Deciding when to start dating after a breakup is always hard.
A big reason for this may be because there is no real “right” way to go about it. Dating and recovering from breakups are highly subjective, personal experiences, so there is no one formula or rule to use to determine when, exactly, it is appropriate to dip one’s metaphorical toe back into the proverbial dating pool.
Still, there are some guidelines everyone can use to figure out what’s best for them. Here, Susan Winter, an NYC-based relationship expert, and Dr. Paulette Sherman, an NYC-based psychologist and author of “Dating From The Inside Out,” explain how to tell when you’re ready to date after a breakup.
According to Winter, figuring out if you’re actually ready to date doesn’t depend on a specific timeline
Instead, it’s best to try and give yourself as long as it takes to come to terms with whatever residual feelings (positive and negative) you have about your ex.
“If you’re still in pain, obsessing about your ex, or suffering from emotional whiplash, you’re not ready to date,” Winter told INSIDER. “The best post-breakup dating is done when you’ve accepted the fact that your ex is an ex for good reason.”
It is also important to feel as though you are ready to open yourself up to someone new.
“[You] have high self-esteem, an open heart, and feel ready to be vulnerable with someone new,” Sherman told INSIDER.
You don’t need to totally forget about your ex in order to achieve this vulnerability. But according to Sherman, a person who is ready to date and starts a new relationship knows how to think critically about the relationship that has ended
“They have learned lessons from their past relationship and see it as a stepping stone to becoming a wiser dater; one who has more clarity about what will work for them in a relationship in the future,” Sherman said.