1. It can take a lot of time. Be patient with yourself and the process. You won’t be alone forever, even if you do have to go through a lot of shitty first dates, almost relationships, and people who string you along.
2. It’s okay to take a break from the dating scene every now and then. Allowing your heart to heal is one of the best things you can do for yourself while you’re looking for love. It doesn’t make you weak or bitter to take a step back and say, “I need a minute.”
3. But sometimes you also need to put yourself even if you don’t feel completely “ready.” After we get our hearts broken, it’s only normal to give ourselves time to recover. However, if you start using past hurt as an excuse to delay finding love because you’re scared, that’s all the more reason to get yourself back out there. It’s always going to be vulnerable and awkward and scary. But what’s scarier is not putting your heart out there at all.
4. Stop prioritizing being “chill” over asking for what you want and need from a partner. You’ll never find it if you don’t make it known. Also, you’ll waste a hell of a lot less time trying to seem cool with behavior that is hurting you when you could speak up and fix it (and move on if they aren’t willing to change).
5. You don’t need to love yourself perfectly before someone else will. Self-love is a lifelong journey. If we all had to wait until we loved ourselves perfectly before we got involved with someone else, we’d all be alone.
6. Pay attention to how the person you’re pursuing talks about their exes. Because it says a hell of a lot more about them than it does their previous partners.
7. Dating apps aren’t the only way to meet people. Yes, they can be a great way to meet someone but don’t let them be your only outlet. Get out of the house. Go to a coffee shop. Join a sports league. Ask your friends if they know anyone. Stop relying only on swiping and actually try living a little.
8. Love can’t save you. It can help heal you, but ultimately it’s up to you to pull yourself back together. Don’t get into a relationship solely for the purpose of trying to make yourself feel better or for your problems to go away. They won’t. Plus, that’s a hell of a lot of pressure to put on someone. They can support you, but ultimately it’s up to you to save yourself.
9. If someone tells you it’s bad timing, believe them. Don’t wait around for them. They aren’t going to change their mind.
10. It’s okay to get your heart broken. In fact, it’s a good thing. It means you’re trying. It means you’re putting yourself out there. It means that you cared about someone enough to risk getting hurt. And that’s a very beautiful thing.
11. You’ll never experience the same love twice.
12. If you’re spending way too much energy fighting for someone, let them go. It’s not worth it.
13. Compatibility is far more important than sheer attraction. Keep this in mind always. Sometimes, there is logic in love. You could have the most addictive chemistry ever, but if their ideal life is different than yours, that matters.
14. You will never find the perfect person. Yes, it’s self-respecting to have standards. Yes, it’s a good thing. However, be sure they aren’t so high that no one could ever check every box you have in your mind about your “ideal” partner. Because they do not exist, only imperfect people who are going to do their best to love you the way you need to be loved. Let them try.