Every relationship ends with forever or a break up, so nearly everyone will go through a couple of break ups in their life. But not every break up is the same; some are simple and fairly painless, while others can be utterly heartbreaking.
If you’ve recently gone through a break up, you may be wondering “Should I put myself back out there?”. You might like the idea of meeting someone, but you’re not sure if you’re 100% over your ex yet, and you don’t want to hurt anyone.
If this is the case, you should take some time to really think about what you want. Here are four questions you can ask yourself to work out if you are ready to start dating again.
1. Dating Soon After A Break Up: How Long Was The Relationship?
If you were only together for a few weeks, you might be ready to move on as soon as the relationship ends – but if you were together for months or years, it will likely take a while longer to move on. A study from the Journal of Positive Psychology found that it normally takes people around 11 weeks to get over a break up (although this goes up to 18 months if you were married).
So sit down and think about if you are truly ready to start dating. You may need to deal with your emotions first, especially if the break up was difficult for you.
2. Did The Relationship End Badly?
A difficult break up can be extremely emotionally taxing. Frustration and bitterness may make you see relationships and love in a different light for a while, but these jaded emotions will pass if you focus on moving on, self-improvement and positivity (rather than dwelling on the relationship).
If you have processed your emotions and you feel positive about the idea of dating again, you may be ready to put yourself out there – but if you still feel anger, bitterness or pain, you should focus on self-growth, rather than dating.
3. Do You Want To Find Another Serious Relationship?
Do you want to start another serious relationship, or are you just looking to hook up? Both options are totally fine, but it is important to be clear about your intentions if you do start dating. Don’t lead anyone on if you only want something casual, and be open about your recent break up if it comes up. This means you are more likely to have a positive, happy dating experience (and so are the people you choose to date!).
And if you do decide you are ready to put yourself out there, we are here to help; here are some pick-up lines you should never use when you are talking to women online.
4. Are You Trying To Fill A Void?
Lots of people start dating after a break up because they want to fill a void, but this is a big mistake. You should be with someone because you truly want to be with them; not because they fill the space your ex left. Sure, it is normal to miss intimacy, but you shouldn’t be so dependent on relationships that you can’t be alone.
5. Remember Everyone Heals Differently
Finally it is important to remember that everyone heals at different rates. Some people move on quickly, while other people tend to be more sentimental and emotional. So don’t put any pressure on yourself; just listen to your heart, and do what feels right for you personally.