Feel it out.
Take your time and don’t rush into something new because you’re lonely or scared about being on your own.
Going through a divorce is traumatic. Give yourself time to recover and get the help you may need to get through this painful period before you let somebody new into your life - and before you get involved in someone else’s. Start dating with a clean slate and an open heart.
Reflect on the past.
Fully understand why your marriage/relationship did not work out — including the sometimes harsh truths about your part in it so it can help you to avoid the same mistakes in future.
Let go of your hurtful past and give yourself the gift of forgiveness and letting go of any resentment and bitterness that may have built up over time. And don’t discuss your horrible ex or the details of your divorce on your first date — this is a big complaint from daters themselves!
Connect with yourself.
Use the time by yourself wisely and rebuild your life in the way you want it to look. Do the things you’ve neglected over the years, reconnect with your passions and dreams, find new hobbies and interests. Living a full and interesting life is in itself one of the best ways to meet somebody new that will fit into your new amazing life. Don’t isolate yourself.
Cultivate inner strength.
Rebuild your confidence and start dating from a place of strength rather than the chaos and destruction of a divorce or breakup. We all bring our own "baggage" into a new relationship — and this can enrich and enhance your relationship if it's baggage that has been resolved. Unresolved baggage just causes further hurt and may sabotage a new relationship right from the start.
Know what you want.
Reflect on what type of relationship you’re looking for at the stage where you're at. Is it just to get out there and see what dating is like, are you looking for fun or something casual, or are you looking for your next committed relationship? Be honest about what you’re looking for.
Be crystal clear about what you’re looking for in your next partner — focus more on how you want to feel in your next relationship rather than just a list of attributes that may sound good on paper, but doesn’t bring you the "chemistry" you’re looking for. Get out of your comfort zone and meet new kinds of people.
It’s so easy to get swept away by somebody new, especially if there is a deliciously magnetic physical attraction. Just make sure you keep balancing your head with your heart — and pay attention to those red flags.
Don’t get too serious or exclusive too soon. Again, take your time. You want to keep yourself free and available for the right person to find you. Don’t get stuck with the wrong one because you feel that "this is as good as it’s going to get" or that you’re not going to find somebody else. You absolutely will.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Yours.