Latest posts by Lana Otoya (see all)
- Coronavirus Dating: How To Date During The Coronavirus - March 30, 2020
- Lust Vs. Love – 5 Ways To Know If The Passion Will Last - March 6, 2020
- Needs vs Wants In Relationships – What Is Really Important for Long-Term Love? - February 27, 2020
He broke my heart… something nearly all of us have had to say at some point in our lives. I’ve been there too, a few times.
I was sitting at an upscale restaurant in Las Vegas, one of my favourite vacation spots. I had spent the morning lounging and drinking by the pool, I was surrounded by my best friends and family and we had just ordered a delicious meal.
In that moment, I felt a dark cloud surround me. Why is it that with all this happiness around me, I feel like curling up under some blankets and crying the night away?
I had just broken up with my boyfriend of nearly four years. And he broke my heart.
He Broke My Heart: How To Start Dating Again After A Bad Break Up
Four years felt like it had just flown by. All that time wasted.
We had lived together, we had a cat, we talked about getting married.
And even though I knew the end of this relationship was for the best, I still couldn’t help but feel miserable about it all the time.
If you can relate to my story, or you’re in that position now – don’t worry.
The grass really does get greener.
And having spent years learning about psychology, mental health and dating, I can assure you that you absolutely should start dating again. You just need to follow a few simple steps so you don’t get hurt.
1. Yeah, You’re Going To Need To Cry It Out
Even if the relationship wasn’t that great by the end, it was still a big part of your life – and it sucks to lose that.
When I first broke up with my boyfriend I felt almost “happy” that he was out of my life. Yet this so called “happiness” came with a lot of lonely nights and a constant sinking feeling in my gut.
Whether you are ready to admit yet or not, breaking up with someone always hurts. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is accept the fact that “this sucks” and just live in a bit of misery for a while.
It can be hard to admit that we feel like shit mentally, but for some reason it’s really easy to admit when the pain is physical.
When I got my wisdom teeth removed a few years ago, I knew that I was going to be in a weekend of hell. So I stocked the fridge with ice-cream and apple sauce, Googled a bunch of movies that I wanted to watch, and told everyone I knew that I was definitely not willing to go out.
You can do this to help your brain too.
In fact, you must do this.
Just like with the wisdom teeth, stock your fridge with some comfort food and watch some of your favourite movies. Do whatever you need to do to feel safe.
Then allow yourself to be really really sad.
A quote from Tiny Buddha said it best:
It’s important to grieve our losses. Whether it’s the loss of a relationship, loved one, job, or whatever, we need to take time to be sad. We need to get in touch with our feelings and understand what we’re feeling. Labeling and being aware of our feelings is imperative in every area of life. So when you’re sad, be sad.
It’s ok to mourn your loss. The more you let those feelings out, the faster you can overcome them.
2. Do You Really Need To Be Happy Being Single Before You Start Dating?
If answers to questions like this were simply “yes” or “no” I wouldn’t have a job as a dating coach. Dating is complicated.
In short, the answer is this:
If you start dating someone else before you’re emotionally over the old relationship, you’re likely to find yourself in an unhealthy relationship.
You’ve read this far down the article so I’m guessing you’re committed to this and the truth is – healthy relationships require two mentally stable people. If you’re still going through trauma or depression, you might not make the best partner right now.
The other side of this is that you could easily end up in a relationship that is unhealthy just because you wanted a warm body next to you.
This is something you need to remember for the rest of your life: Yes, being single can suck sometimes, but being is single is a hell of a lot better than being in an bad relationship.
What happens when you can find peace being single first is that you’re not in a rush to just settle down with anyone that comes along. This is the best way to set yourself up for a good relationship in the future.
3. Focus On Personal Growth
Being single is actually an amazing time.
Don’t get me wrong, I know it can be lonely. I know it can really suck if you’ve been single for a long time.
But being single is the best time to really focus on who you are and who want to become.
I have always wanted to live in a nice swanky apartment in a really big city.
The thought of leaving everything and moving to New York has crossed my mind more than once.
If I was single right now, I could actually make that happen.
But since I’m in a committed relationship, I’m pretty locked down to what he wants to do. Which is more like white picket fence suburbia rather than the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
Don’t get me wrong, I could move to New York if I wanted to. But that would cost me an amazing relationship and there’s no way I want to give up this for that.
So I’m basically stuck thinking about the “what if?”
When you’re single, you’re free. You can take your life in any direction. Stop saying “he broke my heart” and start saying “he freed my heart.”
Now is the time to focus on personal growth. Learn that new skill. Get that new job. Move to that new city. Start that new hobby.
Unlike rushing into a relationship before you’re ready, focusing on yourself increases the chances that you’re going to find a great relationship. One that is compatible with the “new you” that you want to become.
Have fun enjoying some “you” time before you end up in a relationship that lasts forever and you never get that time again.
Need some help finding that relationship that lasts forever? All you need to do is click here.
4. Use Your Break Up To Remind You Of What’s Important
Your ex, the one you dated and it didn’t work out. Ask yourself: why didn’t it work out?
Was it because he was too short?
Was it because he didn’t want to play your favourite sport with you?
Or because he didn’t have a certain colour of hair?
If you answered “no” those questions it’s saying something.
You’re not saying “he broke my heart” because he doesn’t have the same favourite band as you.
Those little things don’t make a huge difference in an actual relationship.
When you find yourself back in the online dating world, you’re going to see a lot of little filters that you can check off before running a search.
The last thing you want to do is start focusing on the wrong things. This like:
- Physical appearance (yes, including height)
- How long it takes to drive to their place
- Their opinion on this movie or that movie
None of that really matters at the end of the day.
You want to focus on finding someone that is nice to you, has similar life goals and shares similar values. That’s really all you need to look for to get the bare bones foundation of a healthy relationship.
Don’t get distracted by all the filters on those dating sites and focus on qualities that are way more important.
If you need help figuring out what exactly those qualities are. Check out my list of “dating standards that actually matter’ here.
5. Take Away The Loneliness In A Healthy Way
Unless you absolutely 100% don’t want a relationship and are totally happy being by yourself, being single is always going to feel a little empty.
You’re always going to have that voice in your head. The one asking what it would be like to come home to someone. What it would be like to have someone to go out with for dinner. Or what it feels like lay your head down on someone’s chest.
All of that is really powerful stuff.
Remember, you don’t want to just jump into that with the wrong person. But getting back out there on the dating scene is going to happen eventually.
When you have spent enough time working on yourself and you’re ready to share the new you with someone else, make sure it’s in a healthy way.
You can fill a void with one night stands or empty friends with benefits relationships, but it will only fill the void for now. Then before you know it, you will be even more lonely than when you first started doing those things.
Don’t fill your void in an unhealthy way. Stick to focuses on yourself.
Few people can find happiness in a one night stand. Focus on being patient. Have a dating strategy that is going to help you land a healthy relationship with someone who lifts you up.
If you want to learn more about my dating strategies click this link to learn more.