We all know that dating can be difficult. Not only is a relationship a lot of work, but just getting to that point is even a tougher journey, as guys and girls weave between dating multiple people and figuring out if they match up with one another. Even worse, there’s always that sense of who else might be out there.

As frustrating as dating can be, it can be even more of a bummer after you’ve gotten out of a long-term relationship. As someone who experienced this firsthand last year, I can tell you that remembering how to date after having a serious girlfriend isn’t fun. You may have lost confidence in yourself and/or aren’t hip to different ways people are meeting.

For those who might be struggling with something similar to this, here’s a dating guide to help land you back on your feet, giving you some tips on how to date after a break up.

Focus on yourself first

It might sound cliche, but there’s a reason why you need to rediscover yourself before you discover someone new — because you can’t make someone else happy till you’re happy with yourself! This means you should figure out what makes you happy, what hobbies satisfy you and how the next girl you date will have certain qualities that your ex didn’t. Take some time to know yourself better before getting back out into the dating world.

Let down your guard

Regardless of what stage you’re in after a break up, one thing you need to do is let down your guard and get over any fear. It can be difficult to trust anyone again after a tough break up, but one of the first parts you need to understand when it comes to knowing how to date after a relationship is trust. Stop comparing every girl to your ex.

Remember that not every girl’s like your ex

Speaking of comparing new girls to your ex-girlfriend, another thing to do when learning to date again after a break up is to remind yourself that not everyone is like your ex. Sure, girls are complicated and can share similar traits or insecurities, but that doesn’t mean they all respond to those things the exact same way. Where your ex may have freaked out and been anxious about things, a new girl make freak out for a little bit and then be able to calm herself down after a quick venting session. People are different, so the experiences with your ex won’t be the same with every other girl you meet and date.

Take a leap of faith

You need to put yourself out there, man. We’re not telling you to go try and meet a new girl the weekend after your break up — unless you’re really ready to do so — but, when comfortable, you need to try to date again. The only thing that will ever hold you back in meeting someone right is you, so conquer your fears, any previous pain and all your insecurities about dating by meeting as many people as you can till you find the right girl.

Simplify things and take it slow

OK, so you’ve followed all of our advice and can focus on one girl you think is a good catch. We’re happy for you, but it’s important not to rush into anything before you’re both ready. Naturally, there will be the honeymoon phase of a relationship, where you’re getting to know one another and there’s little drama or disagreement. But, before committing too much to a girl or giving off the exclusivity vibes, make sure she checks off all proverbial boxes you’re looking for. It’s fun to date, but don’t just waste your time for the sake of doing it if it’s not really what you’re looking for in a girl. Learn from your past mistakes and make sure your new girl’s someone you can see a future with and not just someone you keep around for the hell of it.