/

How to get over a long-term relationship and rebuild trust

Salama Marine, in-house relationship psychologist for online dating platform EliteSingles, shares six ways to rebuild your confidence after a long term relationship has ended.

by Psychologies

Every relationship is different, every relationship ends for a different reason and everybody reacts differently. Note the repeated use of the word ‘different’. No two breakups are the same, but whatever the reason for a relationship ending, moving on is never easy.

When a relationship ends, not because two people have grown apart but because of a more traumatic experience, moving on becomes even more difficult, particularly when trust has been broken.

Building up trust in a new relationship can be particularly challenging if you have young children. When is the right time for introductions? How should you broach the topic with your kids? Should you even be thinking about dating someone new?

With so many questions, where do you start? These key steps from Salama Marine (pictured) and EliteSingles will help you to learn to trust and start to date again after the end of a relationship:

Take me-time

You have been sharing your life for a long period of time, so it’s time to rediscover who you are and do activities that you enjoy, whether with friends, your children or on your own. Our research found that more than 54 per cent of people would wait more than three months after a breakup before returning to dating.

Reflect in a constructive way

Many people beat themselves up over whose fault the breakup was or push blame onto the other party. The truth is that nothing happens in isolation, and there are probably push and pull factors for both parties. Be honest with yourself about what you could have done differently; it may help to understand what you might change next time. But do it in a constructive, not destructive, way.

Focus on the future

Learning to give your trust to someone is a long process, you have to be really ready and not be afraid to get hurt again. If you have just come out of a difficult relationship, it is normal to protect yourself and to try and avoid making the same mistakes again. But this wall that you're building can also stop you experiencing real love again. Focus on the future and don't let the past ruin your chances of meeting the one you deserve.

Don’t take it out on the world

It can be hard to find someone to trust after a breakup, especially a traumatic one. But you can find trust in small everyday experiences - like when a friend calls you when they say they will. When there are people around you who depend on you, whether parents or children, negative emotions can later damage these relationships too.

Talk to your children

Long-term studies have shown that younger children, under the age of 10 in particular, are often confused by the introduction of a new partner. The younger they are, the more difficult it can be to meet someone new. Don’t let this put you off, but don’t rush into it. If you share custody of your children, you may want to build your dating time around when your children are with their other parent. Speak to your new partner and see how they feel about meeting your children too, so that you both are comfortable with the idea.

Don't let prejudices stop you

Often the most challenging thing for single parents is to overcome the prejudices they have about themselves: ‘I shouldn’t date again’, ‘I shouldn’t date too soon’, etc. Society places lots of pressure on single parents, especially mothers, leading them to believe that dating shouldn’t be a priority, as they have a family to take care of. But don’t let this stop you.

When you are finally ready to return to dating, EliteSingles has gathered together some leading experts in relationships to provide tips on how to date successfully. Check it out here.

About EliteSingles

EliteSingles is a leading premium dating platform receiving 100,000 new UK registrations per month. Available in 18 countries worldwide, the dating site connects single professionals aged 35+ who are looking for meaningful and long-lasting relationships. It uses a detailed signup questionnaire and in-depth verification process to target successful, accomplished and educated users, the majority (82 per cent) of whom are university educated to at least a Bachelor degree level.

Photograph: iStock