You don't have to be Sigmund Freud to know that breakups can be difficult. They can be messy and it's not just the mascara running down your face. It's not as though we're short of ways to try and get over our exes. From Time magazine's scientifically proven ways to feel better such as love reappraisal to the less scientific (but much more delicious) system of crying into your tub of Ben and Jerry's until it doesn't hurt anymore, you and everyone else who is newly single will manage to move on.

With your ex behind you, you may be feeling ready to jump back into the dating pool. You may find that dating isn't once what it used to be though and if you're getting back into the dating game after a long-term relationship, you may need more than a new tube of lipstick.

Remind yourself how to date

If your relationship with your ex broke down, then it's possible you weren't doing date night very often. Just like a baby giraffe learning how to walk after falling from such a great height, you're going to have to learn how to date again. If you and your ex got together when people were saying "Blockbuster and relax" before "Netflix and chill," it's time for a new education.

There are two ways that you could do this. The first is to just go on several dates and try to learn by making a bit of a fool of yourself. The other is to read up on sites like Badoo The Truth like you're practicing for an exam. Sites like The Truth can give you reminders on what to talk about on dates, what to wear for a first date, and how to talk to the person you're dating about becoming exclusive - that is important if you are looking for another long-term relationship. Reading about dating will give you the best chance at having a successful date, though you may feel like a stumbling baby animal who doesn't know what she's doing.

Go on friend dates

Being in a long-term relationship can be great because it means you'll always have someone to go to the cinema with, someone to hold your heels on a night out or someone who will laugh at you when you get a score of 14 on a par 4 at mini-golf. However, if you're just out of a long-term relationship, it can be really difficult to learn how to do social things without them.

You may not get a long-term relationship out of it, but something you could try before you start dating again is to go on friend dates. A friend date is just a day or evening out with a platonic friend, doing something that the two of you enjoy. Some friend date ideas, says The Everygirl, are a day at the museum, going to the bookstore, or just walking around the city. These kinds of dates can remind you what it's like to spend time with someone who isn't your ex and can show you what sort of things you like doing for yourself.

Remake your wardrobe

Now that you're out of your long-term relationship, why not change your wardrobe or get your makeup done? Throw out that dress you've had since before anyone knew what a "millennial" was and that shirt that's older than old Yoda and baby Yoda's ages combined. Get yourself something new that makes you feel every bit the beautiful, brilliant woman that you are.

The idea behind this is that it can help you move on from your ex and that it will give you a better, higher opinion of yourself. You'll be able to go into your next relationship feeling like your wardrobe really looks good on you and shows the world what a wonderful person you are. If you feel like that, then it could make it more likely that the person you date will feel that way about you.

Take it slow

There is no right amount of time that you should wait before dating again. It may take you a week, a month or longer to get over your ex and once you do start dating, you may only be ready for short-term flings. After just a few weekends, you may not be ready for a long-term relationship and the levels of sharing and commitment that generally come with it. However long it's taken you to get back into the dating game, it's always smart to take it slow.

When you do start dating again, you should be conscious that you are learning how to open up to a new person again, and choosing what you want as your ex wasn't right for you. These things take time and you may not have the answer after going on one or two dates with some lovely people you've met on a dating app. No one would be upset if you told them that you aren't just ready to rush into a new, long-term relationship as you may be learning how to just enjoy your own company and you may not want someone spending so much time in your house. Taking it slow will help you answer all of the questions you have, choose someone right for you, and know that you're dating in a way that feels good.

What this all confirms is that there's much more to think about when you start dating again after a long-term relationship than just what dating app to use and what all of these new verbs mean. It can feel like you're preparing to do another masters degree or becoming a rocket scientist. However, dating is supposed to be fun and after months or years away from the dating game, you may find yourself having such a good time that you'll wonder why you let your ex take you off the market.

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