After a breakup, it can be hard to get back onto the dating scene. Relationships represent a huge investment of time, energy, hopes and dreams, and when it doesn’t work out, we need time to heal before moving on. Rebound relationships can be tricky, especially for the conscientious dater who doesn’t want to see anyone else get hurt. Ask yourself the following questions when trying to decide if the time is right:
- How serious were you about your last relationship? If your heart was fully invested, chances are the breakup was hard on you, too. Friends may suggest online dating or blind dates as a way to encourage you to heal, but their advice may be missing the mark. Only you can decide when it’s time to start seeing new people again.
- How often do you think about your ex? If the answer is more than once a day, chances are you’re not ready to move on. Questions linger in our minds long after a relationship ends. We may be unsure of ourselves, doubt our choice in partners, or wonder if the right one is even “out there.” If you’re still mulling over every detail of your last relationship, meeting someone new will only divert your attention temporarily. It may not be kind to “use” someone this way, and you aren’t very likely to find that special someone when you’re still hung up on past mistakes.
- What are your reasons for wanting to date? If your primary reason is to forget about someone who once meant a lot to you, your energies might be better invested elsewhere. Take a few night classes or plan a vacation instead. It will give you something to focus on without jeopardizing your emotions.
There’s no set amount of time that one must wait after ending one relationship before starting to date again. Any attempt at quantifying the “right” amount of time for someone to heal after a breakup is pure speculation, and not usually helpful. Getting back in the game is a very personal choice. Just make sure you’re making the decision for the right reasons, and you aren’t likely to let yourself down or hurt someone else in the process.