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How long do you wait to date after a breakup?


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I have been coming here for quite awhile for advice, but usually just scanned through the forums to find something relevant. I guess I'm finally ready to post.


My ex and I had a very rocky relationship. It lasted about 10 months. It was full of many breakups, constant fights, lack of trust, infidelity, and just about every other bad thing you can think of.


In my mind the relationship has really been over for about 4 months, which is when she cheated on me. We broke up after it happened and had time apart for a few weeks and ended up getting back together, but any little bit of trust I had for her before that was shattered. This led to me wanting to know where she was all the time and thinking she was lying about everything, which lead to constant fighting. We'd break up and get back together on almost a weekly basis.


The last big fight we had she moved out, which she had done once before. She said she still wanted to be together, but had also said some awful things to me the day before. If you asked me to be honest if she was the one I should spend my life with, I would say no. She's done too many bad things, but I still wanted to give her a chance.


She seemed to not care so much. We took some time for us to both decide what we wanted and she didn't seem very concerned. I said goodbye.


We haven't talked for the last 3 days (which was a 3 minute conversation) and not for about a week or so before that. The weeks before that, it was scarce also. The relationship just seemed so bad that I think I was over it long before it was done.


Like I said, I haven't felt like things we're normal since she cheated and honestly, I don't think she has either.


I asked a girl I've always liked if she would like to go out sometime and she would. I know it's only really been a few days since it ended, but I've been so miserable in the relationship, that I'm ready for some happiness.


I don't think it'll actually hit my ex for a little while, but we both know we're not right for each other, just none of us had the guts to end it.


Should I not go out with this other girl yet? Is it not fair? I feel like my ex strung me along for so long and treated me so bad, that I should rightfully be able to date already. I do care for my ex, love her still, but i don't think I'm in love and haven't been for awhile.


What do you guys think?

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I will give you my honest opinion, do not date right after a relationship. For one, it's not fair to the new girl, as she will be like your rebound. Take some time for yourself, you do not need a relationship to be happy. Hang out with friends, do things you have always wanted to do but have never done, and take care of YOU.

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As long as you are bitter with your ex, don't date. I think as you let go of negative emotions for the ex, then it is ok to explore things with another person. For some that can take weeks, some need months. I would just say that given all that you wrote about your ex, you don't completely seem ready yet.

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I agree with the above two posters. Dating at this point in time is more about you wanting to get over the pain than about wanting to give of yourself in a new relationship. Your last relationship was NOT over 4 months ago because if it was over you wouldn't have gotten back together with her. Your relationship was over when you two actually parted ways for good. It is not fair to someone new to date them right after you last relationship ended.

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Thanks for the responses guys!


I know the relationship wasn't over 4 months ago, but with the way she acted I think it really was. I still loved her and took care of her, but it seemed like she never did anything for me. She would feel bad sometimes and do what I wanted, otherwise it was all selfish and for her.


I've felt abandoned, unloved, and unwanted for so long now. The real reason I got back together with her was I saw her out and she was all dressed up and guys all around her. At the time it killed me to see her with anyone else or just guys hitting on her. If I went out tonight and saw her with someone else, yes, I would be shook up for a moment, but all I would have to do is remind myself of the hell she has put me through and there is someone better. Someone who doesn't have all the faults and lack of any interests like her.


I honestly don't know how we made it this long, other than maybe pure physical attraction. It's like we forced everything else and being together that long just made us develop feelings. My family doesn't like her because of the things she's put me through and I think her family, or most of them want her to be away from me.


This other girl I've known fo years and I think I've just realized that she is exactly what I always wanted, or mostly from what I know. Isn't it possible that a relationship is already over long before you actually end it? I do care for my ex still, but I'm at a point where I'm ready to find a stable person to settle down with, I know that my ex is not that person, but I think the new girl could be. Why should I waste time? I've been unhappy, I've felt unwanted and now that I feel wanted I should wait?


I know it would be unfair to the new girl to have to take on baggage that I have, but other than avoiding the ex's calls or texts for awhile, if I even get any, I don't think there is any baggage. The funny thing is, I don't feel bad for my ex at all in this situation. We've both dumped each other so many times I can't count on my hands. She has had multiple opportunities to try to make up for what she's done in the past and she doesn't seem interested in having to work in a relationship and I'm past the point of caring and trying anymore.


Why shouldn't I be able to be happy and not have to ride the pity party train feeling bad for myself. The new girl and I will end up hanging out regardless during this time. If we both have romantic interest in it, why should we act on it? If something happens, I have no doubt that we would remain at least friends.


I just want to stress, I'm asking these questions as a generality, not to diffuse anything anyone has said.

