Whether it’s your first or your tenth, breakups hurt. Sometimes a little if it was a short relationship, and sometimes more than you ever thought possible.
But eventually you’ll come out of your post-breakup cocoon (which might or might not involve ice cream, the gym, or both!) and decide you want to start dating again. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place.
Here we’ll be talking about steps you can take to find a great new boyfriend when you’re ready to date again!
Make sure you’re ready.
This is a critical step you need to take after your breakup. It might take days or months to get over your ex, or it might take years!
The point is, while the instinct to get into a new relationship right away is normal, it won’t help anyone, especially not you and your still-broken heart. The best thing you can give yourself is time.
If thinking about him still stings, you shouldn’t be trying to date. Fresh wounds need time to heal.
Working on yourself is another great way to work through a breakup so you’re really ready for a new relationship. There are about a million articles out there on how to improve yourself after a breakup, with so many good ideas that couldn’t all fit into one place.
Read around and figure out what works best for you, whether it’s therapy, getting fit, moving to another city, changing your look, all of these, or none. Healing your hurt, and focusing on your happiness and well-being, should be your #1 priority until you feel ready to take the next step.
This is also a good time to up your social game! Work on your flirt game, and buy clothes you feel great wearing. These things will prepare you for your next step, when you decide to dive into the dating scene again.
Talk to guys casually.
When you’re to a point of healing you’re happy with, a great way to find a new boyfriend is to start talking to guys! Whether this means reconnecting with guy friends you might be interested in, going out to a bar, party, or club, or re-downloading Tinder, it’s a good idea to explore a variety of options.
If you decide to meet guys in person, focus on keeping it casual and light. Act the way you normally act around your friends; you never want to get into a relationship with a guy where he’s dating a fake version of you! It’s difficult to be vulnerable and “real” with strangers, but it’s the best way to make connections that will last long past the first date.
We live in a big world, but technology can make it smaller! If you decide to use a dating app like Tinder, Bumble, or Match, spend some time making your profile reflect who you truly are.
Again, keep it authentic, casual, and fun. We’re not looking for our forever soulmate right off the bat, and any guy who claims he can be that before you’ve even met is waving a massive red flag.
A man who’s boyfriend material will keep it casual as well until you’re both ready. Some long-lasting relationships take months or years to become serious.
Make sure you’re not rushing headlong into someone trying to over-commit after just one date or conversation.
Make sure he’s not a rebound.
Plenty of girls will tell you how they decided to try and date seriously, but realized their breakup was still too painful, and they just wanted something from a hookup that wasn’t a serious relationship. If you want to get and keep a boyfriend in the long-term, you need to make sure he’s not a rebound.
Pay close attention to your feelings when you’re around a potential boyfriend. Do you find yourself wishing he was your ex? Are you feeling unsettled and pushing it away?
Did you two rush into a physical relationship before a romantic one? These are some things to consider when figuring out whether this guy might be a rebound or a boyfriend.
If you do come to understand that this guy, despite being great, is still just a stand-in for your ex, you need to tell him. What the two of you do from there is up to you; you might decide to hook up casually or just call it quits if he wants something more serious.
In either case, return to step one and work on healing yourself. It’s so important, it cannot be overstated, to fully heal from your ex before getting into a serious relationship again.
Spend at least a month or two spending time and having fun together.
Though you might instantly click with a guy, consider spending a decent amount of time getting to know each other before getting into a relationship. That’s not to say if he asks you out, you can’t say yes! If you feel comfortable with it, you could absolutely get into a relationship even before a first date. Still, make a point to get to know each other in the first few months.
You might find some red flags you didn’t notice before, or some personal differences you can’t put aside in a long-term relationship.
This is also one of the most fun parts of a relationship! The playfulness, getting to know each other’s favorite colors and movies, before moving onto the serious part, should be pleasurable for the both of you.
If you’re not having fun with this guy, if you’re at all feeling sad or upset because of him, an ex, or your own issues, that’s a sign to slow it down.
And if you’re having a great time, that’s a good sign! Two people who can be fun and playful together, and have good chemistry, can make good long-term partners.
Take note as well about key things about him that are “green flags” for a good relationship: clear communication, honesty, humor, and a gift for making you happy.
Make it official.
If he hasn’t asked you out yet, and you’re sure you want to date him, it’s a good idea to ask him to be your boyfriend yourself after spending enough time together. No need to wait, and don’t worry!
If he’s made a real effort to spend time with you and treat you well, with the knowledge to both of you that this could become a romantic relationship, it’s very likely you’ll get the answer you want. He might even joke he wished he did it first!
Then congratulations to you both: you found a boyfriend after your breakup! Enjoy your new relationship and let him know how happy you are to be with him. Good job!