A relationship break up can be a very painful experience. Mourning the loss of the relationship for a time is perfectly natural. It is a time to come to terms with your loss so that you can move on to a brighter day. Part of that brighter day will probably involve dating again. After a break up, when should you start dating again? That is different for every person, but here are some questions to consider to help you determine if you are ready to start dating again.
Does seeing a picture of your ex stir up emotions inside you?
If you come upon a picture of your ex and it brings up fond memories that put a smile on your face, you may have moved past the hurt of your break up. If seeing the picture makes your heart drop, you probably should take some more time before you start dating again.
How would you react if your ex called you?
If you can have a friendly phone call with your ex and it does not affect your mood or fill your thoughts for the rest of the day, you may be in a good place to start dating again. If a phone call stirs up all kinds of thoughts and emotions, your heart probably needs more time to heal.
How do you respond to a love song or romantic music?
If it causes you think about your past relationship and brings you down, you probably need to take more time to come to terms with the break up. If love songs bring about thoughts and hopes for a new love, that may be a good indication that you are ready to start dating again.
Can you talk about your ex without getting angry or upset?
If talking about your ex stirs up your emotions, you are not in a good place to start dating. If you can dispassionately talk about your ex, it is a good sign that you are moving past the pain of the relationship break up.
If you received a phone call from a person asking you out and your ex, which call would you take?
If you would toss over a potential suitor for the chance to talk to your ex, your heart is probably still invested in your past relationship. If you would take the call from the potential suitor and tell your ex that you will call them back, you are probably in a good place to start dating again.
What would be your reaction if you saw you ex on a date?
This is one of life’s little awkward moments. It is perfectly reasonable to want to avoid it. If it would change your focus from your date to your ex, it may be an indication that you are not quite over the break up of the relationship.
Can you talk about the relationship without going on and on?
If you can’t, you probably aren’t ready to start dating. If you are on a date and you go on and on about your previous relationship, it is going to be a huge red flag that you are not ready to take a relationship with them seriously.
Can you come up with a quick explanation of why the relationship failed without sounding bitter?
When you are dating, the subject of past relationships does come up. Being able to give a quick and dispassionate explanation of the relationship will help reassure your date that you have moved on.
Considering the length and depth of the relationship, do you think a reasonable amount of time has passed since your relationship break up?
A longer and/or deeper relationship is going to take longer to put behind you.
Does every conversation lead to a story about you ex?
If so, your ex is still foremost in your mind. You probably are not ready to start dating again.
Do you still need to talk about your failed relationship?
If so, you may still be working to come to terms with the relationship break up.
What would be your reaction if your ex wanted to get back together?
If your answer is, “I would take them back in a second”, your heart may not be fully open to another person.
If you started to date a really wonderful person, are your head and heart in a place that you can fully embrace and fully appreciate that person?
You probably should not start dating again until you are ready and able to accept a new romance partner on his or her own terms.
Going through a relationship break up can be a very difficult time in your life. Before you start dating again, thoughtfully consider if your head and heart have come to terms with the relationship break up. Taking the time to heal after a break up will help you avoid a rebound relationship and put you in the best place to find love again.