What It’s Like To Get Back In The Dating Game After A Long Term Relationship

What It’s Like To Get Back In The Dating Game After A Long Term Relationship ©iStock/Squaredpixels

Getting back in the dating game after ending a long term relationship is an exciting and terrifying experience. Your dating skills are a little rusty and there’s no way to tell for sure if you’re ready. You have to jump back in eventually, and when you do, this is what it’s like:

  1. You’re cautiously optimistic. You still believe in love and you know a relationship can work out better than your last. You’re hopeful that you will find the perfect partner, but you’re also guarded. You want love, but you can’t take another heartbreak, so you don’t rush into anything serious too soon.
  2. You’re insanely picky. This time around, you won’t settle for a single thing you don’t like. You know now that you are strong enough to be on your own, and if someone isn’t enhancing your life, you won’t settle for them. You also aren’t interested in wasting any more time, so you cross people off as potential boyfriends the moment a red flag comes up.
  3. You have zero first date outfits. First dates haven’t exactly been an occasion you’ve shopped for over the past few years, and it’s killing your game now. You wonder how many times you can reuse your new perfect first date outfit (given that you’re going out with different men), and investing in your single girl wardrobe is getting expensive.
  4. You’re out of touch with technology. The last time you were single, people were still meeting each other on MySpace. Sure, you’ve heard of Tinder, but all the dating apps seem odd and forward to you. Your girlfriends insist on setting up accounts for you, but you’d still rather meet someone at a coffee shop or bookstore.
  5. You haven’t decided if you’re a sex-on-the-first-date type. It can be a little weird to have all the sexually possibilities in the world after having one partner for so long. Should you go on a sexual rampage? Wait until you meet someone you really like? Jump the next guy you see to get the first one out of the way? It feels like a big decision to play by ear.
  6. You’re unsure of yourself. Your last relationship has shaken you up a little bit, and you’re not as sure of yourself as you used to be. You don’t know how to navigate the dating world or life as a single person. You know you will get your bearings eventually, but in the meantime, you’re uncomfortable a lot
  7. You’re kind of digging the single girl attention. Men are chatting you up, buying you drinks, shamelessly trying to impress you, and you’re actually really enjoying it. Your long term relationship went sour a while before it ended, and it feels like it’s been forever since a man paid a genuine interest in you. You always knew you were hot and funny, but it’s fun to hear it from strangers when recovering from a hard breakup.
  8. You’re a little bitter that you’re back at this stage of life again. Even if you’re having a great time being single, it can still be infuriating that you’re at this stage of your life again. You thought your previous relationship would be your last, and you invested in it accordingly. You gave so much and were left with nothing, and it’s difficult to not feel a little bit resentful from time to time.
  9. You’re afraid of repeating the same mistakes. You already got it so, so wrong- how can you trust yourself to have better judgement this time around? Sure, you’ve learned a lot about yourself and relationships in general, but you’re still afraid of picking the wrong man again. You’re wiser and stronger know, but the doubt still lingers.
  10. You’re willing to give it a try. It’s exhilarating, petrifying, and you have no idea what you’re doing, but you’re willing to put your heart on the line again and see how it plays out. The next guy could be the one or he could be another disaster, but love is still worth the risk to you.
Holly Harris is a freelance writer, full time student, and mommy to a toddler sass monster. In her (nearly nonexistent) free time, you can find her lifting something heavy in her home gym or chugging vodka sodas with friends. She contributes to several other sites, including Elite Daily.