Is it healthier to wait and let yourself heal after a breakup, or would retreating to your couch and Netflix just mean you’re acting out of fear? You don’t want to move on too soon but you don’t want to wait too long! If you’re trying to figure out when you should start dating again, here are some questions to ask yourself.
- Have you truly grieved? Have you cried, screamed, and wallowed? Have you thrown a pity party? Have you felt sorry for yourself and let yourself cry on the bathroom floor while on the phone to your best friend? Have you journaled about your feelings and really let it all out? If you’re still holding it all in and trying to stay positive or focus on the future, you may want to hold off on dating. While it’s good to remain positive, you can’t fully move on if you don’t allow yourself to grieve your last relationship.
- Have you gotten closure? Have you gotten the closure that you need with your ex or have you given up on getting closure? Sometimes getting the closure you want isn’t always possible, so you’ll need to be content with the fact that it may never happen. You may not even know the true reason that your ex ended things, but as long as you’ve accepted that it’s over, you’re probably ready to move on. If you still feel like you’re desperate to have a conversation with your ex, you should probably wait to download Tinder.
- Have you learned anything? Did you learn something from your breakup? Everything we go through in life has a lesson to impart on us. What did this breakup teach you? It might be something you did wrong in the relationship or it may be red flags to watch out for next time. Try to find the lesson and apply it this next time around.
- How long has it been since you broke up? There’s not a tried and true number that works for everyone here because some people will be ready to move on more quickly than others. However, it’s safe to say that if you had your heart broken yesterday, today might not be the best day to go on a date—for your date’s sake as much as yours.
- Do you feel emotionally available? Do you feel like you would be able to open up to someone new? Do you feel like you would be emotionally available for them and able to really give them a chance? If not, don’t waste their time (and yours).
- Are you still in love with your ex? If you still can’t imagine life without them, you might want to wait. While it’s good to get out there and meet new people, you don’t want to end up hurting someone else and possibly yourself all over again. You don’t necessarily have to be 100% over your ex, but you do need to be in a place where you feel like you could fall in love again. If you’re still attached to your ex in that way, you’re probably not going to allow yourself to fall in love with someone else. Give it some more time.
- Are you still hoping you’ll get back together? If so, now isn’t the time to date. You’re just going to make things messy and awkward—and possibly break someone else’s heart too. You know how much that hurts, so try not to do it to someone else.
- Have you found yourself again? There’s always this great period after you heal from a breakup where you really find yourself again. You have more free time and no one that you have to plan your life around, so you’re free to do whatever you want. Make sure you use your newfound freedom for good and do the things that really make you happy! You’ll be better off for taking this time and discovering what makes you tick, and your next relationship will be better off for it too! Guys are attracted to women that are passionate about something, so spend some time figuring out what you’re passionate about. This is an opportunity to really discover what makes you, you. Use it!