This Is How To Get Back In The Dating Game If You've Taken A Well Deserved Time Out

by Alice Broster
Lauren Naefe/Stocksy

First dates can be really nerve-wracking. What will you talk about? Did you pick the right top? What if they’re not funny and you have to spend all night doing an over the top fake laugh? This is made ten times worse when you have been out of the game for a little bit. Whether you have been away because you've been in a long term relationship or just given yourself some time to be you, it can be intimidating to go back, to say the least. So, here is how to get back into the dating game. While using dating apps and going out for that first drink can be super scary, an expert shared some hints and tips on how to be happy when you are single and very much ready to mingle again.

After breaking up with my ex, numerous friends would turn to me and say, “oh you just need to get out there." But what does that mean? It is easy to tell someone to put on their killer boots and go out for a drink, but if you are anything like me you are completely fine chatting to someone until you fancy them. Then I clam up, become hyper aware of all the things I am saying, and giggle like a school girl. "Getting back out there" is way easier said than done.

However, Maria Sullivan, a dating expert from has said that she doesn’t think it needs to be so scary. She told me, “taking an absence from the dating world may have you feeling out of touch, insignificant, or flat out old." But as the old adage goes, "Nothing is sexier than confidence." It's important, then, to do the things that help you feel more confident, whatever that is. "Do whatever it takes to boost your self-esteem,” she tells me. Life gets so hectic and it is easy to let habits of self-love go out of the window because you’re too busy. But doing things that make you feel good about yourself will make opening up to others so much easier.

Studio Firma/Stocksy

Dating apps have really filled the hole where people used to meet in real life. But even for a seasoned pro they can be difficult, let alone if the last time you dated was before the days of swipe right. Whilst creating a dating profile seems like a whole lot of pressure (who knows what to write in bios anyway?) Sullivan suggests it might not be the worst thing to dip your toes in the pool and try out online dating. She says, “see what the internet has to offer. There are lots of different platforms that cater to different preferences, find what interests you and create a profile.” The good thing about online dating is you can commit to it as much as you want. Have a little swipe when you're round at a friends, just for a laugh, or put in the time to find a great match.

Sullivan says another important step is to take your time.

“Jumping straight back into dating after a long break may be weird at first. Test the waters by starting conversations with multiple people. Once you feel you’ve found your groove you can take the next step and meet for coffee or dinner."
Stephen Morris/Stocksy

Diving head first back into the world of dating can seem like a big step, especially after the breakup of a long term relationship. The most important relationship you have is with yourself, so if you need a little bit of time to work out what makes you feel good in yourself again, then do it. From there, wine nights with friends while you play on each other’s dating profiles almost becomes the easiest way to window shop. Good luck!