Dating After a Breakup
Breakups and divorces can be difficult. Sometimes you try to put up a brave front, while inside you are a bundle of emotions, anxieties, loneliness, even mental instability.
In the post-breakup stage, it is easy to still feel lonely when you're surrounded by people since the person you've spent a lot of time with isn't there with you. You may feel like there's nothing anyone or anything can do to “fix” this feeling.
The truth is, this is part of the journey and there's no getting over it, only through. The feeling is difficult but it is temporary. We have a few ways for you to get through in the healthiest and easiest way possible.
Don't Jump Right Back In
The lonely feeling that accompanies a breakup can be a void aching to be filled. It's tempting to find a “rebound” in anyone who will give you some much-wanted attention instead of taking the time to work through any uncomfortable emotions that come with being without a significant other. This sort of loneliness can turn the most intelligent person into someone who has no more sense than a paper bag; the intense desire to be with someone again can dim the brightest of red flags.
Is that the most intelligent approach? Let's all agree: probably not. Yes, many people can relate because they have been there. At this point, it is important to be careful to work through any lingering feelings of hurt, anger, or otherwise, so you can put your best foot forward and make sure you're not getting into a relationship that will ultimately be bad for you.
Ask Yourself Why You Are Dating
We all know generally why people date, especially the newly divorced or broken-up. Have you ever asked yourself specifically why you want to date? If you constantly jump into a new relationship before the last one picks up their toothbrush from your apartment, you may have some deeper issues such as insecurity, lack of self-worth, or co-dependency.
Spending time with others is excellent, but be careful to evaluate if you're only doing so because you can't stand being alone. If you are, ask yourself why that might be. You might also talk about those things with a friend or therapist.
You should be able to find happiness, contentment, and excitement on your own before you get into a serious relationship with someone else. If this is something you struggle with, challenge yourself to spend time alone discovering yourself and what you want in a partner. Better yet, challenge yourself to be single for at least a year. Yes, a year! This doesn't mean ditch your friends; keep the people who will be by your side through thick and thin around to help you discover who you are when you're not in a relationship.
Be Honest About Your Emotions, Good and Bad.
After most breakups, friends and family often encourage you to "get back out there" or "find someone who deserves you.” The fact of the matter is, it's not that simple. Dating can be stressful. You have to put yourself out there, make yourself vulnerable, try to block Dateline horror stories from your mind, and hope you have a good time.
Honesty in your emotions is extremely important when you're getting back into the dating scene. If you're having a genuinely good time with someone, acknowledge that, and see if your values align with theirs. If the qualities they have are ones you are looking for in a partner, be honest with yourself enough to open up to them and not run away scared or self-sabotage.
On the other hand, if you have a bad feeling about someone or just don't have much of a good time with them, don't waste your time trying to squeeze them into the mold you have of the perfect partner. It's okay to admit when you have feelings and when you don't. Be honest with yourself and with the other person.
Take Your Time
Give yourself some time to be single before rushing into any relationship. Get to know who you are. Once you're comfortable with yourself, you'll be able to find someone good for you more easily. Even better, you'll be a better person for your eventual partner when you find them.
Take your time in a relationship as well. Before rushing out and getting monogrammed towels and planning a trip home so they can meet the family after two weeks of dating, remind yourself that you don't—in fact, shouldn't—need to rush things. Sure this person might be great on paper, but closer inspection and time reveal things that you don't like about them.
If you are not emotionally and mentally ready to date, the results could leave you frustrated, confused, and hurt. Diving headfirst into a new relationship after a breakup can be a sign of deeper hurts and traumas. You owe yourself time to work through past wounds to get to a happier and healthier version of yourself which will lead to healthier future relationships. Changing the way you look at relationships can be daunting. You are allowing strangers to see your vulnerabilities, and that can be scary. Creating healthy relationships with yourself and others can take a lot of work on your part. If you experience trauma or deep hurt from a past relationship, or if the difficulty of the breakup has driven you to drugs or alcohol, Achieve Medical Center can help you work through those things. Our wonderful staff can provide professional and compassionate support. Call us at (619) 375-3977.