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can casual dating be a productive way to cope??

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Here's a little backstory: It's been four months since we broke up. I don't cry every day anymore, but I know I won't be "over it" any time soon. We were together for ten years. He cheated on me three years ago. I never forgave him. And we continued to have trust issues (every "little" fib/lie became magnified for me). Finally, he gave up. I didn't see it coming. Said he was extremely sorry and he knew it was all his fault and he was still in love with me, but simply couldn't do it any more, he said he would never be able to gain my trust again no matter how hard he tried. This finally made me realize I had to stop punishing him. I begged. I made promises. But he's made up his mind. He can't waste any more time, he said. We are both in our 30s. I've been very good with NC even though I still feel devastated. I'm seeing a therapist. I exercise and journal and spend a lot of time with friends/family/work. So even though I feel like I'm dying inside, I also feel like I'm dealing with it in a healthy way.. What I'm wondering now is..


Should I start dating??? I *think* I might be ready?? This was the only real relationship I've had and the only person I've ever slept with. I don't plan on sleeping with anyone and I know I'm not emotionally ready for another relationship, but friends are telling me it will be good for me. To raise my confidence, to give me practice in dating, to figure out what I LIKE (since I never dated much before), to help expand my social network, to possibly make some new friends. It seems there's no downside. Except maybe it will stall or diverge my progress?


Advice, anyone? It'd also be great to hear if the advice comes from personal experience, third person observation, etc..


Thank you so much!

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Just after my breakup, just the idea of dating others made me sick to my stomach. My reaction wasn't that bad after a few weeks, but I still wasn't comfortable with the idea. Yet, I still tried to do it, and I found that, after a few dates, and one that became more serious, it helped move things along in my recovery from my breakup. In fact, I'm sure I would have continued to be semi-attached to my ex had I not pushed myself a little to start dating again.


I'd say it's important that you don't do this too soon -- only you can know when that is. That you take it slowly at first and not get too serious with anyone, early on. That you be careful not to latch onto someone simply out of emotional need -- something that's been an issue for me.


Your friends are absolutely right. Dating is a very important way of learning about what you like in a partner, and, yes, will help expand your social network, which is important during the hard times, like when you have a break-up. I don't think it will hinder your progress in any way, but, instead, speed it up a little. Like anything else, you can only spend so much time working on a problem before you hit the law of diminishing returns.


I'm no expert in this area, as I'm quite an introvert by nature, but I've had some good advice, and the benefit of some experience, which has helped me learn to navigate the dating world a little better. Good luck.

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Only if you are open and honest with yourself and those you date. It is not fair to put yourself out there looking for a relationship when you aren't truly ready, as far as the other party is concerned. I would instead of heavily dating, go out with platonic friends in groups or solo. It will get you back on the scene of going out and having a good time. Then, if you meet someone and have a coffee or drinks, its no pressure to go just so you can get out of the house. I think that you should do things to raise your confidence before you date, otherwise you will attract the same types of guys.

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I think dating is an essential part of the recovery. First of all it helps you to stop moping and it gets you out there meeting new people. When I split from my first ex i hit the dating game and ended up meeting my most recent ex. Im slowly getting back into the dating world now and im in a 50/50 state of mind. Part of me is still hung up on the ex, on the past, and the other part is enjoying the chance to meet new people and make some new memories.

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Honestly for me it was a double edged sword. I got broken up with by my ex gf 8 weeks ago and had my first date 3 days ago. I was still very much in love with my ex when she broke up with me and we had a really serious relationship(were living together). This girl is very pretty and has a good personality, we had a good time and there weren't many awkward moments. Conversation was smooth and we laughed a lot but for me something was missing.


When ever I would say a joke or make some comment. I was expecting to get the same type of reaction like I got from my ex. Me and my ex were very compatible and always had a good time even on our first date we just clicked. So I was left thinking a lot about my ex and at certain times wish she was there. I'm my head I was thinking "man my ex would of loved that,or we would of laughed so hard at that." now most likely this just isn't the right girl for me and had it been a different girl who's a little more out going like myself,maybe I would of left saying "wow this girls great screw my ex". But it wasn't and actually had me missing my ex more than I had in weeks.


With all that being said it did boost my confidence after having my self esteem run over after the breakup,especially since I wad cheated on. It was really comforting to know that other girls still find me attractive. So it was good and bad,I'm going to continue to date casually bc I know the right girl is out there and I want my doors to be open when we cross paths. But just be aware that you might have what happened to me and be set back a little bit. But in the long run it's truly the only way to fully move on.

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I look at it that dating is sort of the final step to healing - rather than using other people to help you heal. There is counseling/support groups for that. All the threads about people meeting someone and sort of feeling like their counselor is the other side of this.

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I look at it that dating is sort of the final step to healing - rather than using other people to help you heal.


I agree with this and most of the other responses.


What you don't want to do is enter into a romantic relationship you're not ready for, realize it, end it, and leave the other person hurt and confused just as you were going in.


The goal now should be to become a happy and well-adjusted single person.


With that goal achieved then hopefully you'll find another happy and well-adjusted single person (not a rebounder) with whom you can build a partnership.



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Hi Pietro-

Thanks for the reply. I like what you said about "the law of diminishing returns" - you're right. I didn't know quite how to articulate it, but I think I'm starting to hit that point, which is partly why I feel like I might be ready to start dating. The things I was doing in the first few weeks to help me cope don't seem to be helping as much anymore, I suppose because I'm processing different thoughts and need different strategies now. I'm encouraged that you found it helpful in moving forward with healing.

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Hi Motley-

Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate what you shared about dating again and new women reminding you of your ex. That had not crossed my mind, but it makes complete sense. I can anticipate now that I might feel that way too, so I'll be more conscious of it. It's probably inevitable coming out of a serious relationship not to compare potential partners to the ex.

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Thanks for everyone's feedback! You all really gave me some things to think about. You're right that I need to continue to work on myself and be honest with the people I'm dating. I will definitely do that. I also appreciate hearing that others ultimately found it was helpful to the coping/healing process to start dating again.

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