How do I start dating again after a long time?
Can I be single for too long? How can I get back out into the dating world?
If you have been single for a long time, it can often be tricky to even remember how to start dating someone!
Remembering how to date when you haven’t dated in a long time can be stressful, and it is common to feel nervous or self-conscious during this stage.
You may worry that some people may be wary about dating a woman who has been single for a long time, or you may worry about this yourself. You may also worry about the psychological effects of being single “too long” and whether or not it may have threatened your potential to have fulfilling relationships again.
The truth is that most of the potential partners that you will meet are unlikely to be concerned by how long you have been single.
Most people are much more interested in the possible future, and whether they enjoy spending time with you than they are about your past! Some may even see being single for a long time as a sign of independence and high standards, which can be attractive traits.
If you are ready to start dating again, there is no reason not to get back in the game. However, you may need to jog your memory of how to succeed in the dating world if you haven’t done it in a while!
This guide is here to help answer some of the most common questions about dating again after being single for a long time. Plus, find extra dating advice if you’re dating again in your 30s, 40s or 50s.
How Long After A Breakup Is It Acceptable To Start Dating Again?
What one person considers a “long time” to be single, another may consider no time at all.
You may even worry that perhaps you haven’t been single long enough, and you may be seen as “moving on” too quickly. So, how long should you wait to start dating after a long term relationship?
The truth is; there is no answer to this question that is right for every person.
It is generally advised to wait at the very least a few weeks after the end of one relationship before attempting to start another. However, the right amount of time can vary widely among people and can last months or even years for some.
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You should have healed from your breakup before moving on to dating other people, otherwise, you risk-seeking an unsuitable partner as a “replacement” for your ex or carrying a fixation with your ex into a new relationship.
How long does it take to heal after a long term relationship? Again, that varies and is dependent on what steps you take to help your healing process.
Healing from a breakup can be a difficult process. Usually, the most important things to remember are looking after yourself (take time for self-care and pursuits that make you feel fulfilled) and maintaining contact with a healthy support network (family, friends, and even a therapist can all make up your support network).
Are You Ready To Start Dating Again?
If you have come to terms with the end of your previous relationship and are emotionally ready to start the next chapter of your love life, you may wonder how else to prepare.
If you are asking yourself, “should I start dating again?” there are a few things to consider.
For example, are you in a financially stable situation?
- Do you have the ideal work-life balance needed to make time for dating or a new relationship?
- Do you have the ability to meet new people and make new friends?
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The most important question you need to answer honestly is, “why do I want to start dating?”. It is common to start dating again after a breakup simply because you are lonely or because you feel social pressure to have a partner. Some people even seek out partners purely to assist with financial pressures such as affording rent.
None of these are particularly healthy reasons to seek out a new partner. As well as being relatively financially stable, you should also be emotionally stable enough to see a relationship as an addition to a fulfilling life rather than the sole cause of it. If you are unhappy any time you single, this can lead to seeking relationships that are not the best for you.
A relationship shouldn’t be two “halves” coming together to make a “whole”; it should be two “wholes” coming together to share their happiness.
If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, you are most likely ready to start dating again!
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Tips for Dating Again After a Long Time
Getting to grips with the dating scene again can be a bit of a minefield. Whatever your age and past dating experience, it is usually important to remain open and friendly.
Even if you have been hurt in the past, appearing cynical about dating is a turn-off for most people. This doesn’t mean that you have to be naïve or not look out for your own wellbeing and have boundaries. Still, you should be open to trusting people again if you are looking to start dating.
Avoid letting past partners affect how you view new dates; treat every person as a new friend and potential relationship match you are interested in getting to know.
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When it comes to the topic of previous relationship status, it is usually best, to be honest, and upfront without giving unnecessary details. For example, if your date asks you how long you have been single, do not be afraid to tell them honestly.
You can even mention why your previous relationship ended, but it is important to remember not to go into too much detail about the past unless they ask.
Most people are unlikely to want to discuss past relationships in-depth on a date (especially a first or second date), and there is the risk of coming across as if you are still fixated on your ex-partner. Be honest, but avoid oversharing.
