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The Love Blog
Time to Start Dating Again?
You've just been through a serious breakup or divorce. Some of the dust has settled. You're no longer devastated, and you start to see tender new green leaves budding out on the trees. You survived! You are alive once again! But now you're lonely and longing for the warmth and closeness that companionship brings.
But stop! This is a time for patience. Your chances of finding a new soul mate tomorrow are nil. Are you really ready to start dating again?
First, you must make sure you are ready emotionally to re-enter the dating scene. If your failed relationship was once important to you, then you must let enough time elapse to properly mourn its passing. Even if you were the one who initiated the breakup, that relationship was once a meaningful part of your life. Give yourself enough time to get over it. "Rebound dating" can not only lead to disaster, it's not fair to your new dating partner. You must get rid of all that old baggage first! And only time will accomplish that.
How do you know when enough time has passed? These are three reliable "rules of thumb":
1. You have made a clean break with your ex. No more contact, no more "wishful thinking". You will never move on emotionally as long as you still harbor romantic feelings or dreams of reconciliation with your old lover. Time to put away all the pictures and souvenirs from that old relationship, and no more phone calls "just to ask a quick question". Time to go cold turkey.
2. You have examined your past relationship, done a little soul searching, accepted some of the blame for the breakup, and you've lost the bitterness! Have you ever dated someone who was still bitter and angry about their recent breakup? Wasnt very pleasant, was it? It poisons their attitude, mood and interaction with you. Think about this before you start dating again. Youll need to leave the cynicism, sarcasm, and anger behind. A man-bashing or woman-hating mentality will get you absolutely nowhere, but alone. It may help if you take the time to analyze what went wrong with the relationship, and admit to yourself that you, yes you, played at least a tiny part in the demise of it. Accept some of the blame, forgive the rest, and move on with your life. Your new date (or potential soul mate) will thank you for it.
3. You have found a certain amount of happiness and direction in life, all by yourself. Don't start dating again just because your Mom or your best friend thinks you need to. You are the best judge as to when you are ready to re-enter the dating scene, so don't let your friends nag you into it. If you can honestly say that you are fairly happy, not still grieving the loss of your mate, and moving on socially, then it may be time to start dating again. You have re-established contact with old friends and made new ones. You are getting out more, socially. You have a new-found energy towards your career or hobby. You are making plans for the future that don't involve a new soul mate. Do not start dating again while you are afraid of being alone, desperate to find a new partner to make you "whole" again. Needy desperation is absolute poison to a potential new relationship. And you can't hide it.
Rule of thumb: Start dating again because you "want to", not because you "need to".
When the time is ripe, visit Love Step 5, Where & how to meet men (& women), for some great ideas to get you started.