My long-term relationship just ended. Now what?


Yozora0 asks:

[27M] Just had my relationship of 7 and a half years end, all is fine with that moved on, and got a new place, all that good jazz. I have been wanting to start and try to build those connections again. Being in a long-term committed relationship seems to have severed most of my personal ties to others. Where should I go to try to meet someone new?

Keep in mind, I don’t drink (and probably would not want a girl trying to hook up at a bar). I work a lot, so some days/weeks it can be hard to put myself out there.

Demetrius says:

Here’s a thing we should talk about before we tackle how to meet people: “Being in a long-term committed relationship seems to have severed most of my personal ties to others”. 

This is, sadly, a pretty common occurrence. I’m not sure why, but a lot of people alienate or sever their existing platonic relationships once they get into a romantic relationship, and usually this is a bad idea. You know what a great way to meet new people after a breakup is? Asking your friends if they have single friends. Here’s a tip for the future, or for anyone reading this who has ever been in a relationship or ever plans to be in one: Maintaining your friendships is important. The people who sever ties with their friends are usually the ones who have no support system in place when a relationship ends. Who is going to be your sounding board when things end? Who is going to help you get back out into the dating pool? I’m of the mind that the person you’re seeing romantically should also be a friend, but not your only friend. When I’m dating someone and I notice they are cutting off personal ties to spend time with me, it makes me incredibly uncomfortable. Could you imagine being someone’s entire personal life? It’s a terrible position to be in, and it’s exhausting, let me tell you. If you’re relationship minded, try to maintain platonic relationships as well as your romantic relationship. If you’re friendship with people is dependent solely on your relationship status, I hate to break it to you but you’re a bad friend.

With all of that said, honestly, whether you were out of the dating market for 7 days, 7 months, or 7 years, my advice remains the same. Your top three ways to meet people are always going to be: Online dating, circumstantial, your extended personal network. The online dating part is easy. Join Tumblecupid, or eBatchofFish, or whatever else the youngsters are using these days. Specify that you don’t drink in your profile, and use those dating sites/apps the way you normally would. Circumstantial involves seizing opportunities when they present themselves. You’re not a meet girls at bars type of guy, but if you see a cutie at a coffee shop don’t hesitate to chat her up. You can also leverage your personal network, or what remains of it at least, but I think in your case it might be a bit harder to pull off. Besides that, you can also put yourself in a position to meet new people. Meetup groups, networking events, singles events, etc. Honestly, you just need to find what works for you. You don’t HAVE to date online, but it’s a great option for busy people. You don’t HAVE to hit on girls in coffee shops, either. Find what works for you and don’t be afraid to try multiple approaches. Full disclosure, I rarely if ever hit on women at bars and that’s never stopped me from meeting new people and dating.

More importantly though, and I cannot stress this enough, you need to build or rebuild your personal ties to people. Having friends and by extension a social life, will generally make you more attractive to women. I’m not saying that you have to be an extrovert to be attractive, but having things going on in your life besides work and whoever you’re currently dating will make you at least slightly more attractive than the guy who has nothing but work going for him. Oh, and before I forgot, make sure that you’re ready for whatever you’re looking for and be honest with yourself and others. Are you looking to date in the looking-for-a-monogamous-relationship sort of way? Cool, make sure you’re ready for that AND that you’re over your ex. If you’re looking to date in the I’ve-got-two-tickets-to-the-bone-zone-one-has-your-name-on-it sort of way, cool, just be honest about that. Whatever you decide you’re looking for, honesty is key. Whether it’s about being a teetotaler, how busy you are, or what you’re looking for.

I think you’ll do fine with reentering the dating pool but seriously, maintain and keep your friendships the next time around.

Good Luck Out There.