The Newly Single’s Guide To Dating Again

The unspoken rules of dating right now

Breakups can be excruciatingly painful in the best of times.

In 2020, break ups can be even worse.

The international travel ban means there is no jetting off to Europe to ‘find yourself’, and partying your sorrows away is, quite literally, illegal.

Thankfully, this year’s lockdown restrictions have allowed newly singles to hibernate and avoid big (read: emotionally painful) social events.

But while staying at home and watching Netflix forever may be extremely appealing to those that have called it quits with their partner in 2020, re-entering the dating world is inevitable—and, after a healthy amount of time on your own, a healthy way to move on.

Below, the newly single’s guide to dating again.

Start Dating When You Decide You’re Ready

Ask others when you should start dating again and you’ll be hit with a mix of timelines. Everyone has their own way of healing after a relationship breakdown, and the only way to know when you should begin dating again is by tapping into your own feelings and being honest with yourself. (Sorry.)

Use your time between the breakup and dating to reflect on what you want in your next relationship. Not keen on feeling all the awfulness of another breakup anytime soon? Use this as motivation to spend some time working out what went wrong and whether it’s a pattern. You could be making a bad habit of overextending yourself for others or choosing people who don’t respect you.


If you think you’re ready to dip your toe in the dating pool, start by downloading a dating app. It’s a great way to test-drive the idea of meeting new people and opening yourself to another relationship.

Designed to empower women, the dating, networking and friend-finding app Bumble is perfect for daters, especially new-dawn daters (those who have become single since COVID-19 began), feeling anxious about the entire prospect. Founded on the belief that relationships should begin with respect and equality, the social networking app empowers women to make the first move, so there’s no talking to anyone you don’t want to.

Initiating conversations can be hard, especially when you haven’t dated in a while. To help you impress with your first interaction, Bumble has created ‘Questions Game’, where you can choose from a selection of pre-loaded questions to ask your match as your first move. The answer is only revealed when both of you answer the question, and the questions are sure to spark a great conversation. Genius.

Ditch the small talk and get deeper with Bumble’s Questions Game.

School Yourself On Dating’s New Rules

Depending on how long you were in your last relationship for, you may notice a few things have changed since you were last heading out on a first date.

The good news is that while things may appear a bit different, it all comes down to the same factor: your connection with someone.

But, to avoid any date-night panic, newly singles should note a few hard truths about the current dating climate:

  • The spontaneity factor of dating is at a bit of a low right now. Thanks to COVID-19 and restaurant/bar restrictions, it’s unlikely (but not impossible!) that you’re going to run into an incredibly hot stranger at a bar and hit it off a la Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love. Don’t be disheartened – it’s just a strange time and there are plenty of other ways to meet people.
  • You may want to keep it all cool and casual on your first date but those restaurant and bar restrictions mean reservations are a must right now. Make sure you or your date book a table to avoid any awkward lingering as you wait in a long line.
  • Whether you’ve used dating apps before or not now is a great time to start your digital dating life. Given the current climate of needing to book a table everywhere you go, and the fact that the majority of today’s meet-cutes happen online, it’s worth at least familiarising yourself with the idea. Also familiarise yourself with the idea of virtual dating—a video date before an IRL date. During the pandemic, Bumble saw a 76 per cent increase in the usage of its video chat feature.
Test your chemistry via Bumble’s video chat feature.

Make A Killer Dating Profile

Lucille McCart, Associate Director APAC, PR and Comms, Bumble, says it’s all about making a profile that reflects your personality.

“Show your personality through your photos,” she says. “If you love adventures, include pictures of yourself outside. If you love restaurants, show yourself out and about dining at your favourite spots.”


As for filters, less is more. “Show off your smile and your eyes, avoid filters, silly faces or sunglasses. Also make sure the photo is just of yourself, you don’t want potential matches to be confused as to who they have matched with,” McCart says.

It’s not all about photos—McCart recommends spending some time on your bio and adding humour. Struggling? “Get a friend to write it for you,” she advises.

One of Bumble’s best features—Profile Badges—are a great way to give more information to your match on what you are all about, as an addition to your bio. Here, you can let potential matches know your star sign, whether you’re looking for something serious (or not) or your favourite animal—quirks that will help spark conversation that goes beyond the ‘How are you?’.

Become An A-Grade Conversationalist

Despite what we see in movies, we often don’t suddenly run into the love of our lives while out grabbing our morning coffee. But there are other singles out there and many people who you will find a connection with.

It’s important to maintain perspective and keep an open mind about the possibility of meeting someone, even if it doesn’t happen straight away. If you’re doing the same things and visiting the same places in the hopes of running into your future love, chances are you might be disappointed.

Try a new approach to dating, whether that’s venturing out to new places, joining a sports club or signing up to a dating app. And don’t be afraid to make the first move.

“Sometimes making the first move can be daunting but when guys sign up to Bumble they know women make the first move so don’t be shy! It can boost your confidence and empower you to make the first move in other areas of your life,” say’s Bumble’s Lucille McCart.

Her tips for impressing when using the dating app: be confident, get personal and ask questions.


“Asking questions is a great way to start the conversation and takes the pressure out of trying to find the perfect one-liner. Your match will also appreciate that you’ve taken the time to look at their profile and try to get to know them more.”

Lastly, keep things light, and whatever you do, don’t talk about what went wrong in previous relationships or how much your ex annoys you.

“Try to have fun with your first few conversations to connect in a more meaningful way. A positive conversation will most likely leave you and your match wanting more.”

Brought to you by Bumble.

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