The internet is brimming with dating advice for the ‘post-breakup’ phase of your life. ‘Post-breakup’ is an odd descriptor, like ‘post-baby’ - it’s as if your life is in someone else’s control. Sure, we may not always be the ones who choose to break up. But it seems unhelpful to define our lives by our relationships. After all, we don’t often call being in a relationship, ‘pre-breakup’. Why should the time after a breakup be any different?
You are still the you you believe yourself to be. The difference is that you are working through the grief and loss that is inevitable after any breakup. Part of that process may mean reinventing yourself, reconnecting with your hobbies and friends, and even dating.
There’s no hard and fast rules for appropriate amounts of time to wait before dating again, or exact numbers of people to date casually before you decide to pursue someone more seriously.
But, it is important to make sure that you feel like you have fully mourned the loss of this significant person in your life before you start dating again. Out of respect for yourself. But also, to any future partners who date you.
If you feel that you want to date again, there’s nothing unnatural or unhealthy about it. Don’t think too much about it. Go. with. it.
You may find that once you start dating again you are consumed by thoughts of your previous relationship. That’s okay. We’re human. Our bodies and brains are built to protect us. It may simply be a sign to take a step back and re-evaluate.
You may not want anything serious. You may simply enjoy flirting with strangers again.
You may find yourself completely caught off guard by how quickly you meet someone with whom everything just feels right.
Don’t let the internet advice, or other people’s expectations get in the way of doing what is best for you. That’s not to say to ignore red flags, or the opinions of your closest circles (objectivity helps).
All there is to say is that the best advice for dating after a breakup is to stay true to yourself. Cliches be damned.
"Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time."
- Maya Angelou