After you’ve finally recovered from the surprise demise of what you thought was a relationship headed in the right direction, how do you trust your instincts again when it comes to dating? It’s hard to get back out there after a broken heart and it’s even more difficult to know if you can not only trust your gut but also take someone at their word. A broken heart will wreak havoc on your self-esteem, your self-confidence and your self-worth, not to mention your sub-conscience.

About five years ago I was blind-sided by a break-up. Not only was it out of left field, but I felt so confident about the relationship I didn’t know how the guy could have felt differently without me knowing. After a few weeks moping, hanging out with my girlfriends and throwing myself into my work, I was ready to start dipping my toe in the dating waters. I wasn’t ready for a new relationship quite yet, but I needed to bring myself back from the brink. Seeing what (or rather, who) was out there would help me finish healing. So I signed back on to JDate and fielded messages and phone calls from some really great guys who had my interest piqued. But my inner alarm kept ringing. How could I know that this guy wouldn’t hurt me also? I didn’t. That we can never know and it’s a risk we take in love and life. But how could I know that this guy was being genuine about how much he liked me? Again, I would just have to take a risk and make sure I kept my eyes open to any warning signs.

It’s definitely hard to trust not only yourself but the person you’re dating after a painful break-up. You become cynical. Every statement, every action, is doubted and dissected. And that skepticism is hard to hide and unfortunately will lead to making your dates fail no matter how great the other person was. Believe that the right person is out there and that putting only your best self forward will help in finding him or her. Eventually I did meet my next boyfriend, but alas that relationship also didn’t pan out, although this time I was the one to bring an end to it. I would go through more than a few of these before meeting my husband but at least I felt good knowing I gave them 100%.

The thing we all have to understand about dating is that no matter how many dates you go on, no matter how many relationships you’ve been in or for how long you were in them, only one is going to be the ultimate success (okay, maybe two, but that’s not the point here). So each date you go on and each relationship you enter deserves to be given your full attention, your entire focus and entered into with an open heart. Until you meet your beshert, dating is cyclical. First date after first date, relationship after relationship, break-up after break-up. It’s easy to get jaded and frustrated, but eventually the cycle will end with the right person at the right time.