How I Got Back Into The Dating Game After A Long Hiatus

I deleted all of my dating apps for the first time ever around this time last year. I was completely burnt out on dating, since I’d been treating my love life as a sprint to the finish line (a.k.a. marriage). At first, spending all that time by myself was harder than I’d expected. But I eventually grew comfortable being alone on a Friday night, or showing up solo to a party where I might have brought a date before.
That first hiatus lasted about three months, and since then I’ve had an on/off relationship with dating. But the number one thing I’ve realized is that, as hard as it is to remove myself from the dating scene, it can sometimes be even harder to get myself back in. I’m not the only one who thinks this way, either: I have half a dozen emails in my inbox from readers asking for tips on how to get back into dating after a breakup or a long self-imposed break.
That’s because it can be daunting as hell, especially if you’ve been out of the game for a particularly long time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, and it’s hard to allow yourself to be as vulnerable as the situation (unfortunately) requires you to be. So I’ve put together a little list of tips and tricks I lived by when I reentered the dating game this year.
I’m not an expert, of course. And because of that, I’m here to say that these “tips” are merely what worked for me, and they might not be right for everybody. But I encourage you to come up with your own ideas about what works best for you in these situations, because this shit can be hard. And if you have any fantastic advice you’d like to share, please post it below. Let’s face it — we can all use help sometimes.
After being raised on a steady diet of Disney movies, I expected to meet someone and fall passionately in love — but wound up collapsing under the pressures of modern dating. Luckily, I eventually realized that there's no "right" way to date, and that I need to find happiness within myself, no partner needed. It’s Not You is where I write to calm the voices in my head — and hear from all of you. Follow me on Twitter, on Instagram, or email me at maria.delrusso@refinery29.com.

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