Will Dating Someone New Help Me Move On From My Ex?

It’s common dating advice to take a break from dating when you’ve been hurt by your ex. But if you’ve been wallowing in self-pity for a while and you can’t seem to pull yourself out of the heartbreak quicksand that’s keeping you stuck, it might actually be better to try something different and date someone else (or multiple people). Here’s why dating can help you move on for good.

  1. You’ll realize there are other people out there. You don’t have to date someone seriously right away, especially if your heart’s just not up to the task RN. But, casually dating other people – or even just flirting with them – can make you feel a spark for someone new that will show you there are other people out there who will bring you happiness. Your ex was not the last guy you’ll ever love!
  2. You’ll be distracted. If you’re spending Friday nights drinking and thinking about your ex (read: sending drunk texts), you’re just hurting yourself. You might even feel like your ex is taking up all your mental space, leaving you with nothing for yourself. Sometimes dating someone new can be a good, refreshing distraction away from your thoughts.
  3. You can boost your ego. Whether you set up a dating profile on an app or say yes to a date with the cutie at work who’d love to take you to dinner, dating can be a great way to boost your ego and make you feel confident again. Breakups can dent your confidence and make you feel low, or like you’ll never feel happy again, so dating someone new will help you to move out of that state of mind.
  4. You can figure out your type. You might’ve been with your ex for several months or years, but is he really your type? Dating again can help you to start a journey of meeting other types of people and seeing which one sparks something within you. You might find that there are other types of guys out there who would be better suited for you, so it can be enlightening.
  5. You can have a bit of fun. You deserve to have fun, and being around positive people can help you to find your mojo again. Again, you don’t have to start anything serious with anyone, but a bit of light dating can help you to feel excited about life again. It’s that feeling that you’re chasing here, not the people you’re dating.
  6. But, you might ruin your chance of happiness. What if you meet someone who’s great for you when you’re not 100% ready for a relationship? It could cause you to do a disservice to them because you’re going to have to hit the brakes on the relationship. Or, you might get in over your head and end up in heartbreak all over again.
  1. You’ve got to be honest about your situation. The best thing to do when dating someone new who’s making you feel excited again is to be as open as possible with them. Let them know where your heart and mind are so you don’t cause any unrealistic expectations or fall into something you’re not ready for RN.
  2. Suss out your intentions. Don’t date other people, casually or seriously, if you’re secretly hoping that dating them will make your ex come back to you. This will just cause more drama in your situation by hurting you and others, or just setting you back in your journey to move on from your previous relationship. You don’t need that.
  3. Don’t use it as a reason not to do the work. Another potential pitfall of dating someone to help you move on from a breakup is that you might be using it as a reason not to dig deeply into your thoughts and feelings. There are no shortcuts out of a breakup, like pretending that it doesn’t hurt. Dating casually can help you to feel distracted or it can boost your ego, but it shouldn’t be a way for you to ignore what you’re going through. That’s when dating can become toxic and keep you stuck.
  4. You need to stay in tune with yourself. While dating could help you move on, it should only be one thing you do out of many that enable you to grow and thrive. Don’t rely on it too much and always make sure you stay in tune with your feelings throughout the process. If it feels like it’s just not right for you, like if you’re always comparing new guys to your ex, you’d do best to stay single until you work through your issues.
  5. Ensure you’re not trying to fill the emptiness. The bottom line of whether dating after a breakup will help you move on from it or if it’s going to be more harmful for you is your state of mind. If you’re not at a point where you can stop grieving your ex, you need to give yourself more time. Don’t search for someone new to fill the emptiness you feel, because it won’t work. In fact, it could set you back in your healing.
  6. Try to wait at least a month. If you start dating someone new immediately after your relationship has ended, um, it sounds a bit like a rebound. Experts advise waiting at least a month before you start dating again, as this helps you process what happened with your ex, grieve the breakup, and learn some lessons that will help you to move on. You might need longer than a month if you dated someone for a long time or the breakup was particularly stressful, though, so be easy on yourself.


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.