Are you ready to date again?
What is the appropriate waiting period after a break up to date again?
Does it depend on how long you were together?
Does it differ depending on why you broke up?
What about whether you were on the giving or receiving end of the break up?
Unfortunately, there is no golden formula.
Only you can tell if you’re truly ready or not.
But, in lieu of a precise calculation, here are some things to consider when deciding whether it’s time to get back out there.
Is your ex still on your mind?
- How often do you think of them?
- What kind of emotions does it bring up when you do?
- How do you feel when you look at photos of you two?
If you can think about your ex without getting emotional or teary eyed, that could be one sign that you’re on your way to recovery.
We go about our days with a lot of blocked emotions. Tap into how you feel and let and sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment, heart ache fully out before you start dating again.
Your future self and future partner will thank you.
Why do you want to date?
- Are you dating to fill up your nights and weekends so you feel less alone?
- Are you looking for attention from someone, anyone, to feel desirable again?
- Are you looking for a rebound to distract yourself form the breakup?
If you answered “yes” or even “maybe” to any of the above, then you may not be ready yet. There’s nothing wrong with dating around for fun, but assuming your ultimate goal is to find a life partner, a rebound or bored dating will only side track you from your goal.
As hard as it could be, you have to first be comfortable with being alone and spending time with yourself, before you can safely say you’re ready to let someone else into your life again.
Have you set your intentions for dating?
- Have you reflected on the relationship and the breakup and thought about your learnings?
- Have you thought deeply about the relationship and breakup from the perspective of your partner and understood the full story, rather just your side of the story?
- Have you taken the time to self reflect and write down what you need, and where your boundaries are in a relationship?
I’ve made the mistake many times before of getting back into dating without reflecting on my previous relationship.
The result is that I find myself in the same place months or years later. Being intentional about getting back into dating will make you feel more in control and save you valuable time by allowing you to spot the red flags and confidently say no to them early on, vs going by the butterflies in your stomach which will eventually flutter away, even if the best of relationships.
Before you start dating again, self reflect, talk to a friend, talk to a therapist. Make sure the dating is intentional and purposeful, rather just a way to numb or distract.
Tell your needs and criteria to your friend and ask them to keep you accountable.
Now that you’re ready to get back out there. I wish you the best of luck!