Getting back on the dating horse after a breakup can feel both overwhelming and daunting.The idea of getting to know someone on such a deep level again is something your brain can’t/doesn’t want to fathom.
And the thought of getting hurt again makes you want to seriously consider a couple of cats for the long haul…
But if finding the right partner is something you deeply desire beneath all that mind-made resistance, dating has to be a process you’re open to.
Editor’s note: Although this article uses male pronouns, the advice applies to all sexual orientations and gender identities.
Here are five things to remember that helped me get back in the dating field in order to find true love, post-breakup.
1) Get clear on the catch YOU are.
You might read this and automatically jump to, “I KNOW I’m a catch.” Pause and investigate if that is really true for you. How do you talk to yourself? What thoughts are you still thinking about yourself after the last breakup? What thoughts did you create about what HE thought of you? Clean those up before putting yourself out there. If you don’t own the catch you are, how do you expect someone else to?
2) Don’t let 10 shitty dates determine that the next 10 will be shitty.
What if you fully accepted that meeting duds is a part of the dating process? Do you know one single woman who hasn’t had an awful dating experience? Have a laugh at the audacity of him to show up an hour late and expect you to pay for everything, and move on. The woman who is most determined to find her man doesn’t dwell on the dates that didn’t work out.
3) It’s normal to feel anxious.
Who describes meeting strangers off the internet to potentially become romantic partners as “anxiety-free”? Only a few of you don’t think twice about it, and my hat is off to you, but most of us aren’t too jazzed about what feels like uncontrollable nerves upon meeting someone for the first time—or even the second or third, if you really like him. Breathe through the anxiety and figure out the thought that’s creating it so you can see it’s just a story, and then … show up anyway.
4) Finding a lover doesn’t happen outside of you.
So often, I hear clients say things like, “Hopefully it’ll happen” or “He’ll show up when he’s supposed to.” These sound like positive ways to think about your love life, but they’re actually sneaky, self-defeating thoughts. To “hope” is to not fully believe that you have the power to create his arrival. And when you think he’ll show up when he’s “supposed” to, it gives you an out on having to do something about it. You could actually decide right here, right now, you are ready and willing to show up for the fear, pain, joy, highs, lows, confusion, angst, and unknown—all of it—in order to find him.
5) You’re not wasting your time, whether it was one date, one month, or one year with him.
Every date and relationship has been totally worth your time. How does this thought feel versus thinking, “What a waste of my Friday night!”? Do you know what’s a waste of time? Continuing to let so much of it go by, while NOT putting yourself out there, because you hate online dating, don’t believe he exists, or can’t bear the thought of getting your heart broken again. Look at it this way: if you find yourself at 80 years old and alone, wouldn’t you rather look back and know that you did all you could, than think, “I wish I didn’t let fear get in the way?” (That’s a trick question … because if you really DO everything to find him—mindset work, put yourself out there, own the catch you are, etc., then he will 100% arrive).
Heartbreak coach Claire Byrne helps women stop wanting Mr. Wrong back, and ultimately find Mr. Right! She’s the host of her podcast, How to Stop Wanting Him Back.