Knowing if You are Ready to Date Again After Breaking Up

Posted by on Sep 15, 2018 in Healthy Separation and/or Divorce Counseling | Comments Off on Knowing if You are Ready to Date Again After Breaking Up

There are a lot of discussions out there about when you should be ready to date again after breaking up from your last relationship. Some say it should be sooner while others advise later. Obviously, it takes time to recover from a breakup, but I don’t think there has to be a set answer. Readiness depends on the person and whether they have healed from the breakup.

Time and Whether You are Ready to Date Again

I think we focus a lot on time because it is measurable. We often think that a person needs a certain amount of time before they are ready to begin dating once again. This suggests a person might be told to wait weeks, months, even a year or more to date as opposed to just looking at them and determining whether or not they have recovered from a breakup. We could easily look at somebody and think they are ready to date again when in reality they are still hurting inside.

Learning the Lesson

The end of a relationship is a lesson. If we get into a new relationship before fully healing, we will not have absorbed the lessons learned from the previous relationship.  That means you are setting yourself up to, potentially, make the same mistakes. The problem for most people is that this kind of introspection can be difficult, even painful. However, it’s necessary if you want to move forward. I always tell my clients, “You have to go through it to get past it.”

Are You Ready to Date Again?

If you are considering whether or not you are ready to start dating again, consider these thoughts about how people behave when relationships end.  For example:

  1. Men tend to get into relationships sooner than women. This doesn’t mean that they heal faster than women after a breakup.  It just means that they start dating again more quickly. Women often have a harder time after a breakup than men. This may be because men are more likely to suppress grief and other negative emotions associated with a breakup than women.  
  2. After a relationship ends the “leaver” tends to start dating again more quickly than the “leavee.” The leaver has already struggled with the emotional grief of breaking up before actually ending the relationship. Whereas, the leavee has yet to grapple with those emotions. This doesn’t happen until they find out that their partner is breaking up with them. This can cause the leavee to feel abandoned and rejected.
  3. An abrupt end to a relationship takes longer to process than a drawn-out breakup. When they see that the end is coming they have the time to process the emotional grief beforehand.

Warning Signs That You are Not Ready to Date

If you are wondering whether or not you are ready to start dating again, consider these warning signs:

  1. You keep bringing up your ex in conversations.
  2. You compare your new partner to your ex.
  3. You call your new partner by your ex’s name (a big no-no!).
  4. You remember the life you had with your ex.
  5. You spend a lot of time thinking about what happened and still feel sad about the breakup.
  6. The idea of being single is unbearable and you are eager for a commitment with a new partner.
  7. Your confidence is diminished and you feel bad about yourself, making it hard to have a healthy relationship with a new partner.

Breaking up is never easy, but so is deciding if you are ready to date again. If this sounds like you, consider seeing a therapist who can help you through this difficult time. Remember that you are still grieving your last relationship. Being able to find closure will allow you to move forward so that you can feel ready for the next relationship in your life.


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