After a significant relationship ends, or if you’ve been through a divorce, the idea of jumping back into the dating world can be overwhelming and intimidating. This is especially true if you are a single parent, or if you have been out of the dating game for a long time. Fortunately, there are many ways you can simplify your return to courtship and make a success out of your newfound singledom.

These are the 4 things you need to know:

Take time to heal.  Make sure that you are mentally and emotionally prepared to date again. This is one of the most important parts of dating after a split. The end of a marriage or long-term relationship can be quite traumatic, especially if children are involved and you were together for many years. You can get through this difficult time by talking to a therapist, relying on friends and family for support, and taking each day as it comes. When you are ready to date again, you will know it!

Find your confidence.  Divorce can do a number on a person’s self-esteem. You might blame yourself for a breakup, think that you are a failure, or obsessively wonder what you did wrong. Stop! Your heart is still reeling, and only time will help heal the happiness and confidence that you lost. Until then, fake it ‘til you make it. Try a new haircut, get a facial, start working out again, or update your wardrobe. It might sound simple, but sometimes a little self-esteem boost can do wonders!

Get out there.  You are not going to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right if you never leave the comfort and safety of your own living room. Make an effort to meet new people, and commit to dating at least twice per month. Ask your friends or family members if they know of any great single guys or gals, or try your hand at online dating. The more dates you go on, the more chances you will have to meet someone special. And even if the romantic connection isn’t there, you can still network, meet new friends, and just have fun!

Prepare the kids.  If you are dating and you have kids, try to keep any prospective partners away from the house until you are certain he or she is a keeper. Have sleepovers at their house, or if they have kids too, rent a hotel room or save sleepovers for nights when the kids are away. You don’t want to confuse or hurt your children if the relationship doesn’t pan out. Once you both feel comfortable that the relationship is serious then you can bring your new mate around to meet the kids. Try to make it a fun activity, such as a picnic lunch at the park, or an afternoon at an amusement park. 

Remember, love and romance are important parts of everyone’s life. Commit to making dating part of your life again, and enjoy the adventure and fun that comes along for the ride!  

By: Dr.Laura Berman