Most of all, remember to have fun! It can be exciting to start flirting and experiencing the thrills of potential romance after a while without it.
How to Start Dating Again At Any Age
No matter what age you are, it’s never too late to start dating again. Whatever your age, the general rules of dating again after being single for a long time remain fairly consistent.
To help you get back out there, here are some specific dating tips by age.
Dating Again in Your 20s
When you are in your 20s, dating opportunities are often at their most plentiful.
At this time in your life, you may have the freedom to explore a number of different types of relationships, career paths, and other important life choices, as you are less likely than older age groups to have responsibilities such as children or a mortgage.
This means that possible choices like relocating to a new city or even a new country to pursue relationships may be possible—the world is your oyster!
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Tips for Dating In Your 30s
When you are in your 30s, figuring out how to start dating again after being single for a long time can be more difficult than in your 20s.
You are more likely to have children, for example, and so are your potential partners. Some may even have previously been married.
It’s important to remember at any age, that you might not find your “perfect partner” who has never married and has no children in their thirties. Keep an open mind.
These topics are likely to come up on dates, so remember the previous advice—honesty without oversharing.
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Start Dating Again In Your 40s
There is a common saying that “life begins at 40.” This can have some truth for many people.
For example, in your 40s, you may have children who have reached adulthood, leaving you with a reduced connection to your ex-partner and less time than you need to spend on childcare.
The opportunities and possible financial freedom that this offers you can extend to every area of your life and dating is no exception!
Your 40s are one of the best times to start dating again after being single for a long time.
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At this age, previous long-term relationships, marriages, and children are likely to be no surprise to anyone. Take a load off your mind and get ready for the next chapter of your new life. Let yourself feel youthful, and don’t deny yourself the opportunity for fun and excitement without the responsibilities you may have had in the past.
Dating Again In Your 50s and Beyond
Contrary to what society and the media may tell you, dating can be more fun for over-50s than for any other age group. While dating during your later years can provide potential issues (for example, it is common to feel insecure about your body compared to younger people), it is good to remember that most people dating in this age group are in a similar boat.
While updating your wardrobe and living a healthy lifestyle can help you, at this age, the attraction is likely to shift more towards emotional compatibility and shared hobbies and interests than the physical.
Dating and forming new relationships can be thrilling at any age. With increasing divorce rates and many people returning to dating after decades in relationships, there is much less stigma around the dating and relationship choices of older people.
Why not take full advantage and have some fun?
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Other Tips For Dating
If you are returning to dating in the 2020s, things have probably changed a lot since the last time you were dating. Let’s be honest, the decade hasn’t started off according to plan, and opportunities to meet people for dates have likely reduced or even disappeared altogether.
There is a solution to this, however. Online dating and dating apps have become extremely popular and changed the dating scene for many years now, and it is more vital than ever. We all desire human connection.
Even if you cannot meet people in person yet, this doesn’t mean you have to put your love life on pause entirely. Signing up for dating sites or apps can offer you the chance to communicate with potential partners. You may even be able to have “dates” over video call!
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Dating after being single for a long time doesn’t mean you have to jump into apps like Tinder and Hinge (although you probably shouldn’t write them off). Signing up for a specialized dating site that is catered towards your age group, or for people who are divorced and/or have children, can help you to find the right people for you.
If you would rather use one of the generalized sites, almost all of these sites allow you to narrow down your search criteria to help you to connect to people in your desired age group, life situation, and range of interests.
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Ultimately, whatever stage of your life you are at, and however long you have been single, working out what your priorities are for dating is important.
Take things slowly and remember that there are plenty of options, but be open to the possibility of falling for someone again when you discover a deep connection.
Been single and ready to start dating again after a long time? Click here for the best dating tips for getting back out there in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s by @GoDatesCo. #DatingAdvice #DatingTips #DatingClick To Tweet
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More About Guest Contributor
Brenda is a relationship and lifestyle blogger, coffee enthusiast, and a lover of new experiences. You’ll usually find her in a coffee shop with her laptop and a flat white scribbling down an article or searching for the next exciting travel destination. She is a contributing author at GoDates, and several other online publications.
Last Updated on February 6, 2021