We're just gonna hop right into it, sis.
If you're going to be out here dating, then you absolutely need to have a healthy self-esteem first. Dating while having low self-esteem is dangerous - the lower it is, the shitter the man you end up attaching yourself to - so before you hop back into the dating pool, make sure you've done some work on yourself so that you hop into the correct pool this time around.
You absolutely need to equip yourself with DATING BOUNDARIES - not for the men you date, because you'll meet a lot of them who truly don't give AF about your boundaires - but for yourself. "What are dating boundaries for yourself," you're wondering, aren't ya? Dating Boundaires are lines you create for yourself to separate the difference between dating and a committed relationship (because they are NOT the same things), so that YO ass doesn't end up in yet another ghetto ass situationship feeling like a heeeiiidiot. So, for example: Maybe for you, sleeping over at a man's house, waking up with him and having a morning routine together twice a week (or however many times in the week) always makes you feeeeel like you're in a relationship with that man, even though you most definitely are not. In this case, a dating boundary for yourself would be, "No sleeping over at a mans house until we're in a committed relationship." Simple. (I actually have this very exercise, and more, in my Sis, Get Your Sh*t Together Journal - Struggle Love Edition. Click here to get it.)
IN YOUR OWN MIND, be clear about what type of qualities and character traits you need/require in a man, then please, for the love of whatever high power you believe in, just let the man you've started dating BE HIMSELF. He either WILL or WON'T be the man for you. If he isn't the man for you, keep it pushing. Do NOT try to "make" him be for you, do NOT try to guilt-trip him into being for you - keep it pushing.
Stop telling all your damn business on first dates, shit, even second and third ones, ESPECIALLY your "my ex was toxic" stories. Buddy is a stranger - literally understand that - the new man you're on a date with is a stranger. Save your super vulnerable stories/experiences for when he's shown you that you can trust him with information like that.
If you're dating with the goal of it leading to a committed relationship, please LISTEEEENNNAAAAA to a man who says any remix of: "I DO NOT WANT TO BE IN A COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP." - I don't care if he "treats you like his girlfriend", said he loves you, introduced you to his family, or that he growled, "I want you to have my baby, girl," one night while hittin' it from the back (and while we're here, puhleaase stop falling for THAT shit). If he says any remix of "I don't want to be in a committed relationship", he means it, and that is your cue to move along because y'all aren't aligned. End of story. Okay? Okay.
I hope these help you in some way, shape, or form. If nothing else, let it be food for thought...just make sure you finish your plate so you can go be great.
P.S I'm 38 now, and am in a very happy, healthy relationship; however, I spent the majority of twenties in a few pretty toxic ones. If you want to read about my journey, you can click here and grab my books. Sometimes just knowing that another woman has been where you are, and made it through, can make all the difference in the world.