Breakups are hard. There’s no way to get around it. And everyone handles breakups differently. Some people want to move on as soon as possible and start dating after a breakup immediately, while others need to take time to figure things out before jumping into a new relationship.
So, how do you know when it’s time to move on and when you’re dating too soon after a breakup? There’s no one right answer for everyone. If you feel ready to date, then you should date! If you’re still stuck on the past and can’t get your ex out of your mind, then you probably should take time to focus on mourning and healing before jumping into a relationship.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, unfortunately, here are some things to consider if you’re thinking about getting back on the dating scene.
You need to let your anger out
The same goes for sadness. You have every right to be pissed off after a bad breakup. Let yourself feel all the feelings. Cry, scream, break things (safely, like at a rage room). Do what you need to do to fully feel and express your feelings. This is the first step toward moving on after a breakup. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
Rebounds aren’t all bad, but be careful
Now, we aren’t saying there’s anything wrong with getting out there and hooking up with someone after a breakup. It’s your love life, you do you boo. (No judgments here, just make sure to be safe.)
What we are saying is that immediately hitting the rebound scene might not give you a chance to reflect on your relationship and dig into what went wrong. It’s important to take some time after a breakup to evaluate how you’re feeling and what you can do differently in your next relationship.
Going on some bad dates, (believe it or not) can be a good thing. Post breakup is about exploring other people and trying new things. If you’re short on time, online dating is a great way to connect with a large pool of people in a short amount of time.
So, if you’re the type who wants to move on immediately by going out and meeting someone (or several someones) as soon as you break up with your partner, make sure you’re also taking time to reflect and mourn your past relationship so you can eventually move on. Diving into a new relationship can be unfair to the other person who isn’t really getting a chance to get to know the real you.
Meeting new people can help you get over your relationship faster
You don’t necessarily need to go out with the intention of hooking up with someone or entering into a relationship. Simply going out with friends or joining a new organization or club can be all it takes to help you see that there is life after your relationship and that there are plenty of other people out there who can make you laugh and are fun to hang out with.
There’s nothing wrong with talking to a professional
If you’re struggling to get over your ex, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with talking to a therapist. Having someone to confide in who can help you dig into why you can’t get over your relationship can do wonders to help you identify past behaviors so you can move on to another healthy relationship. This is especially true if you’re getting out of a toxic relationship and want to avoid making similar mistakes so that your next relationship is a healthy one.
Take this time to do exactly what you want to do
It’s easy to reminisce about all the great things you had going for you when you were in a relationship. But don’t lose sight of the fact that, when you’re in a relationship, you have to compromise with another person. When you’re single, you can do exactly what you want to do when you want to do it. You don’t have to coordinate around someone else’s schedule or rearrange plans when his estranged cousin shows up from out of nowhere and needs a place to crash.
This is your time, so do what you want to do! Sign up for a new class, take a spontaneous vacation, catch up with your friends, and do everything that you never got around to doing during your relationship.
When you’re excited about going on a date, you’re ready
If the thought of going on another blind date with someone your friend is trying to set you up with makes you feel queasy, you aren’t ready to go on a date. Tell your well-meaning friends that you aren’t up to dating, but that you’ll be more than happy to let them know when you are. You’ll know you’re ready to get back out there when you start feeling excited at the prospect of dating someone new. After all, dating after a breakup can be fun as long as long as you go into it with having fun in mind.
In the end, knowing when to date after a breakup is less about time as it is about how you feel. If you don’t feel ready to move on, then don’t force yourself to get back on the dating scene. But, if you’re getting excited at the prospect of meeting someone new and you are ready to start dating, don’t let an arbitrary timeline hold you back.