How do I force myself to start dating again?

After a bad breakup or an extra-long dry spell, learning to navigate the dating world can feel scary. Thankfully, experts have some tips for getting back into the game.

First, figure out why you want to start dating again. If your motivations involve proving something to an ex, that won’t work.

Write yourself a permission slip

Getting back into the dating game after a breakup can feel overwhelming. Before you start downloading dating apps or asking your friends to hook you up with their single pals, take some time and write yourself a permission slip.

It’s important to remember that you can find love again — and the right person for you is out there, says House. “Just don’t rush into a new relationship or lower your standards,” she says.

A common mistake people make when they come out of a relationship is falling into a rebound relationship with someone else, she warns. This not only makes you miserable, but it also hurts the person you’re trying to replace your ex with.

When you’re ready to dive back into the world of dating, Kort recommends taking the slow approach and using every avenue available to meet potential dates. She suggests dating apps, in-person meetup groups, signing up for a class that interests you or working with a matchmaker.

Take a class

After a long time off the dating scene, many people have no idea where to start when they finally decide to put themselves back on the market. While common sense might tell you to be vulnerable and accept that you’ll probably kiss a few frogs in the process, it can still feel overwhelming when you’re first getting back into it.

One of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for dating again is to figure out why you want to get back into it in the first place. If you’re trying to prove something to your ex or if you’re simply looking for someone to make yourself happy, neither of those are healthy motivations for jumping back into the game. Instead, experts recommend focusing on self-love and changing negative self-talk into a more positive, realistic dialogue. Also, don’t be afraid to try new dating methods like using a dating app or hiring a matchmaker.

Go on a blind date

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when thinking about dating again after heartbreak. However, if you want to find love again you must be willing to risk getting hurt in the process. It’s important to remember that a date is just a way to get to know someone. If you don’t feel a connection with someone, be polite and end the date quickly. This will prevent you from wasting your time and energy on people who don’t fit into what you’re looking for.

It’s also important to remember that you will only attract what you believe, so if you continue to think that you’ll never find the right person again, then you probably won’t. Instead, focus on what you have learned from your last relationship and be optimistic about the future. It may take some time, but eventually you’ll be ready to dive back into the dating pool. Good luck! And don’t forget to have fun.

Hire a matchmaker

Getting back into the dating game after a breakup or divorce can be scary. But if you’ve healed, stepped up your self-love quotient and put a stop to the rebound relationships that hurt you in the past, you can give yourself the green light to learn how to date again.

One common mistake people make when trying to get into the dating game again is rushing in. “When someone is too eager, it can send the wrong message and cause their relationship to take off too quickly,” says Shaklee.

Instead of rushing in, consider taking your time to find the right partner, says House. This means not just signing up for a dating app but also getting out there and using your social network to meet potential dates. It could mean taking a class together, hiring a matchmaker or even just texting your friends regularly in case they know someone who might interest you. And don’t forget to communicate your expectations clearly with anyone you start dating.