Here's How to Start Dating Again, According to Experts

You'll be killing the game in no time.
Couple on date having coffee in cafe
Photo: Janina Steinmetz / Getty Images
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
Jessica Estrada - The Knot Contributor.
Jessica Estrada
The Knot Contributor
  • Jessica contributes wedding planning, wedding etiquette and relationship content to The Knot.
  • She also covers lifestyle and wellness topics for print and digital publications such Refinery29, Bustle, Well + Good, Cosmopolitan, Byrdie, The Zoe Report, The Cut and more.
  • Jessica has a journalism degree from Cal State University, Northridge and is certified as a life and success coach.
Updated Feb 06, 2024

Whether you've experienced a breakup after a long-term relationship or took a break from dating and have been single for some time, figuring out how to start dating again can be challenging. So many questions come to mind. For starters, how do you know when you're ready to start dating again? How soon is too soon to start dating again? And, how do you gain the confidence needed to get back out there? We tapped marriage and relationship coach Dr. Jacquie Del Rosario for the answers to these pressing questions. Read on to learn how to get back into dating.

In this article:

How Do You Know When to Start Dating Again?

There are two main factors to consider if you're wondering how long after a breakup to start dating again. The best indicator that you're ready to start dating is a healed heart. "One should never begin dating if their heart is broken from a prior relationship or if their heart is guarded and not open to giving or receiving love," Dr. Del Rosario says.

Secondly, it's also important that you first do the self-work needed to enter a new healthy relationship. "Not only do you deserve a great partner in someone, but they also deserve to receive a great partner in you," Dr. Del Rosario says. "When you have gathered the information and worked on the items that would make you a suitable or better partner for a healthy relationship, you are ready to date."

How Soon Is Too Soon to Start Dating Again?

According to Dr. Del Rosario, there is not a standard amount of time to wait before dating again. The right time will be different for everyone and it depends on the situation. For instance, she says if you went through a breakup that caused heartbreak or emotional upset, that may require giving your heart the time it needs to heal before you date again. On the other hand, if you took a break from dating for other reasons such as a busy work schedule, it's never too soon to get back out there.

6 Tips to Start Dating Again

Once you're ready to get back into dating after a long term relationship or dating dry spell, follow these six tips to confidently start dating again.

Date Yourself First

Before you start dating again, Dr. Del Rosario advises taking time to first date yourself. "In order to be a good partner to someone else, you must be good to you first," she says. "Learning to love being in your own company and doing the things you enjoy and are passionate about will help build the confidence you need for getting back out there." So make it a point to spend some quality time with yourself before dating again.

Embrace Rejection

As you jump back into the dating game, remember that rejection can actually be a good thing, so there's no need to fear it. "Most of the angst around dating is the fear of rejection because we think it's an indicator of something being wrong with ourselves but that indicator is misattributed," explains Dr. Del Rosario. "Rejection is just protection from what is not meant or good for you."

Revisit Your List of an Ideal Partner

If you don't already have a list of what you desire in a partner, this is the time to really get specific about what you need. This will help you be more intentional as you start dating again. Here's how to do it: "Take some time to write out the attributes you need from your partner for not only where you are now but what you will need in the future based on your goals," Dr. Del Rosario says. "This will help you to identify 'the one' when you meet them and not waste time with the wrong one."

Expand Your Footprint

"The saying goes 'there are plenty of fish in the sea,' but some of you are limiting yourselves to the same pond," Dr. Del Rosario says. For this reason, she recommends getting out of your comfort zone to try to meet new people by going to different places. For example, rather than going to the same coffee shop or happy hour spot, visit places you haven't before to increase your chances of meeting someone new.

Build Your Confidence

Learning how to get back into dating can feel like a daunting task which is why building up your self confidence is key. "To build your confidence in dating, reflect on all the things that make you the great person that you are and reassure yourself that there is a great person out there for you," Dr. Del Rosario says. "Know that you are worthy and capable of receiving the love you desire, and be confident in that."

Take Your Time

Lastly, Dr. Del Rosario reminds us that "great things take time." So don't feel like you have to rush to find the right partner. Remove any time constraints or deadlines you may have conceived. Instead, allow things to unfold naturally and try to enjoy the journey of getting back into dating.

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