion. Bragging is a bore. Touch on your interests, but give the other person equal time Unless they just love to listen to you jabber about chromed mufflers or your sci-fi movie collection.
- DO listen and ask questions about their interests. What do they do for a living? What are their favorite books, if they read? What kind of foods are their favorites (dating a vegetarian when you are a full-out carnivore can be very short lived unless you have other strong similarities in common).
- DO talk about music likes and dislikes. Explore their personality through music. If he hates Bach and you love it – it might be a bone of contention later – who knows?
- DO talk about sports, if it’s your thing. Some people are totally into sports and some just aren’t.
- DO talk about movies and see them together. But if he likes sci-fi thriller and you don’t, try to find something else to see together.
- DO talk about religion and politics. Maybe not on the very first date, but you need to know if these are things that could drive a wedge between you two later on. You will either see things eye to eye or not – and since this is a big sticking point for many, you shouldn’t avoid it for too long.
Let’s not forget the flirt factor. Maybe you don’t think of the following as conversations, but in reality they are – just the more silent kinds of conversation. Think about these:
DO flirt. We’re talking eye contact and body language. It’s a fact that the eyes tell it all. If you’re interested in someone, they’ll know your intentions more by how you hold their gaze.
Flirting is an art, of sorts. It isn’t just about “come hither” or “let’s find a room” look, either. Flirting is a way to let someone know you’re interested. Some do it naturally. Laughing at his jokes, holding his gaze a moment longer than average and letting your eyes look away, punching his arm when he teases you – these are just some things you can do to let someone know you like them.
As a matter of fact, some do this so naturally that it may come across as leading someone on when all they meant was to be friendly. Be careful who you “punch” and giggle at!
DO dress to attract. But don’t dress in such a way that says, “I am a part time hooker or gigolo,” either. That’s desperate and won’t attract solid life mates. Dress to look nice. Make up and perfume should enhance, not hide your true looks. Nicely trimmed hair and beards with clean pants and shirts do wonders for guys. Dress for the occasion.
DO set yourself up for success. Men – girls love it when you compliment their looks, but don’t begin to undress her with your eyes. It will turn her off if she sees you moving too fast.
Girls – guys can be sort of slow at first and will need your “help” discovering you. They may be distracted with another interest, either another woman or cars or something, so help them notice you without getting trashy.
Dating Doesn’t Equal a Relationship Replacement
Don’t feel like just because you’re seeing someone else that you’re ruining your chances of getting back together with your ex. Dating should not be considered a replacement for a permanent relationship – it’s non-threatening to both parties. Yes, there will come a time, sooner or later that you either are ready to take it to the next level with some form of commitment or to stop seeing each other.
But dating in and of itself should be kept rather noncommittal. Most likely, the person you’re dating probably won’t consider these dates to constitute a relationship. Keep this in mind since you’re so used to being one part of a couple.
If you look at dating like those sample tables at the grocery store where you get to have a good taste of the product before you invest in an entire package, then you can enjoy this time of meeting others.
The object of dating should be twofold: you are casually looking for your life mate, but you are also establishing healthy social relationships with friends of both sexes. Because you were burned the first time, it doesn’t mean that you will this time – but you do need to take it slowly and with your eyes open.
Be honest about what your intentions are. Are you seriously looking for a life mate or are you hanging out, not intending to commit right now? Get this out in the beginning so both of you understand one another. Maybe they were burned in a bad relationship, too, and just need some time to sort it out – and you can do that together.
But if you and they are looking for something permanent, say so. Be upfront about your intentions or you may be setting yourself up for another disaster. Get out there and meet people. But go with your eyes open and guard your heart. Keep it light. There will be time enough to make commitments and settle down.
Dating is a fun time of meeting new people, of trying out a relationship with no expectations or commitments. Fun is the operative word here, too. Not that you need to be in a constant state of hilarity – but do things you that enjoy with someone else. A serious lifelong relationship starts with two people who enjoy similarities together and the best relationships are based on friendship. Dating lets you find that special friend.