The Tips You Need To Know When You're Ready To Date Again

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Our relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr (on Twitter and Instagram @drpamspurr) gives us her top tips on how to approach dating again after a significant breakup.

When chatting with singles I wasn't surprised how many had been through a divorce or major breakup. After all, the divorce rate is presently at 40%. And this includes many 'silver singles' looking for love again.

I was struck by the common theme of low-confidence for dating. You'd assume singles felt good about handling a date seeing as they have life experience of careers, committed relationships, and possibly having children.

Scratch that thought, self-doubt and anxiety ruled! But fear not, I’ve five top tips to help you dip your toe back in dating waters. With another five next week.

Dating Again Tip No. 1: It’s all about looking for fun and friendship 

Avoid appearing overly keen or even desperate by keeping a chilled out attitude when you meet someone. People easily read signs of someone who is overly keen: they laugh at everything their date says, they pick up their phone on the first ring, and replies to messages ASAP.

Instead look for fun and friendship at singles’ events or on spontaneous meetings when out and about. Keep things light-hearted banishing the thought this person might be ‘the one’ the minute you clap eyes on them.

Dating Again Tip No. 2: Crucial to get your timing right 

The fear of being alone can put terrible pressure to start dating ASAP after a break up. But timing’s everything. You need to have recovered from the worst of the breakup. Otherwise, you can't put your best and most confident foot forward. A rule of thumb is that when you have more good - than bad – post-breakup moments in your day, you're probably ready to get out there.

Dating Again Tip No. 3: Emotional baggage ‘check’ 

Do you carry enough emotional baggage to fill an airplane hold? The battle scars of divorce and breakups come in many forms. Two main types are 1/ insecurities about how 'dateable' you are and 2/ unexpressed anger about the way your ex treated you.

If you're still fantasising about getting back at your ex you may well take this out on a new – and blameless - person. And if you've been left with insecurities your inner voice is probably on a loop saying “I'm not good enough”. If these resonate it's crucial you boost your confidence through the support of friends and family before looking for love.

Dating Again Tip No. 4: Don’t fast-forward things 

You're lonely, you can't believe you're no longer in a relationship and there’s a big void to fill. It’s a powerful temptation to dive into a new relationship. You think, "They'll do," overlooking relationship ‘red alerts’ like the fact you've got nothing in common.

When you’re living happily as a single, that’s when you make a better partner. Put the brakes on if you meet someone and suddenly want to message them all the time and see them every evening. A slower pace prevents heartbreak.

Dating Again Tip No. 5: Be your best possible self 

Don’t pretend to be outgoing if you're quiet or that you're up-to-date with tech if you can't work out your phone. Singles report that finding someone who’s genuine and trustworthy ranks high on positive attributes. 

So be ready to share your interests when you meet a potential partner. And keep it simple by asking things like if they've seen a film you've just seen, if they like that new TV drama, etc.

Good luck and happy dating, Pam x

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