One of my friends has stated on multiple occasions that to get over your ex, you need one week for every month you were with you ex. For example, if you were with your ex a year, that's 12 months. If you gave yourself a week for every month, it would be 12 weeks, which is three months, to be over your ex. While everyone heals at their own rate, and only you know when and how long it would take you to heal, it is a good basis to start from.
But once you feel that you are ready for the market, let your friends know you are ready to start dating. In college, it is much easier to meet people, they are kind of built in. After college, your social circles get smaller, and it does get harder to meet people. You can do on line dating, but that's for a whole different entry.
Where ever you might have met the person, now you're going on a first date.
Growing up, a lot of people I knew went on first dates to either a restaurant or coffee shop to sit and talk.While it's not as bad as a first date to the movies, it still not the best option. If you're going on a first date, you want to be able to talk to the person and get to know them. Obviously, going to the movies don't allow this. Going to a restaurant, doesn't exactly help break the ice. First dates are awkward enough already, you shouldn't make it more awkward by working out how to balance eating trying to maintain a conversation with your date. I would recommend something active like mini golf, bowling, or going to batting cages. Think the ESPN Zone, Dave and Busters or Chelsea Piers, or something similar in your area.
Before you go on your date, think of some basic questions you want to know about the person. You don't have to get TOO personal, but personal enough that you feel like you're getting to know a little about them. Don't ask questions to be polite (Do you REALLY want to hear all about their stamp collection?), but ask about things you do want to know about. Who is their favorite music artist? Or favorite author? Don't be afraid to ask questions! If you feel that the date is going well, then maybe ask if your date would like to continue over dinner (or lunch).
I've heard different theories and reasons about kissing on the first date. While it's really up to you, and what you feel comfortable with, I personally think you should wait until at least the second or third date, and lean more towards the third. For guys, it tells the girl that you are seriously interested in her, and not only interested in getting her into bed. For girls, holding out can help keep the guy interested. It might seem like you're taking things slowly, but taking things slow can help you get to know the person better. You're more focused on the other person's personally, rather then then getting to know them physically.
As far as sleeping with your date, I would wait until you've dating or seeing exclusively for at least a month. As with kissing, holding off sleeping together shows you mean business, and that you're serious. While it IS very hard and frustrating to hold out on sex (of ANY kind!) for a month, at the end it's totally worth it, and can make it that much better, because you've been waiting. We've all done the quick-fix hook up, but those usually never turn into something more serious. This can also help you to avoid the situation of going on a date, you sleep with your date, and never hear from them again. Or sleeping with your date, only to realize you don't want to go on a second date, and all the awkwardness that can follow.
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Go out and meet people! Don't be afraid to make the first move!