I Got Back Into Dating Too Soon After My Breakup—Here’s How I Knew

I’d been single for a few weeks when I decided to get back into the dating saddle. Big mistake. Here are 12 signs that I wasn’t ready (which I totally ignored).

  1. I felt anxious all the time. It was more than just a case of pre-date nerves; I was always restless and anxious. Looking back, I think it was because I just wasn’t ready to put myself back out there. I was still wounded from the relationship, especially since I got dumped completely out of the blue.
  2. I was looking for a distraction. I couldn’t sit still with my thoughts. Instead of thinking that I should try to focus on them more and maybe deal with my issues, I tried to find a distraction and dating apps fit the bill perfectly. Distraction is a really bad reason for wanting to go on dates.
  3. I wasn’t focusing on my needs. I thought I needed someone new but the truth was that I needed more time to myself! How could I expect to start a relationship with someone new when I hadn’t sorted through all my breakup issues? 
  4. I had idealized ideas about love. I was hoping that the next guy I met and fell in love with would be much more perfect for me than my ex was. Focusing on getting this was actually screwing up my chances of finding him. I came on too strongly on dates and it was like I was trying to prove something to myself.
  5. I wasn’t dealing with my self-love issues. I wanted to prove that I could be loved by someone else, but I didn’t realize I wasn’t going to get that self-love and acceptance from finding someone new to date. Hell no. That would just result in me depending on someone else’s opinions too much and I’d done enough of that. I had to get that self-love from myself.
  6. I compared every guy to my ex. I’d be sitting across a coffee table from my date noticing all the ways in which he fell short. He didn’t have my ex’s amazing eyes or his sense of humor. He didn’t seem to be as into me as my ex was when we first met. These thoughts were really signs that I wasn’t ready to date because I couldn’t get my ex out of my head.
  7. I was lost in the breakup. I was thinking about my breakup all the time. I spent hours every day analyzing what had gone wrong and even crying about it. So imagine when I was receiving texts from other guys I was dating in the middle of this sad scenario—it just doesn’t make any sense to have both situations going on simultaneously! I was trying to move on but I just wasn’t ready because I was still in the thick of the breakup on an emotional level. No one could take me out of that. It was up to me.
  8. I felt the pressure to date. After being in a relationship for two years, now I found myself suddenly single and it was scary. I wasn’t sure how to deal with the situation. I felt the mounting pressure to have someone, especially since so many of my friends were in serious LTRs. But that was really no reason for me to jump back into the dating game.
  9. I sounded jaded on my first dates. With one guy I went on a first (and last) date with, I found myself talking about how jaded I was. I sounded so negative, not just about dating but about everything. Yikes. It was really no surprise when he didn’t text me after the date. I wouldn’t have texted someone like me at that stage in my life.
  10. I found dating exhausting. The idea of having to fill someone new in on everything about me, down to really trivial details like where I went to school and how many siblings I had, felt like the biggest mission. It was like climbing a mountain. That was a red flag that I really wasn’t in the right frame of mind to date because when I’m excited about the process, I look forward to starting on a clean slate with someone.
  11. I took lots of rainchecks. Sometimes I just couldn’t seem to stick to dates I’d planned with guys. I’d have legit reasons for it, like that I had to work or I had to go visit a friend, but it was clear that I was just pushing dating down on my ladder of priorities. At that stage, I just always seemed to have something more important to do. I think I was just really scared to get back in the game, even though I didn’t want to admit that to myself.
  12. I wanted to be saved. Hey, a breakup can really mess with your head. That’s what it was doing to me and I guess part of why I wanted to date again was to find someone to rescue me. Cringe! I was always feeling down about myself and like I wanted more excitement in my life. Instead of trying to find someone to fix me or make my life more entertaining, I should’ve done the work myself (and luckily I did).
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.