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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.

Mental healing

If dating feels like a chore or a sign of a failed relationship past, it is clear that you have some mental cleansing to do. To be successful in the dating playground, you need to be optimistic toward it. Energy is contagious, and if you want to attract a positive man, you need to exert positivity yourself.

Woman dating onlineMental block 1: I'm afraid of having my heart broken again.

Fear is love's greatest inhibitor. If your heart is closed to the possibility of a new love, you will project that in everything that you are, and prospective dates will sense it. Instead, heal your heart fully from your breakup. Accept the loss in totality and let it go. Accept that your heart is not only capable of repair, but actually becomes stronger after going through trauma. Channel your clenched energy into curiosity by turning your fears into faith.

Mental block 2: I thought I'd never have to date again (ie, I thought he was The One) -- or, I hate dating.

Sure, dating can be disappointing, tiresome, boring, unpredictable or all of the above. Dating is also an incredible teacher, however, not to mention that it can be a lot of fun. So, the best thing you can do is get over that thought process, and the quicker, the better. You are single, and if you don't want to be, there is only one route to a relationship: A dating journey. Be mindful that negative energy is contagious, so instead of treating dating like an unpleasant task, find things about dating to get excited about, like new date outfits, new restaurants, curious conversation, butterflies in your belly and so on. And above all, remember, it's just a date -- not a husband shopping trip. Take it all in stride and enjoy the ride.

Mental block 3: What if all the men I meet are like my awful ex?

If you've done your dirty work -- taken 100 percent responsibility for 50 percent of the breakup, analyzed what worked and didn't work in the relationship, come to terms with its end, etc. -- then they won't be. This isn't to say that doppelgangers of your horrible, terrible, no good ex don't exist, but this time around, you are a wiser dater. You will be able to filter through your dating experiences quickly to discern keepers from throw-backs. If you do find that you are consistently attracted to the negative qualities of your ex, your soul work isn't done yet.

Mental block 4: I don't know how to date anymore.

Although it may have been a looooooong time since you've gotten your flirt on or had a first date, rest assured that the ways of dating haven't changed during your visit to coupledom. Aside from maybe needing to brush up on your coy smile technique, learning how to date online or learning about the latest single spots to mingle, whatever techniques you employed during your last single chapter will work gorgeously this time, too. Dating is like riding a bike: All you need to do is get back out there, and it will all come back to you. Girlfriends can be great cheerleaders to getting you back on your bike, too, so don't be afraid to ask your friends for support.

Up next: Physical healing >>

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