It’s easier than you think.
Any breakup can be devastating. If you’ve recently had your heart broken, the mere suggestion of dating again might send you back into your pillow.
You might have even sworn off men for good, especially after your boyfriend betrayed you by cheating on you with your best friend or his ‘work wife,’ or he promised you that eventually he’d settle down when really, he was never ever going to.
Maybe, your man did something totally outrageous that made you see him (finally) for who he is, and your eyes were opened wide – a defining heart-crushing moment. Or, perhaps you two just drifted apart; that can hurt plenty enough.
Whatever happened doesn’t really matter because you’re sad and defeated. Finding someone new is the last thing on your mind, and you have little hope that there are any good men left.
It is natural to feel a range of emotions like anger, frustration, bewilderment, and even a little despair. A break up is a loss just like any other. You can’t bury those feelings, and there are no easy shortcuts in working through them
First, there are 2 things you need to know:
You will find someone fantastic.
You’re worth it.
Dating these days is actually easier than it’s ever been. If you take a few steps forward with optimism, it won’t be as difficult as you think. So, dust yourself off and get out there!
If you want to heal yourself from your nasty breakup and find ‘the one,’ there are the 6 things you should do:
1. Take some time for yourself.
Before you invest in a new relationship, create a better relationship with yourself: date yourself.
Carve out time to do things you enjoy, get grounded in nature, and explore mindfulness. This might including taking some walks through a park or strolls on the boardwalk, or sipping lattes in some fabulous coffee shops in your city. Take yourself to the movies and see all the films you like (no compromising).
Use this time to think about what you truly need and desire in a relationship and what you envision for your future. Journal your insights and create a vision board of your goals and dreams.
Most importantly, take this time to give yourself compassion, accept what is, and permission to enjoy each moment here and now.
2. Pursue your interests.
If you neglected some of your hobbies while you were dating in the past, now is a chance to reconnect with what you enjoy doing. Take a class, sign up for yoga, join a meetup group, or try out for a local sports team.
Doing what you love will re-energize you and bring harmony into your life. Bonus: the odds are pretty good that you’ll meet someone fantastic who enjoys some of the same things.
3. Let loose.
If you’ve been cooped up in your apartment dwelling on the past, it’s probably time to get your body moving and relieve some stress. What better way than to dance the night away? Text some pals and make a date of it! You might not meet Mr. Right, but a little small talk, flirting, and a dance will get you warmed up for the dating scene.
If you’re still not ready or nightclubs are not your thing, a trip to the gym or some kickboxing can get your frustrations out and raise your endorphins at the same time. You’ve got to feel good to feel good.
4. Talk to people (it’s that simple).
There are probably a lot of friendly people in your city and there is virtually no excuse not to meet new people every day.
So, even if you’re an introvert, stretch yourself a little bit each day with a few of these ideas:
Smile and say hi to the handsome guy on the train in the morning.
If you’re a coffee lover, make small talk with the regulars you see in your Starbucks lineup.
Thank someone for passing you the last eggplant at the supermarket and exchange ideas about how to cook one. You’ll both be mouthwatering over thoughts of parmigiana!
Be open, curious, and authentic. You never know where a smile, a question, a laugh will go. It could even lead to love!
5. Get online.
There is a myriad of options out there; sites based on your age, religion, or sexual preference, and sites based on personality type and matching.
If you’re skeptical if online dating can work for you, just about everyone nowadays knows someone who’s met someone online. Ask around!
The research backs up the success of online dating, also. Couples who meet online report more satisfaction, and are more likely to stay together, too!
One caveat: don’t jump on a less serious dating site (swiping left or right might be a clue) if you’re emotionally bruised and still hoping to find your soulmate. You might have a little fun, but someone seriously looking for love and marriage is more likely to be on the pages of Match or eHarmony, according to Brides magazine.
The best approach is to clearly figure out who you are and visualize what you want first, then thoughtfully write up a dating profile that reflects the real you and what you’re looking for in a partner.
Take your time, don’t take online dating too seriously, and focus on making new connections. Stay true to your values and you’ll eventually meet your match!
6. Tell people you’re ready to date.
Just like you should tell people you’re looking for a new job, you should let your friends and loved ones you know that you’re open to meeting someone new. Be crystal clear about what you’re searching for and tap into your network. People have an instinct to help.
Ok, so maybe you don’t want to get set up by your parents, or even your best friend for that matter. But perhaps, just maybe, there is someone out there in the very same predicament, getting over a nasty breakup and looking for love just like you.
Try these 6 steps and you’ll be a little further past the hurt, moving toward a brighter future, and ready to open your heart to love again. Then, when you’re not expecting it, a truer love will find its way to you.
Lisa Petsinis is a certified coach who works with individuals who want to create a relationship and a life they love. Her work has been featured in numerous online publications including YourTango, TheMindsJournal, POPSUGAR, MSN, and Prevention. Contact Lisa on her website for more information about her services, or sign up for her newsletter for even more insights.