It’s hard to want to try again when you’ve been hurt or had one too many negative dating experiences. I constantly go back and forth between being super lonely and feeling sorry for myself versus giving up and accepting my fate to die alone. However, I always manage to find a way to get back out there. Here’s how you can pull yourself out of a rut and gain momentum to re-enter the relationship world.
- Allow yourself to grieve. The worst thing you can do is ignore, deflect, or sweep your past under the rug. You will carry that baggage and those hang-ups right onto the next and possibly spoil the opportunity for a new good thing. Acknowledge the hurt! Cry, mope, reflect, do whatever it takes to feel the emotions. Then let it all go. But make sure to give yourself a chance for a real clean slate and a fresh start. You don’t want to bump into a great guy and accidentally treat him like a rebound.
- Take care of yourself. As the saying goes, “Dress for the job you want.” Put an end date on the sulking and complaining and head out there looking like the prize catch you are! Even if you don’t come home with a new guy in tow, at least the self-care effort will do your mood and well-being some good.
- Think long-term. “I’m never dating again” is an immediate resolution. You’re frustrated in the now. Guys suck, your ex was lame, and presently you’re beyond over the whole dating culture and its games. But picture yourself 50 years from now. Are you retiring alone? Moving to Florida to ride the boardwalk on a one-person bicycle? No kids or empty-nesting it solo without a travel companion? If you don’t want to actually perish alone, you gotta start somewhere. Carpe diem.
- Read your horoscope. This may sound silly, but part of relationships working does boil down to timing. Get ahead of the game and let the cards tell you when and with whom to take your chances with. The more you know, the better chances you’ll have of having success. Doing your homework may give you the confidence boost and affirmation to show face in the dating scene again. May the planets align in your favor!
- Make a physical change. The girl who got rejected/dumped/used/played/lied to and the girl you are today don’t have to be the same. Lose those extra five pounds, change your hair color, get a new tattoo. New you, new vibes. Maybe you’ll also attract a new guy who won’t be like one of the old duds.
- Walk down memory lane. Occasionally when we’re removed from a situation, we can tend to glamorize it and gloss over the hard truths and unpleasant details. Proceed with caution with this one, but sometimes you need a reminder of exactly why you left Bad News behind. Briefly reconnecting with an ex doesn’t always turn out to be a bad thing. At first, it might be great, but trust me, it won’t be long before he’s acting himself again and you’ll gain instant hope that anyone else out there can do better than his crap. You left for a reason.
- Plan ahead for holidays. Take some time to mind map your year out. There’s your birthday, Valentine’s Day, all of the summer with its pool days and barbecues, the whole winter and its long cold nights, the December holiday season, fireworks on the Fourth of July, and the ball dropping on New Years’ Eve. None of this works without a partner in crime. You don’t want to get caught under the mistletoe with nobody but you and yourself.
- Think about all you’re missing out on. Forming a genuine connection with a person can be challenging. Being emotionally vulnerable to someone is uncomfortable. Boundaries and caution can help minimize risks. But aside from that, dating can and should be fun. You get to see all the new movies, try out new restaurants, go on adventures, and attend events and activities. You have reasons to dress up and buy new outfits with places to wear them to. You can choose to do things you can’t do alone like competing in bowling or racing each other in go-karts. You can always have a great time by yourself, but with someone else, there are different options.
- Resolve to fake it till you make it. Ever heard of the Law of Attraction? With a pessimistic “there’s no one out there for me” mindset, you’re almost sure to repel your soulmate or not even give yourself a chance to find him! Even if it feels hopeless, just pretending to keep hope alive can turn things around. For one, you may trick him into believing you’re open to love even if you’re still not sure yourself. For another, you’ll be out and about, which makes you able to be seen. Don’t fulfill a self-declared prophecy by already taking on the forever-spinster-future-cat-lady life you think you’re doomed to live.