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How to Date After a Long-Term Relationship

by Kristina de la Cal, studioD

Getting back in the dating saddle can feel awkward and intimidating after a long-term relationship. You may have been out of the loop for a while but with a little preparation and patience, you’ll be ready to jump right back into the dating pool before you know it.

Take a lesson from your past and then leave it where it belongs. If you are still hung up on your ex or haven’t gained any meaningful insight from your last relationship then you are probably not ready to start dating. Reflect on your previous relationship to draw important lessons that will help you avoid making the same mistakes in future relationships, and be honest with yourself about whether or not you are longing for reconciliation with your ex. It wouldn’t be fair to yourself or to any potential suitors for you to start dating before you’ve taken the time to work through your post-breakup emotions and let go of your ex.

Ask your single friends for dating advice. From the best spots to meet other singles to ideas for date activities, your single friends likely have a wealth of knowledge that can help you maximize your dating potential. Tapping into your friends’ inside information can build your confidence as you get back in the dating game.

Embrace your inner social butterfly. An active social life is conducive to dating. Meeting new people is an effective way to expand your pool of potential dates and have a good time in the process. Take on a new hobby, attend more community events or join a social group in your area. Every person you meet and friend you make brings you one step closer to finding somebody that you may be interested in dating.

Experiment with different types. If you think back on your history of exes and realize that they all share many of the same qualities, it may be time to step outside of your comfort zone by dating somebody that doesn’t fit the mold of your usual type. Dating someone who is slightly different from what you are used to might be just what you need to break a negative pattern of flawed relationships.

Take your time. Dating should be more a process of getting to know potential suitors than a race to your next serious relationship. If you meet someone that you can see yourself eventually getting serious with, go slowly and take the time to learn as much as possible about each other before moving towards commitment.


  • Comparing the people you date to former partners is a recipe for disaster. Each person you date is a unique individual that should not have to compete with people from your past.

About the Author

Kristina de la Cal is a full-time teacher who has been freelance writing since 1991. She published her first book, “Breaking up without Breaking Down," in 2007 and specializes in a variety of topics including, but not limited to, relationships and issues in education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Florida International University.

Photo Credits

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