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Starting Over: Doing it Tastefully & Gracefully

When you are in a long-term relationship or a marriage, the last thing you ever expect is to find yourself back in the dating pool. But there is a way to start over and live life to the fullest again – and people do it every single day. Here are a few pointers in the right direction.

1. Close the Door
Before you can move forward with life, love or anything it is crucial to deal with the emotions you are experiencing after your loss. Healing your heart can take time and courage, but just take it one day at a time, one breath at a time and allow yourself the experience of processing emotions and finally coming to a place of acceptance with whatever situation you are in. It is also important to learn from our past experience – so we don’t repeat relationship patterns or things that ultimately cause us pain.  More important than anything else as you begin dating again is what kind of attention you pay to your internal self. Are there old wounds and baggage you need to release? If so, let them go. Few things will make a worse impression on a first date than a person who is bitter and resentful about a past relationship. So if you need to spend some time working through old feelings and even find some forgiveness for someone who hurt you, doing so will be well worth your time and effort.

2. Set New Standards
Set standards for who you want to be, and for the kinds of people you want to be with. Spend time thinking about what you want, and who you are. The more intentional you can be about what kind of dating life you want to pursue, the greater chance you’ll have of actually creating it. Why not make a list? Write down the qualities you are looking for in your next partner, and keep this list close to you in case you need a reminder!

3. Feel Good on the Outside
This is a great time for “out with the old, in with the new”! Why not try a new hairstyle, or treat yourself to some spa treatments and just pamper yourself a bit! Spend some time considering who you are on the outside, and how you come across to other people. For example, what about your clothes, and your overall look? The 90s may have been a great decade, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep living there when it comes to your fashion and hairstyle. Go shopping with a friend who does a good job of keeping up with the latest trends and fashions.

But more than that, this is about how you feel about yourself as you dive into the dating waters again. If you go back out there feeling good about how you look and about how you’ll be perceived, you’ll present yourself with more confidence and self-assurance. Then you can be more fully yourself, meaning that people will get to see the real you, as you want to be seen.

4: Get Out There!
You have plenty of reason for excitement. This is your chance to completely reinvent yourself and the way you interact with people on a social level. So spend some time thinking about how you’ve always gone about looking for potential partners. Do you want to re-think your old hang-outs? If the places you’ve looked before haven’t yielded such great dating results, then brainstorm some spots you’re more likely to find someone more compatible with you.

Regardless of your past social persona, you can now choose who you want to be in social situations. Decide where you want to go, and who you want to be with, and you can make changes that will allow you to create a dating life that’s fun, exciting, and even adventurous.