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Dating again after a long-term relationship

Tristan is a love stylist who, through internal and external makeovers, guides her clients on all matters surrounding falling in like, falling in love and falling into bed. She is also the author of MENu Dating: Taste Your Way to the Mai...

Back in the saddle

Nervousness and apprehensions about dating again are perfectly normal if you've recently gone through a breakup. Your heart is probably just now feeling whole again. Why on earth would you want to throw it back into a sea of potential heartbreakers? Because if you still believe in love and you still want to be in a relationship, you have to. That said, prepare yourself by following this three-part process to cleanse your heart, mind and body -- and prepare you to jump back into the dating pool curiously, comfortably and confidently.

Couple on date

Emotional healing

Before even considering dating again, though, you need to do some dirty soul work. This involves honestly examining your past relationship to extract every last bit of learning you can from it. By doing so, you can use your ex love constructively to get to your next love. Follow these five steps:

Dissect your past relationship.

Identify what you would like to feel again in a future relationship and what you vow never to feel again. Both of these lists will be a commitment to yourself to move upward in your relationship journey, due to the knowledge acquired during your last experience.

2Take 100 percent responsibility for 50 percent of the breakup.

No matter how horrible, terrible and no good your ex may be, the "victim" always has a part to play in a relationship's demise. Playing the blame game stores anger in your heart, which you will inevitably carry into a new relationship.

3Release any negative feelings you have toward your ex.

Accept that the relationship was required on your dating journey, and be thankful that it ended not a day later than it did. When you can truly let go with peace in your heart, you can allow new love to enter.

4Create a dateable you.

Develop a picture of what would make you the most dateable version of yourself, internally and externally. Concentrate on your strengths, and create an action plan to become whatever is missing in your picture.

5Acknowledge that you deserve new love.

No matter what the circumstances of your breakup were, don't look at it as a failure. You are just as, if not more, worthy of love today. Know that you will find love, a better love, in the future.

Up next: Mental healing >>

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