confidenceDating after divorce, loss, or a breakup? Here are 4 ways to rebuild your confidence to help you succeed at finding true love.

Returning to singledom is undeniably terrifying. Entering the dating scene after years of being in a relationship or marriage can be like diving blindly into an abyss of dating apps, swipes, messages and multiple weekly meet ups.

Your secret to navigating this abyss is confidence and self-assurance (with a touch of humility). If you’re still working on your newfound confidence, fake it ’til you make it and take the following advice…

#1. Let Go of the Past

There’s no pain like heartbreak and loss; it can feel like it may never go away. Time does heal the heart, but old wounds can prevent you from truly moving on. If you’re ready to dive back into dating, you have to let go of your past relationship. Let go of expectations — and everything you thought you knew about love and partnership. Write down everything that’s holding you back, like fear, rejection or insecurity. Then crumple the piece of paper and throw it away. Or buy helium balloons and attach each paper to a balloon and (literally) let it go.

Only once you let go, can you really start over. This is an opportunity for being courageous and exploring different types of romance. With a positive perspective and open-mindedness, you may be surprised by how much of an adventure dating can be. So choose your direction and boldly take the first step of your new journey.

#2. Discover a Passion

A hobby that you’re passionate about adds to your intrigue and reflects who you are as a person. Love to cook and try new recipes? You’re curious and creative. Does a new chapter in your life compel you to write? You’re expressive and introspective. Does hiking and camping appeal to you? You have a sense of adventure and thrive in the outdoors. As you continue to pursue your passion, you’ll grow more as a self-assured, passionate person and you’ll have more to share with someone special.

A passion can also connect you with a person who shares your interest. The top-rated online dating site eHarmony lists the 10 most attractive hobbies and interests. The study found that men typically prefer a woman who’s interested in health, exercise, food, family and dancing, while men who have interests in politics, traveling, health and exercise, food, theater and learning attract the most women.

 #3. Sweat Out Insecurities

Now that you’re back in the open waters of the dating pool, confidence is great bait for catching fish. One of the best places to build fierce confidence is by working out. Sure, there are the cosmetic confidence boosters, like losing weight or toning up. But hitting the gym also builds confidence through a sense of accomplishment and overcoming challenges. You’re not just transforming your body but your mental strength and outlook as well. Exercise is also a proven stress reliever, easing anxiety and releasing those happy chemicals, which can serve as a healthy coping mechanism for surviving dates gone bad.

 #4. Lean on Your Support System

Friends, family and co-workers were most likely there for you during your relationship hardships and breakup. But that level of support may have started to diminish as your single status became more static. These relationships make you stronger, especially as you’re about to navigate the dating scene again. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and family again for encouragement, different perspectives and comforting relief for when you’re feeling down.

Gwendolyn Seidman, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Albright College and contributor to Psychology Today’s “Close Encounters,” emphasizes how your team of supporters can help you thrive, which helps you flourish into your best self. A friend can help reframe a negative situation, boost your self-assurance and remind you of your strengths. Most importantly, your friends and family will be there to accept you during dating struggles and celebrate with you when you finally meet the one.

What have you done to boost your confidence in dating after divorce, loss, or a breakup? Please share your comments below.

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