I’ve never been much for serial monogamy. I’ve always been someone who spent long stretches of time between relationships because the heartache of a breakup would be reluctant to step back into the fray. Some might even say I went too long between relationships, but, honestly, I needed that time. While some of my friends bounced from bae to bae, I was all about that single life, because I just needed more time to heal, and time to reacquaint myself with, well, myself. I never wondered how long should you stay single after a breakup, I just kind of followed my heart.
But was that the “right” thing to do? Was my decision not to get back out there and start dating again right away just an excuse to avoid opening up to someone? Was it healthy to spend so much time on my own? Or would I have been better off finding someone new ASAP like my friends? I know I’m not the only one who has wondered if they are handling breaking up in the most positive way, so I decided to reach out to experts to ask for their take on how long you should stay single after a breakup. Here is what they had to say.
There is no rush to get back out there.
After a breakup, it’s normal to feel really hurt and confused, which is why there is no need to rush into something new. Susan Winter, bestselling author and relationship expert, tells Elite Daily you should “stay single long enough to have regained your sanity and serenity. If you’re still licking your wounds from your breakup, now’s not the time to date.” She explains that there is no exact right amount of time to be single, and that it all comes down to how you are feeling. You shouldn’t start dating again until you’ve “processed and packaged what happened and you’ve moved forward emotionally.”
Pricilla Martinez, relationship expert and online life coach at Blush, agrees. “There isn’t a prescribed amount of time that it takes for someone to heal from a relationship,” Martinez tells Elite Daily. “Rather, it’s more about reflecting on your state of mind and determining whether it’s ready for someone new or not.” So, if you feel like you’re ready to get back out there, then go for it. And if you feel like you just need some time to yourself, that’s OK, too. In fact, there are some pretty solid reasons why taking a little more time than you might think to get over an ex will save you some trouble in your next relationship.
Taking time to heal now will save you heartache down the road.
When your heart is hurting, it may seem like all you need is to find someone new to fill that void. While that may work in the short term, it comes with some risks, including picking the wrong partner. Winter warns that, “You attract the kind of person that matches your energy,” so if you’re feeling insecure, the people who you draw to you may actually be the kind who will make you feel even more so. “You’re not going to make a good choice when it comes to partner selection,” she says. “You’ll be choosing out of fear and insecurity, rather than confidence and clearly defined relationship goals.”
Even if it’s not an issue of insecurity or vulnerability, Martinez cautions that rushing into something new runs the risk of bringing “ongoing baggage from the last relationship into a new one.” She advises that you take the time between relationships to “process the lessons from the last relationship. Everything is a learning experience. You want to make sure that you give yourself enough time to reflect on what you’ve learned and how it’s impacted what you want.” That way, you have a much better chance of success with your next relationship.
How to know when the time is right to move on.
Since there is no “rule” about what the right amount of time to stay single is, it’s going to be up to you to decide. The only thing the experts say does matter is that you feel ready. But what does that even mean? Winter says there are some pretty clear indications that the time is right. She says you’re ready when “entire hours of time pass without thinking about him or her,” and that if you did run into your ex, you could handle any emotions that arise. So yeah, that may take some time.
But ultimately, Martinez says “You will know that you’re ready to move on when you know you are just fine by yourself but would like to share yourself with another person. The idea is that you are not angry or bitter about previous relationships and don’t feel pressure to be involved because that’s the expectation you or others have of you.” In other words, the right amount of time to stay single is whatever you say it is. So, trust yourself and take all the time you need.