After the breakup of any relationship, settling into single life can be tricky. After a long-term relationship, being alone can even be downright scary. For such a long time you have been with another person physically and emotionally, working together at life and now, you’re going solo again. The world of dating has moved on, you’re wholly responsible for your practical needs, and you’re completely responsible for your own happiness.
It isn’t all bad of course. Once the heartbreak has become less painful (and it will!) and you’ve found your feet again, the single life can be incredibly empowering. You are the master of your own life, and what you do next is entirely up to you. There’s a world of opportunity ahead of you and that is exciting!
To help you find your feet again after a long relationship has ended, perhaps the first step is to work on yourself…
Self-love has very little to do with how you feel about your outer self. It’s about accepting all of yourself. – Tyra Banks
It makes sense that you don’t start dating again until you really do feel grounded and happy in who you are, and in loving who you are inside and out. Statistics released within the last few years showed that British women have the second lowest self-esteem in the entire world. Only 2% of women worldwide think they are beautiful and men struggle too, with over half of men feeling unhappy with their weight. The fact is, self-love can be hard to come by in the world of comparison we live in, especially if you came away from your breakup a little wounded by issues related to self-image, such as your partner not being attracted to you any more. Even if the breakup was amicable, being single again can leave you open to a whole new world of vulnerabilities. Will anybody fancy me again? OMG somebody has to see my body naked again! What should you even wear to a first date these days?!
Because dating can be a minefield, and nobody should rely on another person to give them the love they deserve to give themselves, it is important you spend some time working on yourself before you make any big moves towards love. Insecurity in a relationship can be poisonous, so think of it as a gift to yourself and your future love, to love yourself first before anybody else. Here are some tips to help you on your journey to falling in love with yourself again:
- Follow BOPO queen @bodyposipanda on Instagram, and check out her podcast episode with Russell Brand on his Under The Skin Podcast
- Approach any deep issues with professional help in the form of therapy and counselling to get to the root of the problem once and for all
- Take care of yourself, eating a healthy balanced diet and getting fresh air and exercise. Yoga with Adriene on Youtube is free and a great starting place for gentle movement and ‘find what feels good vibes’
- Practise good mental health habits like mindfulness and meditation
- Listen to Fearne Cottons Happy Place and the Deliciously Ella podcasts for lots of inspiration on self-care
- Stay social and connect with friends and family for a supportive circle of love to surround yourself with
- Consider learning something new, or even going travelling to regain your confidence and remember what you’re capable of, just as you are
Self-love comes in many forms and is different for everyone, so try to work on yourself in the ways that feel right to you. A new outfit, hairstyle and maybe some skincare will do a bit, but deeper self-love and respect is a much bigger gift to yourself. So spending some time getting a strong and confident sense of self is important first and foremost before any relationships can begin.
So, You’re Ready To Date Again…
Being ready to date again can be extremely exciting, especially when you have taken some time to yourself to rebuild any lost confidence, and to truly connect with who you are and what you want out of life. So, where do you start?
Probably with technology. There are so many amazing apps and sites to take advantage of now, you can dip your toe into dating without properly immersing yourself into the world of dating. If you’re looking for something that isn’t serious, you can use a site like https://www.casualdatingsite.co.uk. There are also sites for people who want to date people in uniforms, who want to date vegetarians, who only want to date other Christian people – the list is endless. There is an app or a site that caters to your dating needs and dipping your toe into dating in this way can be a lot less daunting than getting straight out there and getting to know people face to face right away.
Alternatively, there are other ways to meet new people away from the online world. Hobby groups and classes, for example, can be a great place to meet like minded people because you already know you have something in common. There are hobby and interest based dating events you can attend too, as well as entire interest based singles cruises and activity trips.
Even without going out of your way to ‘date’ simply being open to opportunity can naturally open those ‘dating doors’. That cute guy who walks his dog at the same time as you every morning, maybe catch his eye? How about lovely Laura at work, perhaps you could get to know her a little better on the next work do? How about that gorgeous barista you always fancied at the local cafe? Could you have a few more questions about coffee types next time you pop in?
The world of dating is rich with opportunities and the more open you are to simply giving things a go and getting to know a person, the more valuable dating experience you will get. Bad dates can become funny stories to share with friends, good dates that aren’t ‘the one’ will boost your confidence and knowledge of what you do want and eventually, hopefully, you will meet Mr or Mrs right.
Remember, not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck – Dalai Lama
Breaking up from a long term relationship can be a real shock to the system but with a little self-reflection, an open mind and plenty of time for healing, you will feel empowered and you can find your feet again.