Whether you just experienced a painful breakup, a divorce or suffered the loss of a lover, getting back into the dating game can be a very stressful time. The good news is that, given you are thinking about dating, you’ve overcome half the battle. Accepting that it is time to begin looking for a mate means you are on the road to recovery.

Nonetheless, the dating world can be a scary place. Depending on the intensity and longevity of the relationship you used to have, it can make you feel as if you are an alien from another planet as you navigate these foreign waters.

Here are some rules and regulations to help you get back into dating, so you can find the companionship and connection to another person that you deserve:

Rule #1 – Know What You Are Looking For

Even if you feel desperate inside, having a bad dating experience right out of the gate can be catastrophic to your self esteem. Think back on your former relationship and make a mental list (or write it down) as to what worked and what didn’t. Know what is important to you in a lover and pursue relationships in those that compliment your wants and needs in a mate.

Rule #2 – Don’t Let Dating Kidnap You

Dating can bring companionship, confidence and wonderful feelings of happiness. But be sure not to let go of yourself and your identity in the process. Take care of yourself, engage in your hobbies and interests and still remember to allow time in your day for yourself.

Rule #3 – Consider Online Dating

If you aren’t into the social scene or popular single venues, think about trying online dating when you are just starting out, to explore looking for a partner once again. It isn’t intimidating because there is some anonymity and little pressure. You can look for others with similar interests, values and characteristics you find important. It is much less likely to start you off in the wrong direction or with a bad experience.

Rule #4 – Start As Friends, Lovers Can Follow

Given you have been out of the dating scene so long, you might feel intimidated or pressured into the passion of a new relationship, when you would feel better beginning as friends. Of course, the other person has his or her own feelings, which might not coincide with yours. But healthy, long term relationships are based on lovers being best friends – so don’t start out solely looking for passion. Enjoy getting to know people and see if you truly relish spending time with them. Do you share similar interests? Laugh together? These are very good signs of friendship in addition to characteristics of healthy couples.

Rule #5 – It Might Not Happen

For some who have put off entering the dating scene, once he or she is ready, disappointment can soon follow. Just because you are ready now ready doesn’t mean Mr. or Mrs. Right is out there waiting. If it were that easy to find that special someone in a matter of days, the world would be happier! Do not let it hurt your confidence or self esteem if it takes time to find a date or to find someone you enjoy spending time with. You are ready, and that is a great first step! Just don’t criticise yourself if instant companionship doesn’t arrive when you take your first steps. It will happen… be patient, care for yourself and let love come when it is ready, given you are now ready.

About the Author:

Grace Pamer is a work from home mom and the author of www.RomanceNeverDies.com, one woman’s on going quest to get the world reacquainted with the art of writing love letters.

Cover Image by kevin dooley via Flickr.

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