Heartbreak

How To Know How Long You Should Wait To Date Again After A Breakup

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woman excited to be dating again after a breakup

Dating after a breakup is difficult. There is confusion, emotions are high, and you have your up days and your down days — days of hope and days of despair.

You must think of yourself, your ex, and the brand-new person you're considering dating before getting back out in the dating world.

How long should you wait to date again after a breakup?

There's really no hard and fast rule as long to how long you should wait to start dating again after a breakup. Time is not a factor — it's about mindset and how you are feeling internally!

I know someone who broke off a three-year long engagement and waited only two weeks to start dating. They are now married and have two kids. For others it takes months, even years. It all boils down to you!

All I can tell you is that to truly be ready to start dating again, you need to take time out to heal to ensure that you make healthy dating choices and reduce the risk of a rebound relationship.

You'll know you're ready to date when you start feeling like yourself again, when you find yourself smiling more, when you have a new sense of hope, and when you start being playful again.

At the end of the day, everything boils down to doing what is best for yourself and everybody else involved.

RELATED: 20 Crucial Things To Do (And Not Do) After A Breakup

Once you've considered what getting back into the dating world means, you can assess whether or not you are ready to jump back into the dating pool.

7 signs you're ready to date again after a breakup

1. You're able to take accountability for your role in the breakup.

Acknowledging your part in the breakup is important. Whether you initiated the breakup, or you just went along with it — know your role.

No matter if you are the villain or the hero, knowing and taking responsibility for your actions or reaction is a key stop on the journey to dating again.

2. You've taken the time to identify your boundaries.

You may have to meet with a life coach or therapist to be able to work through and give language to what you do not want in a relationship. Knowing where you draw the line with your partner brings peace into a relationship.

Take the time, as much as you need, to express or write down what you will not allow this time around. Doing so could save you from another heartbreak.

3. You can speak about the breakup without being angry.

It's okay to be angry. Anger is a human emotion. But what you do with that anger is what matters most.

When you can discuss the breakup without threading in angry digs and comments, you know you are closer to going back on the dating scene. Even if your friends have negative things to say about your ex, if you can remain neutral, give yourself a big pat on the back!

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4. You notice when others are admiring you.

If you begin to notice the lingering stares of those interested, you may be ready to get back out there. An added plus would be that you also feel yourself interested in the good looking person across the room that can't stop watching your every move.

This also shows that you are taking the time to look good when you go out.

5. You mention little to nothing about your ex in conversation.

Going from a duo to a solo act is difficult. You are used to mentioning your partner in casual conversations. It will take time and effort, but when you get to the point where you can talk to people (especially mutual friends) without mentioning your-ex-that-shall-remain-nameless, then you are making strides!

When you do get a date, not mentioning your ex is a sure way to tell if you are open to pursuing love again.

6. You're not afraid to move on.

It is scary to get to know someone new. There are a ton of what-ifs and the overthinking kicks into overdrive. Do not beat yourself up about being afraid, its natural.

Wade carefully in the dating pool until you are ready to dive in the deep end. However, when you are able fearlessly take the number of the neighbor downstairs or answer the DM that you let sit, take that as a great sign.

7. You've regained your sense of self.

Ending a relationship can bring on grief and a sense of failure. When you take that grief and sense of failure and see it as freedom, your self-awareness can begin to be restored. Maybe, you begin to really get to know yourself in a new light.

In this process, you may find a new skill or hobby that you would not have pursued if you were still in a relationship. Knowing who you are is vital to getting to know someone else.

Take the time and priortize getting to know who you are, but keep in mind this is an ongoing process.

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What to consider before starting to date after a breakup

1. Make sure you're prepared to reenter the dating world.

If not, you will certainly wind up crying on the first date and won't leave a good impression. Worse, you'll end up talking about your ex.

Dating prematurely will simply make you feel even worse. Trying to fill a void is impossible when you are on empty.

You also have to remember to think about the new people you'll be dating. If they're the right kind of person, they are likely trying to find someone stable, so if you aren't ready to date again yet, you're simply leading them on and wasting their time.

Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself honestly, "Would I want to meet me right now?"

2. The first date you go on after a breakup is going to be odd, no matter what.

If you feel like you're cheating, that's normal. Once you understand this, your first step is to get out there! It's good to get the very first date out of the way. Attempt to do it with somebody you consider not-so-promising, so that you don't destroy a possibly-great romance that could have come later down the line.

It's important to be honest. Without oversharing, let them know about your situation.

This could mean anything from telling them that you are choosing to take it slowly to letting them know that the break-up is still "fresh" in your mind. Once again, it's not simply you in the picture; you need to be considerate of the other person and their feelings.

3. Once you do find a new partner, there is your ex to consider.

You don't want to hurt them and look like you've moved on too quickly. Put yourself in their shoes. Don't hide anything, but keep the gruesome details to yourself.

After all, the best retribution is living well! If you are truly broken up, it is best to keep distance. It can take a while to find a great match. There is no crystal ball!

As life changes, you change, so keep taking that time for yourself — even after finding love again. It's so important to have a good time! Don't put pressure on yourself. When you feel like you're ready to date again, you will.

Just because you start dating again does not necessarily mean that you will discover somebody with whom you will click immediately. You don't need to rush into a relationship.

Being single can be satisfying if you let it be. It gives you a chance to do all the things you have always wanted to do!

Learn to be comfortable in your own skin before you should meet someone new. It's your time to think about what you really want.

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Samantha Jayne is a dating expert and relationship coach who helps people regain their confidence in finding love through her books, coaching sessions, and e-courses.

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