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You are trying to rationalize why you should run out and date 5 minutes after finally giving up on your relationship. Although your now ex treated you badly, you still continued on..so for YOU it wasn't over because you were still trying to make it work. It doesn't matter how she made you feel, the fact still remains that you chose to stay in the relationship. Because you are feeling starved for affection and have for a long time, that is why you want to run out and date. It is the affection from a woman that you are trying to get in order to fix what you didn't get from your last relationship. In other words, this really has nothing to do with the person you want to date and who she is..it has more to do with you wanting to feel loved by a woman. First and foremost you need to do some healing and soul searching as to why you remained with someone who didn't treat you right. Only after you have learned to love yourself again will you be truly ready to embrace the love of another woman and see her as an individual rather than as someone to fulfill your need of wanting to be loved.

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I have always taken time after every relationship I've been in to do the healing and soul searching and loving yourself. I end up taking a 6 months to a year every time. The only things I see that change that much are that I miss the ex's less after time. This relationship has been so bad the last 4-5 months, that it's actually more like a relief being broken up. This is the first time I haven't really been broken up about knowing that I might never see or talk to her again. Now, I don't worry all day everyday that she's seeing someone else or sneaking around do other things.


We came to a decision before months ago, that we really would be better off apart. We loved each other, but she couldn't handle being suspected all the time and I couldn't handle feeling like I had to suspect all the time. Now it's just like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders. This new girl I've known for years and have always wanted to date, I was just always scared to admit to her. It's not just a new feeling, it's just that I do want to be with someone, I do want attention, I do want affection and it's something I've always wanted from this new girl for a long time. Now that the opportunity has arised, I feel like I shouldn't have to sit back and wait to go for it.


It's strange because other places that I've looked for advice on this steer a lot of different directions. Some say it's fine the next day, some say a week, a month, a year, etc.


It seems like it's really dependant on the length of time of the relationship and the actual state of the relationship. I dunno, maybe I'm just trying to justify it. The only real reason I'm asking is because I don't want to hurt my ex. I don't want her to feel like I never loved her or dont care for her anymore. I do, but we're just not right for each other and we both know it. We were just scared to let go.

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Pierre...you're going to do what your heart and head tell you to do. You've already asked the new girl out, anyway, so you might feel bad about backtracking now. I don't know why you'd be worried about hurting your ex, given how much she's hurt you in the past. If you feel you're ready to explore another relationship right now, go for it. It may or may not be a good idea, but you'll never know. People go on rebound relationships all the time, whether or not they want to admit it's a rebound. And it may not be a rebound for you.


When relationships end, some people want to fill that void pretty soon others crawl under a rock or back in their shell and hide. Both could be good or bad. You can do what you like and what you feel like doing right now. But if you're not over your ex, you may end up hurting this new girl really badly. I can't think of anyone who would happily choose to embark on a relationship with somebody who's a few hours fresh out of one! As a dumpee [two months ago] all I wanted was to fill that void - with my ex. Now, I still want to fill that void, except not with him. But I've not got the energy to start looking around. If there was someone I knew who was single right now and I remotely fancied them and they felt the same? Chances are, I'd not be sitting here right now typing this message! And that's the honest truth.


If you feel it's the right thing for you right now, go for it. If it turns out to be a mistake, I hope you'll learn from it. I'm a strong believer that things could go either way.


Good luck!

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I am worried about hurting her and I'm not all at the same time. Like you said, she's done so many bad things to me, I shouldn't feel bad, but then again, I do care about her regardless. It's a back and forth thing in my head really, but I'm sick of her always getting what she wants and being happy while I'm not.


The thing is, when we started seeing each other, she wasn't maybe a day out of her last relationship and I'm sure once she realizes that this one is really over, she'll be out with someone else to try and forget it or "get revenge". She is the kind of person that, if you do something, she just has to try and do something too, to try and "get you back".


So why sit around and wait to see her out with someone else and feel bad for myself. Why not just move on past all the bad memories that we had and find someone who really wants to be with me? I know that since we finally have been apart for more than a couple days like when we would "break-up" before, that it's actually real this time. I don't feel the want that I felt before to have her back. I miss the companionship and sex, but right now that's it. Maybe I'll miss her a little bit when I get lonely, but I think if I'm seeing someone, that won't happen.


I've always been the person to take time after a breakup and sort things out and go slow about getting back into dating. I guess it's time tro try a different approach.


Thanks for suggestions everyone.

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I don't know what the future holds, but from everything you have written here you sound like a guy who is not healed. It doesn't matter if you broke up yesterday or a year ago, when your mind is not right you are going to hurt the other person. Here is something for you to consider. How would you feel about dating a woman who had: 1) refused and had been afraid to let go fo a cheating partner, 2) tells you that she deserves to be happy after feeling so unloved and unwanted all the time in her last relationship, 3) who says that you seem to tick all the boxes and think you can make her happy 4) she is vaguely worried about hurting you but 5) she doesn't think she has any baggage.


