Being in a relationship changes you,  in a lot of ways. Most of them are good. A long term relationship can make you kinder, more considerate and more empathetic. It makes you understand the importance of compromise.  Helps you to think not just in terms of what’s best for you (singular) but what’s best for you (plural).  Teaches you to open yourself up and let yourself be vulnerable.  Face it, that’s not always an easy thing for men to be able to do.

Yet, it can be a double edged sword. When you’re in a relationship, while you retain your core personality, it redefines who you are as a person. You get used to living and behaving a certain way. So, if there is a breakup, it can feel as though you’ve not just lost someone in your life… you’ve lost a part of yourself.

And in some cases, you might feel like you can never get it back.

We’re conditioned by society, culture, movies, books and TV to believe in true love. That there’s only one special someone out there for everyone. And while some people find that to be the case, it’s not a hard and fast rule for everyone. It can be a crushing blow when there is a breakup of a long term relationship… But it’s not the end for you.

You can and will get back in the game. But as with most things in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. You might yearn to get that special connection back, but the last thing you want to do is rush into making the same mistakes again. That’s why it’s important to follow these 5 rules of getting back in the game after a breakup…

Rule 1- You Need to Date Yourself For a Awhile First

You’re awesome! Your friends know it, your family knows it. Someday soon, the next special someone out there will know it too. The trouble is that you don’t know it yet. As tempting as it may be to fill that void in your life with another relationship, you should use the time after a breakup to date yourself.

Spend some quality time with yourself re-engaging with the things you enjoy doing. The things that help to make you who you are. In some cases, the things you didn’t get the chance to do enough when you were with your ex. 

Take yourself out for a few crazy men’s nights out with your friends and enjoy not having to feel guilty when you get home late. Spend a whole Saturday playing video games or watching your favorite movies. Take yourself on a road trip to do some exploring or go on a long hike. If possible take a short vacation on your own. You could also look into online ceu courses to help occupy your mind; if you have a certificate awarded to you at the end of this period, you’ll feel all the more accomplished! 

This will help you to gain a better understanding of yourself. It will teach you to respect yourself. It will show you that you still have value and will be a great catch for your next special somebody. Whether they end up being a keeper or just someone you have some fun with for a few months, your next relationship will be much more rewarding when you have a clear idea of who you are and what you want from life. 

Rule 2 – Re-master the Art of Flirting

It’s been a while, so your flirt game probably isn’t quite what it used to be. When a man flirts in the 21st century, he needs to walk a very, very fine line. If he tries too hard he can come off as desperate and there is absolutely nothing more off putting to a woman… but play it too cool and she could misconstrue it as just being friendly and you could find yourself in the friend zone. 

Flirting doesn’t even need to go anywhere if you don’t want it to. It’s more about helping you start to feel comfortable talking to women in a way that gives you confidence and self-belief, making yourself feel handsome and desirable and ensuring that you enter into your next relationship on equal terms. If you start out in the relationship thinking that your partner is doing you a favor simply by being with you, this can start the relationship off on the wrong note. Neither partner should feel subservient to the other. This is how resentments build up. 

However you flirt, of course, it’s important to be respectful. You want to rediscover your mojo with the opposite sex, but you don’t want to spout any unintentional misogyny. If you’re looking for a safe entry point into the world of flirting, you can always try out one of the many phone chat line numbers for men out there. These can get you more comfortable with flirty talk in a safe and controlled context that can help bring back your confidence. 

Rule 3 – Talk to Your Female Friends

The more time you spend single, the easier it can be to think of women as some kind of unfathomable mystery. But the truth is that, while we may differ psychologically and physiologically in some pretty fundamental ways, we’re all just people. We all want to be respected, comforted, cared for and loved. 

This is why it’s so important to stay in touch with your female friends following a breakup and value your platonic relationships with women. It will help to demystify the female of the species and  prevent you from putting them on a pedestal.

What’s more, your female friend can be a great wing woman. She can help to spot red flags that you might not pick up on alone, give you useful advice and help you to feel calm and confident approaching women in social situations. 

Rule 4 – Get Out!

We get how tempting it can be to become isolated and insular after a breakup. By all means enjoy your own company in your own home. By all means take the time to do the things you love in comfort. But if you’re spending your Saturday afternoons in your sweatpants or bathrobe in front of the TV that should set your Spidey-sense tingling.

Spending too much time on your own indoors can not only reduce your chances of missing someone special, it can be surprisingly damaging to your mental health as well as shattering to your self-confidence. Over time, the world will seem like an increasingly forbidding and scary place and the opposite gender will start to seem like some kind of unattainable prise rather than living, breathing human beings.

As tough as it may be, start getting out and about as early as possible after you breakup. Instead of wallowing at home, take yourself out somewhere you can mingle with like-minded people. Whether it’s a sports game, a museum, a gallery or a book store, start mingling with people with common interests. You don’t have to do so with the hopes of meeting someone special (although don’t rule it out), just try and stay social.

Social skills are just like any other skills. If you don’t practice and refine them, they will start to atrophy and social contact will seem increasingly difficult and scary.

Rule 5 – Ask Your Friends to Set You Up

Online dating is all well and good, but it’s not always the healthiest way to meet people. There’s a lot of deception in adult dating profiles from people enhancing the way they look on profile pictures to being less than honest about their relationship statuses. What’s more, as respectful and polite as you may be on dating sites and apps, you’ll be sharing a pool with a lot of other dudes who… aren’t so much. Keep this in mind when you think that women are being needlessly frosty on there. It’s likely because they’ve had a barrage of hookup requests and unsolicited pictures of random guys’ junk.

While there are newly single guys out there who have found someone special in online dating, there are many more who have found only frustration and annoyance. 

Perhaps a healthier way to meet people is through your most valuable resource after a breakup… you’r friends.

Not only can they give you emotional support while you’re getting back on your feet, they can introduce you to eligible single friends. These aren’t just random women who happen to be close by. They’re people who your friends already know and like which is a pretty good measure of the kind of people they are. Plus, because you have friends in common, you’ll have something to talk about and this can help alleviate any first date awkwardness. 

The only potential issue is that if something goes awry between you, it might be awkward for your friends. But then again, nobody goes into a relationship anticipating the breakup. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

A breakup can be a huge blow to your self esteem. And as tempting as it may be to rush into your next relationship half cocked, it’s essential to get back in the game the right way. 

This article is a partnered post that contains affiliate links.

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