Dating After Heartbreak... How Long Do I Wait?
Remember that time after you and your ex recently broke up and you were cleaning up your bedroom only to find a t-shirt that belongs to your former partner? You could still smell the scent of your ex on the clothing. Then you spent the next two hours sobbing. Later that week you were having dinner with friends and felt a sudden new sense of freedom and laughter that you didn't think was possible to feel again. With all of these strong opposing emotions to balance the last thing you’re thinking of is dating after a breakup.
But how long should you wait to get back out there?
It can be argued that there is no pain quite like the bruise of a broken heart. While we each have our own temperament and reasons for our heartbreak, we can also agree that coping with a breakup is one of the most challenging life transitions to navigate. Your friends might be giving you well intentioned pep talks to download tinder and go out on a date with that friend who has been flirting with you. But you truly question if you are ready yet.
Paulette Kouffman Sherman, Psy.D., psychologist and author of Dating From the Inside Out, says ‘it's hard to put a number on it—but you'll probably want to wait at least a month before jumping back into the dating pool again.’ I agree with Dr. Sherman's advice to wait at least a month before jumping back in the dating. Having complete endings in life are so important. The end of a relationship teaches us so much about ourselves, our insecurities and our needs. I believe we need time to mourn, learn the lessons that the relationship taught us and reclaim who we are before jumping into something new.
When you are coping with a broken heart, you can emotionally feel all over the place. But you will thank yourself at a later date if you successfully work through your heartbreak without distracting yourself from the important lessons to learn. It can also be really healing to take time and focus on going inward and learning more about how to love and create a new future for yourself. You are worth the investment!
The dating pool isn't going anywhere and there is no need to rush yourself to get back out there. Take at least a month and use this time to mourn, complete the past and nurture yourself. When you are ready to get back out there, below find my top five favorite dating tips for those newly single. These tips can help you whether you were previously married for 15 years or were in a casual relationship for a few months. Be kind, compassionate and gentle with yourself and never stop believing in love. It can happen again, often when you least expect it.
Dating Tips After A Broken Heart:
1. Out with the Old: It is impossible to start a new future if you are stuck in the past. I'm a big believer that after a breakup you shouldn't contact your ex for at least 90 days. If this isn't possible due to work or childcare responsibilities, keep boundaries and limit the time spent during your interactions. Additionally, stop following each other on social media, take down any couple pictures and really make an effort to get some space.
2. Don't talk about your ex on dates: Dating can be a lot of fun. But it's hard to have fun if you are on a date and it is feeling a lot like a therapy session. Allow your date the opportunity to get to know you without sharing your the most intimate details of your past relationships. Brené Brown so eloquently shares, ‘Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: "Who has earned the right to hear my story?’
3. Listen and trust your instincts: I believe we have access to great wisdom when we get quiet enough to listen to our gut. More often than not, the initial thought you have about a situation is probably the right one. Trust yourself and try to not let any insecurities from your heartbreak keep you from listening to your intuition. You got this!
4. Don't be afraid to be yourself: This is a tough one, especially for those who have guilt or insecurities around their recent break up. However, the most responsible thing we can do for ourselves and others is to be honest about we are and who we are not. We save a lot of time and energy by just being ourselves. And if you find yourself overthinking things you said or did, remember that we all have our idiosyncrasies and awkward moments. So don’t expect yourself to be any different from who you are . All you can be is you.
5. Know your deal breakers: One of the benefits of going through tough times is that if you work through it you will gain a ton of self-awareness and wisdom. Before dating someone new or getting into another relationship, be aware of what will not work for you. For example, if you want children and you are considering dating someone who doesn't, you are probably setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. You have a wealth of knowledge about yourself. Bring that self-awareness and use it when dating. Remember that the only person we can ever change is ourselves. Set yourself up to date someone more compatible for you by knowing and honoring your deal breakers.
Can you relate to this post? If yes, please send me an email and let's set up a complimentary phone call.
Sending you peaceful thoughts and wishes for brighter days.