Take a step back. Really. Most people who are looking for a marriage partner would stter clear of this. Why? Because she still has so much negative energy related to her ex. That negativity will eventually impact your relationship in some way (often in her subconscious comparisons and expectations of you). Two, because she has not demonstrated yet the ability to love herself. If you feel unloved and abandoned, your number one job is to learn how to love yourself, comfort yourself, support yourself. If you transfer that expecation to another woman, then you are going to suffocate the new relationship.


What I have found mostt interesting about men (I don't mean to genderize, but I am pointing out differences) is that it takes them much longer to get over relationships than women. Women often seek counselling, talk to friends, re-examine their life and what emotional needs they have in relationships, talk about what they need to do to heal emotionally, and enter a spiritual journey. (Not all, but some). Many men do different things - working out, focusing on goals, dating other chicks, writing out their feelings sometimes (doing things but not talking through things) ... but not getting that verbal emotional support and not thinking through emotional needs and changes they want in the next relationship. I think this is a big part of healing. So again, it can take longer for men.


And when men (like women) enter into a new relationship not ready, they can be incredibly emotionally distant. Not in the honeymoon phase when he's finally hoping he's finally found the woman to heal him. It's when the honeymoon ends and he realizes she is not what he dreamed her to be: perfect. No woman is. But when you are emotionally healed you recognize this is a natural process. When not, you often leave the good, nice girl who doesn't offer the dramatic excitement of the girl who hurt you in the past and you leave saying "well, it just didn't work out."


Now this is not the case everytime, but I see a lot of guys get into rebound relationships when they are not ready only to hurt the other girl when the honeymoon phase is over because they weren't really ready.

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When I say that I felt unloved and abandoned, it wasn't an in general suggestion. I didn't feel unloved and abandoned by everyone. I just felt unloved and abandoned by her. She did it to me so much, that most of the time I was learning to deal with being alone like I was single again. But then a few days later she'd be back, then a few days later I tended to myself as if I was single again.


I've been alone most of my life growing up as an only child, with my parents away often. I am content being alone if I have to be. I would rather have someone, but if I don't I will make it just fine. Would I be be happy alone? I could be. Would I be happier with someone else in my life? Most likely.


This girl is aware that my ex and I are at odds. The time before last that I hung out with her, I had been in a fight with my ex and we were at a break up point. My ex kept trying to nag me via and the girl asked about her. I didn't give her insight to what had all happened with us, just that we fight a lot and are unhappy. She kept telling me if you're not happy you shouldn't be together. This was before I told her I was interested in her, but I feel she might've been in me. I told her about how things are bad, but we just keep ending up getting back together.


I saw her about a week later and without knowing, she suggested to other people that I was single. She was also acting very flirty, as in she was touching me a lot. I feel she knows that my relationship just ended. I think she knows that it's been rocky for awhile and I think she was in something similar awhile ago.


Nevertheless, before we would ever fully date, I would alude her to the details of the status and what's going on with my ex. I haven't heard from the ex, since it was called quits but we haven't had contact in almost 2 weeks. I'm sure I'll hear from her eventually, but I'm staying strict NC with her and moving on regardless.


I think it seems like things are different for everyone and depending upon the situation. If this were my last relationship, where I wasn't treated so bad, then yes, I feel I would need to take a lot more time to heal and work on myself. I don't know, maybe being treated badly just wore down all the "in love" feeling.


I am ready to move forward in my life and sitting around alone because I think I need to get over my ex who treated me poorly is going to leave me sitting still instead of getting past it. It wasn't until the last couple days that I really knew I was feeling this way, but as all my friends and family have said, it's best to leave her in the past.

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Well, we've shared our thoughts with you and you want to go another way, which is your right. I would not again date a guy who "is at odds with his ex", just got out of a relationship, and talks about how badly she treated him. He's not "whole' to me. Pretty easy red flag. But that is just me.

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All I know for sure is, she has some idea of what is going on and that things are recent with my ex. So if she's ok with it and I'm feeling comfortable, I guess I might as well embrace this new connection we have. I know I'm not going to get back with my ex. Obviously this is how I feel right now though and it's been with no contact from my ex.


I agree that things in the future could change and I might feel like I need the time to get everything straight. I guess my plan will be to go forward with things as we've already planned on going out with each other this weekend. We can chat about things and I'll let her know what's going on. If she feels ok with things, then we'll continue on, if not, we'll just remain friends.


I have to bring up that in every other relationship except one I've taken about 6 months to a year off of dating between relationships except one. That one was a 2 year relationship that ended and I was dating a new girl in a couple weeks. It was the same kind of thing. We grew bored of each other and fought a lot, weren't treating each other the best. It was by far the smoothest breakup that I've had, in my mind anyway. It was detrimental to my ex for a little while, but with my current ex, I'm not that concerned.


