Dating After Being Dumped: 7 Steps for Getting Back in the Gameby Tanya Edwards on October 14, 2011
Breaking up is hard to do. The only thing worse? Being dumped. Whether your spouse left you, your long-term partner called it quits, or the gal/guy you just started texting with pulled a disappearing act, it can do a number on your heart and self-esteem. That doesn’t mean it has to ruin your dating life forever and ever. A new outlook (and maybe some new shoes) can work wonders. Here’s how to get on with it.
1. Get Yourself Straight
If you’ve had a bad break-up or are getting out of a long-term relationship, get your personal house in order before getting back in the dating pool. What does that mean? Take some time to heal, take care of yourself and learn to be alone for a little while. Exercise, get therapy — spend some time figuring out whatever works for you. Don’t want to bring anger or sadness on a first date. This is not a good look, and will not help you meet your Mr/Ms Right.
2. Stop Talking to your Ex
If you’re still secretly hoping to work it out with your ex (even though they dumped you!), and maybe, just maybe, are dating new people in hopes of making them jealous – stop it. Talking to your ex makes it impossible to move on and meet the right person. And by that, we mean someone who won’t dump you.
3. Get a Life
If all of your hobbies and interests were actually “yours,” try some new stuff. Go see a ballgame by yourself, go to the best restaurant in town and treat yourself to dinner at the bar, take a trapeze class, read about things that interest you. Doing this will not only take your mind off being dumped, but it’ll make you the most fascinating date ever. Anyone can talk about reruns of The Office.
4. Don’t Bring It Up
Short-term or long-term, don’t bring up being dumped or exes when you start dating. First off, while no one is expecting a virgin, they also don’t want to imagine you with someone else on the first few dates (if ever). A new relationship should be exciting and full of romance, not a chance to rehash the ex who did you wrong.
5. Keep your Expectations Realistic
Don’t try to move to fast. Coming off a long-term relationship or marriage, it can be easy to fall into – and want — a wife/husband role. This is totally understandable, everyone has their comfort zone. But you’re starting over, how exciting is that! Just don’t expect a woman you’ve seen once or twice to want to sit around in sweats and watch the ballgame – it takes work to get to that point – and it’s a lot of fun.
6. Treat your dates the way you want to be treated
Whether you’re looking to date around, or want to find a steady, be upfront about what you’re looking for. Don’t blindside someone who might expect they are the only person you’re dating, let them know you’re looking to play the field. Conversely, if you’re looking for a relationship, be upfront and stick to your guns – this will help you avoid players.
7. Love Yourself
What your mother told you is true – you have to love yourself to be love. Focus on your great qualities, keep your head high and project confidence. Or fake it until you make it – nothing is more attractive than confidence and a great smile.
Tanya Edwards works for Food Network digital and writes for Glamour. She used to be married. Now she’s not. Follow her on Twitter @misstanya.