How to Start Dating Again

Getting back in the swing of things after being single is tough at any age. And if you’re coming out of a breakup, regardless of whether it was amicable or a little less than friendly, being single again can take some getting used to. Depending on how long it’s been, it could take some time to find your dating scene sea legs again, but we’ve put together a solid plan for getting back in the game.

Take some time for yourself

The silver lining of being single is that you’re giving yourself a chance to get back in touch with what makes you you.

Even the best relationship requires at least a little bit of compromise, so consider staying single long enough to incorporate some self-care and introspection and think about which of those relationship compromises made you happy and which ones felt like a stretch. That way, when you feel like you’re ready to date again, you’ll have a clear idea of who you are and who you’re looking for, too.

To rebound or not to rebound

It can be tempting to put yourself back on the market immediately. There are definitely pros and cons. Rebounding can get you back into a relationship sooner than you’d intended, but if you meet someone else who’s cool keeping it casual, feel free to enjoy it.

There’s nothing wrong with finding a friend who helps remind you how fun the early stages of dating can be. Feel free to enjoy it! Be safe, keep communication open, and have fun. Remember that no one needs to commit until it’s explicitly discussed and enjoy yourself. Still, be wary of rebounding into a new relationship just because it’s comfortable to couple up.

Choose your approach

When you know you’re ready to dive back into the dating pool rather than just dip a toe in, know you’ve got choices on where, how, and when you meet new people. If you’re down for the bar scene or happy to wait for a meet-cute, go for it! It may take a little longer to meet the person of your dreams, but there’s nothing wrong with doing things the old fashioned way. But don’t write off other ways of meeting singles as romantic, too.

Speed dating or professional matchmakers can also help give you a push in the right direction. If it’s been a while since you’ve played the field, it could be worth the financial investment to get a little help. Being paired up by a professional can take the pressure out of coming up with fun icebreakers. Being open to new experiences increases your chances of meeting someone new. Challenge your preconceived notions and you might just be surprised who you meet.

You can also throw online dating sites and apps into the mix. In fact, they’re the default way of meeting people for plenty of folks. There are plenty of pros to online dating, and If you’re busy with work or just want an easier way to search for someone with a specific set of qualities or values, online dating may be for you.

Plus, it’s a good way of finding out if you really are ready to dive in. If not, you can always take a break, edit your profile, or even delete your profile. Online dating can be a low-risk, high-reward endeavor. If you aren’t an online dater already, it can seem a little strange to “meet” a profile before you meet a person. But If dating online feels right, it can certainly speed up the process in meeting your next new love.

Know who you’re looking for

Variety is the spice of life, but plenty of people are seeking out the single person of their dreams. If you’ve taken some time to take stock, you’ve probably come up with a list of traits you’re looking for in your next mate.

Keep them in mind, and don’t waver on your deal breakers. The first things that may come to mind are looks, but it’s not only about physical attraction; this is where you want to think about how you like to spend your time and what means the most to you in life. Compromise is a trait to be valued, but starting from a point of compatibility will set you and your potential soul mate off to a great start.

Remember trial and error is part of the process

If finding the person of your dreams were easy, we’d all be coupled up immediately. Finding the right person can be a challenge, but it can also be fun. It’s important to make sure you and your date are compatible, and one plus to dating apps and the like is that they can speed up the process.

But good old trial and error is what will match you with the person of your dreams. Someone who ticks off all the boxes on your dream date checklist may be a perfectly nice person you just don’t click with. It’s a cliché to say that there are plenty of fish in the sea, but there really, really are.

Whether it’s bad breath or incompatible work schedules, something that looks good on paper may not pencil out when you meet face to face. No worries! If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Don’t forget to have fun!

While some of our tips seem oh so serious, don’t forget that the fun of pairing off is finding someone to share good times with. Each new date is a chance at a fun night out and a chance to relax.

Get out of the house, grab dinner or drinks with someone new, and let the evening go where it may. Even if a fun date doesn’t lead to something long term, you’ve still had a nice night out rather than sitting at home watching reruns. Make the most of meeting someone new, and let loose with nights on the town with new friends.

Photo of author

Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.