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Tips For Getting Back Into Dating After A Long Term Relationship

Getting back into the dating game after a long time can feel like a terrifying prospect, especially if it wasn’t what you had planned. Whether you’ve gone through a divorce or the death of a partner, there are many reasons you might find yourself looking for love again after a long period.

Like most things in life, some people seem to find it easier than others, but it can be scary and you might not know what you’re doing. There’s no right or wrong way to do things, it’s all about what works for you rather than trying and conforming to other people’s expectations. 

Create your own timetable

After getting out of a long-term relationship, or losing a partner, the worst thing you can do is put unrealistic expectations on yourself. Whether it takes you a few weeks, a few months, or a few years to feel ready, that’s OK. 

Getting out of a long-term relationship, or experiencing grief is a life-altering event. Take the time you need to grieve the relationship and come to terms with any feelings you might have. 

Friends and family will try to be helpful and encouraging, which is great, but if they become too pushy and make you feel bad, then you will need to ask them to back off and give you space. You don’t want to feel rushed and make the wrong decision which could leave you feeling unhappy and put you off dating for life. 

Look at the new ways of dating

The dating world moves on. The way you did it before might not be the way it’s done now. There are many new ways to meet people from 60 minute chat lines to dating apps to speed dating. Each has its own pros and cons and you might try more than one of them until you find something that you’re comfortable with. 

Of course, the traditional ways are still good too. Blind dates or getting out and about in order to meet people are all good and keep things interesting. 

Learn to stay safe online

If the advent of dating apps passed you by, it can be a bit of a learning curve to get the hang of them. One of the most important things to learn is how to keep yourself safe online. Firstly, be careful what information you’re sharing with others. Keep details about your address, movements, children, and personal details private. 

Keep all communications within the app platform. This is important so that you can flag any suspicious or inappropriate behavior. Or, if someone else does, you can be contacted to be warned. 

You should always trust your gut.  If something feels wrong, or even just a little off, don’t risk it. It’s also a good idea to Google the person too and see if anything raises any red flags for you. After all, people portray the best version of themselves (or sometimes even a fake one) on a dating app. Their social media can give you a much better idea of them as a person. 

Decide what you want from a relationship

No matter what your previous relationship history is, one of the positives you can take is that it teaches you what you do and don’t want in a romantic partner. So before you jump back into dating, think about what you want in a partner but also in a relationship. 

Are you just seeking some casual fun or are you looking for a long-term relationship, marriage, or kids? Again, there’s no right or wrong and it really is up to you. Decide what things you can compromise on and which are deal breakers. 

If you think that you are carrying a lot of emotional baggage, or have come out of a relationship that wasn’t healthy, then seek the advice of a counselor. You should deal with these issues rather than let them affect your future dates in a negative way. A counselor can help you to put your previous relationship in context and how to deal with any negative emotions or issues that it has left you with. 

Enjoy being single for a while

Even if it’s your goal to find someone to share the rest of your life with, there are a lot of advantages to enjoying single life for a while. After a long relationship, take some time to enjoy your own company, assert your independence, and just do what you want for a while. It’s a great way to decompress and work out how you’ve changed and it may even color what you want from a future relationship. 

Work on yourself, whether that’s physically or mentally to get your self-confidence up. . Get into some good habits and devote some time to your hobbies. If you don’t have any, now’s a great time to find some while you have the time. 

Keep an open mind when looking for love

Of course, you should have high standards for yourself and what you expect of a relationship, but a huge barrier is often people refusing to be open-minded when it comes to the type of person they are looking for and what type of relationship you want. Most people have a ‘type’ but if you’re confining yourself to looking for someone of a certain age, background, income, or attractiveness, you’re potentially discounting people who could make you very happy. Try and focus on qualities instead such as honesty, openness, and a sense of humor. Surely you would want to be judged on these kinds of things too? 

Enjoy it

Putting yourself out there and meeting new people fills most people with dread, it’s not like when you were a teenager. The older you get, the more terrifying you might find it. But it’s all part of your journey, so you should try and enjoy this time if you can. After all, the love of your life might be just around the corner and you don’t want to be too wrapped up in self-doubt to notice.

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