Going through an ordeal such as a divorce is extremely grueling and unsettling. Such a painful break-up challenges your outlook on love and even on men or women in general. After spending years and years living with one person, you may not be able to imagine yourself loving anyone else again and it’s difficult to look to the future in terms of relationships. However, deep down, you may still believe in love and wish you could find the confidence to get back into dating. And you are right! You’ve got your whole life ahead of you to be happy in a relationship again and this feeling that holds you back from trusting a partner for fear of, yet again, another romantic disappointment, won’t be an issue anymore once you’ll understand these 3 simple principles.

1 – Your past has an amazing way of showing you what’s best for you

The relationship you had with your ex left both good and bad memories in your head but today, it’s no longer relevant to wonder “what if…” or “if only…”. This story now belongs to the past and acknowledging that it allowed you to learn great things about yourself and relationships in general, will immensely help you start again with a clean slate. You can try and look back on the things that worked out well and on the things that you can improve. Write down your strengths and your weaknesses, and how you can work with them to build a successful relationship. Making some sort of track record can be a good opportunity to figure out what you actually need in a future partner according to your personality so far.

Furthermore, writing down your thoughts and feelings is considered to be a helpful therapy. Not only writing will help release your various emotions and your frustrations, but it will also give you a better comprehension of who you are. Instead of overthinking all day, you can take a pen and a piece of paper, or your laptop, and start writing in the stream-of-consciousness style. Go through each thought that comes across your mind and that will put things into perspective.

2 – You need time to truly make a fresh start

According to statistics, divorces in the US happen after 8 years of marriage on an average. You may have been married for a longer, or for a shorter period of time, but that doesn’t change the fact that you had been married to your ex for long enough to share many intense and intimate memories. Which means, it’s unrealistic and unhealthy to think you can move on with this chunk of your life from one day to the next. Besides, the divorce itself takes months, even years, further prolonging your shared story. Of course, that doesn’t mean you will need about equally 8 years to process your past relationship before starting a new one. But you will certainly need a lot of time to make a clean break with the past and let go of all the bitterness, all the anger, and all the regrets.

Take all the time you need, firstly to expel any negative energy you’re holding – with the help of your family and friends, or with the help of coaches or therapists if needed – and secondly to reconnect with your inner yourself. Take advantage of this compromises-free period to start an introspection and then give free rein to your own desires. Also, start new activities if you feel like it, meditate, read a lot, listen to inspiring podcasts… In short, become friends with yourself, slowly, and let time heal your wounds.

3 – Every relationship is different and each one is worth being enjoyed fully

Maybe you have knowingly, or unknowingly, said it but for your own good, the expression “they’re all the same” needs to be banned immediately and definitively from your language. You say it out of anger and disappointment but you know they’re not all the same and you also know that you can live a beautiful love story. Thinking that way will not help you be more cautious. If anything it will simply embitter you, making it difficult for you to thrive in a new relationship. It may seem risky but giving a partner your trust is, above all else, doing yourself a favor. It’s accepting serenity and happiness because when you’re unhappy, you have nothing to lose, nothing to risk.

When you will finally meet the right person for you, don’t feel embarrassed to talk with them. Let them know what you’ve lived, what you’re afraid of and just be honest with them by saying you need a little bit of time to put your trust in people. You need to assure them they’re not taking the blame for things they did not do. They will appreciate you being genuine and, because we all carry our past within us, chances are they feel the exact same way.