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By Joyce Huber
If a serious long-term relationship has ended, or you have recently finalized a divorce, are you thinking about dating again and unsure of where to begin?
How long to wait to re-enter the dating scene and how to approach it is a personal decision. Therefore, know thyself, and acknowledge your feelings. If a gut instinct says you’re moving too fast, slow down.
Ask yourself who decided to end your former relationship and why, acknowledge your response (surprise, relief etc.), and note how long it’s been since it was “really over.”
If you are really lonely and seeking companionship and want to meet new people, then getting out and dating or being fixed up on casual dates could be great for you.
If, however, you want some time on your own to figure out who you are now and what direction you want to take your life, then by all means take that time to yourself and relish it.
1. Take it slow. Don’t rush into something serious right away. You may be tempted to rapidly try to bring the new relationship to the level of your previous one, but it takes time. Enjoy the excitement of a new relationship, and give it time to grow into a mature one if it is meant to be.
2. Learn from the previous relationship, so as to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Instead of looking at your previous relationship as a mistake or a failure, think of it as an opportunity to find out more about yourself and what you want and need in a long-term or life-long companion.
As for bad memories, chuck them in the trash where they belong! Release them vs. replaying them over and over again in your mind. After all, the moment has passed, and you can not change what has already happened. It was an investment of time that will serve you well in future relationships!
3. Realize your new/current partner is not your former. Chalk the former relationship up to experience and lessons learned, and do not make hasty assumptions re new relationships.