Healing from a break up can take time. Whether you or the other person was “at fault” or ended it, you invested time and energy into cultivating a relationship with this person. This means, it’s only natural that it will take time for you to be ready to get back on the horse again.
For some women, this may only take a few weeks or months, while others may take a little longer – how long it takes comes down to how committed you are to healing and moving on. Either way, when you’re truly ready to get back out there on the dating scene, it’s important to be prepared.
Here are 4 tips that will be sure to help you on your journey to new love:
1. Are You REALLY Over Your Ex?
Unless you want to scare the next guy off on the first date, the first order of business is to make sure that you’re truly ready to move forward. There’s no denying that you may still have feelings for your ex on some level, though taking baggage from your old relationship into your new one is a huge mistake.
Here are a few questions to consider asking yourself about being over your ex:
- Do you stalk him on social media and get jealous when you see he’s happy or moved on?
- Are you plotting ways to get back at them for what they did to you?
- Have you found yourself trying to communicate with them again?
- Have you been begging them to come back and try to work it out?
- Can you go a day without thinking about them (positively or negatively)?
- Do you compare every new person you meet to your ex?
Your response to these questions will determine your relationship readiness.
2. Self-Love is Important
I always tell my clients that the most important thing about getting involved in a romantic relationship, on any level, is to make sure that you love yourself first. If you doubt your lovability or value, it’s only going to end in disaster. Ask yourself a few questions
- Have I truly forgiven myself for my part in the relationship break up?
- Have I forgiven my ex for their part in the demise of the relationship?(This question doesn’t mean did you pick up the phone and say, “Hey jerk, I forgive you for doing what you did!” It simply means you’ve internally forgiven their actions, as forgiveness sets you free.)
- Can I truly stand on my own two feet or do I still feel like I need a relationship to feel my best?
- Do I love myself enough to indulge in my own pleasures even in a new relationship?
- Have I stopped beating myself up and living in the land of “what if” as it pertains to my past relationship?
Be sure that you answer each of these questions honestly before moving back into the dating world. This is the only way to be sure that you’re not holding onto the past, that you can be confident and stand on your own as a strong woman, and that you won’t lose yourself in a new relationship, or end up in an unhealthy relationship.
Of course, you don’t have to be 100% confident in all that you do or in how you feel about yourself, that’s next to impossible. BUT, you have healed enough to know that you’re worthy of the love you seek, and as a result you approach dating in a healthy realistic way.
3. Take Your Time
If deep down you know you’re still healing from a break up, you don’t want to rush back into a new relationship right away. Take your time, feel the person out, and just go with the flow.
If you find yourself head over heels, scribbling hearts around their name, or stalking them on social media after the first few dates… you’re going too fast. Sure, there are instances when you can feel intense attraction and desire for a mere stranger, but if you’re coming at your date full speed and they’re on cruise control, you’re going to cause a crash.
Taking your time might require some of the following steps:
- Get out more socially – instead of going back onto the dating scene with the mindset of dating, just get out more and have fun.
- Don’t rush the pace – if you do actually start dating a guy and you’re really into him, don’t try to speed things up. Hold onto those mushy feelings you have and let it play out a bit more. The truth is, initial attraction doesn’t equate to compatible love – get to know your new guy over time. If he is a match, then what’s the rush!
- Don’t get sexual right away – now this tip might be a matter of opinion, however, sex can really complicate things if you’re not ready to handle the emotions that may come along with it. Take your time, if he really wants your “cookie”, he’ll wait until the “cookie” is ready to come out of the oven.
- Don’t commit too soon – it’s probably not a good idea to lock in your bets without first seeing a few options, and it’s certainly not a good idea when you’re not clear about what you actually want. Offering exclusivity too soon closes the door to other potentials out there. Dating is supposed to be fun and free, and the idea is to find a compatible partner, not just some guy who wants you, or you think is cute. Test the waters, see what fish are in the sea, and before you sink your hook in, make sure you’re fishing for the “right” fish for you.
4. Let Go and Open Up
After a bad relatinship break up it can be difficult to open yourself up again to receive the love that comes your way. However, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to meet great people by holding on to what happened in the past. While you should remember your past as a lesson, it should not be the precursor for every relationship that follows.
Now I’m not saying that you should tell the guy EVERYTHING about yourself after only having just met, but I am saying, don’t pretend that you don’t have a past either. The only way to know if you’re really into the person you’re dating is if you learn about each other.
Here are some suggestions on how to open up in a healthy way:
- Let go of expectations – after a break up your expectations and standards can be high. Let go of those expectations and just let your new relationship be what it is. Expecting too much of a person right off the bat will ultimately set you up for disappointment.
- Let go of fear – this one may be hard to do, but honestly, if you were strong enough to make it through the last relationship, you’ll make it through whatever may happen in the future. Not everyone will hurt you.
- Share your journey – without necessarily naming your ex or going through every detail of your past relationship, tell your story once you’re comfortable. Let the new person get to know you, without unraveling you. You can share about your past and your futures desires in a relaxed and undisturbed way. Keep the finer, and the sometimes ugly, details for a more developed relationship. Sure, you should not feel as though you need to hide anything, yet there is a time and a place for uncensored history. If you tend to over share about your past, then perhaps you need more time to heal.
- Focus on the positive – instead of going into a date ready to point out all the things you don’t like about the person, focus on the things you do like. You could be resistant to love, as opposed to having real grounds to fault them. Even if it turns out they’re not relationship material, they could make a great friend.
Healing from a break up is challenging, and getting back on the horse again can be just as tough. If you’re really ready to get your feet wet again, then get out there and dance in the ocean of love.
Love yourself, take your time, and let go (of the past and fears of the future). When the right person sees you for who you really are, the connection will be automatic and love will develop naturally.