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Coming back into the dating scene can be scary, especially if it's been a long time. Whether you're divorced or broke up with your significant other after just a few months of dating, that relationship takes a toll on you psychologically and emotionally because of each experience that was made, happy or unpleasant. Not to mention coming out of a relationship, dating can be awkward at first. As someone who had been in a three-year long relationship, coming out of that heartbreak was definitely the hardest step, and going back into the dating game wasn't easy. I didn't know how to talk, didn't know how to present myself because I lacked the confidence due to the prior relationship, and I made everything awkward for a while. No one wants to deal with that nonsense, so, to ease the tension, I'm hoping this small list of advice will help you on your future dates.

  1. Only date when you feel you're ready to. If you've just gotten out of a relationship, good or bad, it's important to allow yourself some you-time to cope with the breakup. Taking time allows you to evaluate the relationship, consider if you need to change certain things about yourself or your standards when it comes to dating, and to also let go of any emotion you feel toward your ex. It's really a period to better know yourself and it's an exciting chance to meet new people and create new experiences in your life. It's important that you don't feel shame in not being ready to date again. There is no harm in making new friends first and dating later.
  1. Date for the right reasons. If you're only reason for dating is, for example, to get back at an ex, you're dating for the wrong reason. You'd be putting your date in an awkward position, possibly hurting their feelings, and it would only make you look bad, not your ex. The mature way of dealing with an ex that makes you feel like you need revenge is to ignore them and make yourself happy first. It's not morally right to make jealousy a factor, no matter who it's towards, and it shows that you are not fully over your past boy/girlfriend or ready for dating.
  1. Try online dating. A good way to get your confidence back up, to meet new people, and to slowly get back into the dating game is joining an online dating site. It's important to join with a positive attitude, and patience is key. You don't have to go on a date with everyone that hits 'like' on your profile, but this gives you a chance to look at a specific person, see what they like, and see how you feel about them before even meeting them once.
  1. Keep in mind that not everyone has to like you. This sounds harsh, but trust me, it's important to keep reminding yourself that everyone you meet doesn't have to like you, and you don't have to like everyone you meet. You have standards that you follow just like everyone else does, and no two standards have to be alike. If you don't like someone, don't pursue them, and if someone doesn't like you, don't be offended. It's more of a reality check than anything.
  1. Finally, be yourself. Yes, it's a little cliche, but it's one of the most important things you should remember when reentering the dating scene. If you can't be yourself in front of someone, lying to them about who you are isn't going to make it any easier on you or your potential date. You need to be firm about who you are to yourself before you try and show it to the world.