The relationship that I started after was not affected by my previous relationship and lasted 1.5 years. This is the real reason I feel like going this route. It will hopefully minimize the pain, if I have any felt (which i doubt), and move me forward in life to perhaps start something that will turn into a great relationship and someone I could see myself settling down with.


I thank you for you opinions. Though I am going the opposite way, I'm not sure if I would have thought all the things I have been thinking about through, without your help.

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Sometimes dating right after a breakup can make you feel worse. I know I initially compared everyone to my ex and nobody was good enough. I think expecting to be able to open your heart again right away is asking too much. Give yourself some time to heal - a good year - before thinking about becoming emotionally involved with someone again. Breakups are hard. People think you can fill that void with someone else, but that void has a particular shape - and it's like trying to force the wrong puzzle piece into that empty space.


Focus on YOU - how can you reinvent yourself, address your insecurities, ways that you might have contributed to the failure of the relationship. Care for yourself. Rebounds are always trouble and will leave you full of regret - at least that's my experience.

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Personally, I dont see anything wrong with putting yourself out there after a break up. It will make your life easier if you let the person youre seeing that youre out of a relationship and youre not ready to jump into a new one.


I think that the waiting period that people seem to proscribe hinders your ability to get back out there. By all means process what is happening with the break up and your ex but just be honest with people you date about it.

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Sometimes dating right after a breakup can make you feel worse. I know I initially compared everyone to my ex and nobody was good enough. I think expecting to be able to open your heart again right away is asking too much. Give yourself some time to heal - a good year - before thinking about becoming emotionally involved with someone again. Breakups are hard. People think you can fill that void with someone else, but that void has a particular shape - and it's like trying to force the wrong puzzle piece into that empty space.


Focus on YOU - how can you reinvent yourself, address your insecurities, ways that you might have contributed to the failure of the relationship. Care for yourself. Rebounds are always trouble and will leave you full of regret - at least that's my experience.


The thing is, yeah I am probably comparing this new girl to my ex, but anyone that has a job, a car, and no drug problem automatically beat my ex in comparison. Looking back, I'm not sure why I stayed with her other than maybe sheer bored-ness and sex. I know that sounds pretty awful, but I think it might be true. I do care for her, but I don't think I've been in love with her for a long time. I just kept convincing myself.


I don't feel I need to re-invent myself or change. I know people never want to take responsibility for their part of the problems in the relationship, but in all honesty it was all her. And that's not me trying to place the blame for things I did onto her, it was really her. Constant lying, sneaking around, doing drugs, cheating. All I ever did was take care of her, tend to her needs, make her feel loved etc.


I have found one problem that I need to address and that is getting myself out of a bad situation when I see it. I knew about her lying from pretty much the beginning, I found out about the drugs after a couple months, then I found out about her cheating a couple months after that. Each time, I convinced myself it would get better and things would change instead of just leaving when it all came up and saving myself from a lot more stress and pain.


I pretty much had been mad at myself everyday for staying with her. Then I forgave myself and said enough of it. She can clean up her act or she's gone. i said that to myself well over a month ago. At that point i wasn't really mad over her doing all the sneaky things she does. I was just used to it and it no longer phased me. That's when I knew I was really over it. So when the actual breakup happened, I really didn't even feel bad. If it was a couple months ago, I would have been in bed crying and thinking about it constantly. Now, I don't think that way at all. I think that's why I feel like I can move on.

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I know people never want to take responsibility for their part of the problems in the relationship, but in all honesty it was all her. And that's not me trying to place the blame for things I did onto her, it was really her.


Lol. You should say this to any girl you choose to date.

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Lol, I know it sounds funny. She came into the relationship with problems already. I knew better from the start. I really didn't plan on dating her, we we're just hanging out a lot. Eventually it just got that way and against all my better judgement, I let it continue.


But if you look at it, I never lied or cheated. I was always attentive, I gave her love, I gave her space, I took care of her etc. She lied, she cheated, she ignored me, she seemed to spiral further into laziness and no matter what I tried to do to help, everything just got worse. I suggested counseling, I tried to talk things out, I left her alone if she needed to be, I did everything you could possibly try. It was always to try and make her happy. I think she was always just stuck on something else and never let me in as to what it was. I have a feeling it would have come out as a "It's not you, it's me" kind of thing.


I don't know what I could have done that possibly made this occur. She was already lying, cheating, and doing drugs before we were together. I saw it up front, knew I should stay away from it and didn't. That was my fault, but I don't feel like I should take a year away from dating because I made the mistake of getting involved. It was a mistake, I learned to never get involved like that again and now it's time to move on.

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