Looking back on the relationship that just ended, you might wonder how you made it out at all. A bad breakup can drain you of energy and also cause anxiety about letting a new person into your heart. We are here to remind you that time will eventually heal those wounds, and, in the meantime, we have some suggestions for how to date in the midst of all the feelings. These are four common mistakes you should look out for when dating after a breakup:
Don’t Fall in Love Too Fast
The pain of the breakup can still be so fresh in your mind, even weeks or months after the fact. It’s important to move slowly when you’re getting to know someone new. In an effort to mask the pain of a breakup, you might find yourself reaching for new love as a sort of painful feeling cure-all. And why not? Infatuation can mask deeper feelings… for a while. But getting into (and then out of) a new relationship isn’t actually going to help you move forward. You may find yourself disappointed all over again and back to square one. We think it’s best to start dating again after a breakup with zero expectations. Have fun, move on, and get to know other people. The rest has a way of taking care of itself.
Mind the Ex Factor
How great would it feel to dive headfirst into the dating pool so you can rub all those smoking hot dates in your exes Face(book)? As good as an idea as this can feel like in the midst of post-breakup feelings, it will only make you look desperate to your ex and everyone else. As painful as it may be, it’s possible that your ex has moved on and can see right through your game. This means you’re literally wasting your time and the time of the person you’re now with. We suggest keeping it classy and off of social media. Things ending with your last relationship is really an opportunity for you to grow and look at yourself. This will ultimately lead you to more love and fulfilment in the future, but only if you do the work. Then a new relationship that’s better than you could have ever expected will be yours to enjoy.
Don’t Over-Analyze the New Date
You’re finally past the eating-and-crying-in-bed-while-watching-the-whole-season-of-a-Netflix-show-in-a-single-day phase. Congratulations and welcome back. You might feel so good to be back on the dating scene that you crush new date potential with post-breakup perfectionism or over-analysis. For the love of god, don’t talk about your ex on a date. This is just a date: it’s a fresh chance and a new start. Don’t destroy the potential by over-analyzing the other person or unreasonable expecting them to be the perfect man or woman.
Don’t Force It
When you were in your last relationship, nothing could beat the honeymoon phase. Now that the relationship is over, it makes sense that you miss the initial excitement of being in love. Now you find yourself on dates hoping that love will magically emerge in the first 15 minutes. Try not to force feelings or fantasies on your date. You’ll be sending out the wrong message. Do your best to let the past be the past: let it go and approach dates with an open mind. Instead of trying to force love into a new relationship, focus on other powerful emotions like joy, adventure, hope, inspiration, surprise, and awe. This way you and your date will have fun getting to know each other and the positive feelings you’re focusing on will keep giving way to more positive feelings.
Everyone heals at their own speed and the right person for you will certainly understand and give you as much space as you need to make the right decision moving forward. There is no universal timetable for healing from a breakup. Do what you can to grieve and trust the process. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll be in the best position to connect with the right person when it’s time for you two to meet.