So you’re ready to start dating again. That’s a big decision and one you probably didn’t stumble upon overnight. It isn’t easy to get back into the dating world, even if it’s been a year after your breakup. Thankfully, this article can help you navigate the process. From setting relationship boundaries to noticing red flags, here are a few tips:
You want to make sure you’re emotionally ready to meet someone new and potentially fall in love. Maybe you recently experienced a breakup. Or perhaps you’ve just been out of the game for a while. Either way, take your time before re-entering the dating world.
Dating isn’t always easy. Not everyone you meet will have your best interests in mind. You need to love yourself and be confident in who you are before dating. If you’re insecure and looking for someone else to make you feel good, you probably need more time.
Take steps to work through those insecurities so you can feel good alone. Instead of going on dates with strangers, take yourself out to dinner and a movie. Practice self-love and celebrate who you are as a person.
Protecting your health should always be a priority. After all, that’s why people schedule routine physicals with their doctor and make appointments with therapists. With that said, it’s easy to forget the importance of protecting your sexual health.
Yes, you should protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But if you’re not ready to start a family, you should also protect yourself from pregnancy. After all, you deserve to be able to get to know a person without the worry of an unexpected pregnancy.
There are multiple birth control methods you can use to protect yourself. For example, you could opt for birth control pills or even a birth control ring. A ring is an option that only needs to be replaced every several weeks. This is probably better if you’re not the biggest fan of taking pills or often forget.
One of the first things you should do before starting dating is figuring out your boundaries. Limits don’t have to be incredibly rigid, but they need to be specific to your goals. What do you want out of a relationship? What are you not willing to compromise on?
For example, if you want to wait until marriage to live together, set a boundary. How? By telling the person, you have that boundary and staying true to it. As you’ve probably experienced in a relationship, it’s all too easy to disregard your needs for someone else’s. Setting boundaries and following through on them keeps that from happening.
Go ahead and make a list of your boundaries. Once you meet someone new, please share this list with them, so they know what you will and won’t tolerate.
Like setting boundaries, you should also list the characteristics you’re looking for in a person. And contrary to popular belief, this list should be lengthy. You’re looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with. That’s a pretty big deal.
Think of it the same way you would when buying a house. You have a list of things you want and don’t want in your forever home. If you’re willing to be that picky with a place, you should be that picky with a partner.
With that said, no person (just like no house) will have everything on your list. It would be best to rank the characteristics from most important to not that big of a deal. For example, I was dating someone who makes six figures would be excellent. But being with someone with good communication skills is probably more important.
Online dating apps aren’t the only places to meet new people. Sure, they are an excellent resource, and some have high success rates. But they shouldn’t be your only option—especially if you’re uncomfortable with the idea.
Social media has made it easier to connect with people with similar interests. For instance, you could go online and see what’s going on in your area. Whether you attend a concert or join a club, meeting new people doesn’t have to be challenging.
There are several ways to meet new people—you have to get out there. You could ask your friends and family members if they know anyone you’d be interested in meeting. You could even host a game night at your home and have your friends invite their friends.
Regardless of how long you’ve been together, ending a relationship can take its toll. There’s nothing worse than getting your heartbroken. And chances are, you’re still walking around with the scars from that breakup.
Maybe you were cheated on. That might cause you to second-guess everything someone says to you. Instead of taking their word, you might doubt them, which won’t help your future relationships grow — just the opposite.
That’s why it’s essential to heal after a breakup and enter the dating world with a positive mindset. Don’t assume everyone is lying to you. Please do your best to give them the benefit of the doubt. This doesn’t mean you should ignore red flags, though. If something seems fishy, call the person out, and don’t be afraid to walk away if necessary.
Dating can be difficult, dramatic, and sometimes even scary. Putting your faith into someone you just met isn’t easy, especially if you’ve recently been hurt. Thankfully, the tips above can help you re-enter the dating world confidently.