How Long Should You Wait to Date?

You broke up with your boyfriend, and you felt terrible. Then suddenly you met someone new, and he’s amazing. But it’s all happening so fast. You’re wondering if maybe it’s a little too fast. Do you really think your new guy is wonderful? Or could you be rebounding into another serious relationship when you should be taking things slow? There’s no scientific formula to figure out the right timetable. (You’ve heard the one about it takes the time you were together ÷ 2 to get over a lost love?) But experts say you might want to put on the brakes if you’ve noticed these things.

You didn’t learn from your breakup.

“If we’re on a string of breakups and refuse to take some time out to really reflect on what we are bringing to the relationship in terms of expectations, commitments, and value, or to reflect on the type of person we are choosing, then we can only expect to continue to end up where we were before,” says Dr. Suzanne Degges-White, chair and professor of counseling and counselor education at Northern Illinois University.

You don’t want to lose someone great.

You’ve just met him, but you know you’re not really ready to date again. Take a long, hard look at your past relationship before you dive in. “Skipping this important step puts you at risk of entering another relationship without much self-growth and may set you up for even more unprocessed grief in the future,” says Dr. Jill Weber, a clinical psychologist in Washington, D.C.

You’re devoting all your time to your new guy.

“Building up a life outside of romance – such as new activities, deepening friendships, self-care – can be restorative,” according to Dr. Weber. “People need time apart both to reflect and also to miss and long for the other.”

He’s nothing like your ex.

“Research suggests that when we are on the rebound, we typically see the ‘next great thing’ as more attractive in a rebound situation than we normally would,” says Dr. Degges-White. “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the superficial differences signify a perfect match just because the new person isn’t ‘just like your ex.'”

You constantly talk about your ex.

“If you spend time focusing on how the other relationship ended or how wronged you felt, you’re setting up a wall around yourself,” according to Dr. Degges-White. You may need that wall if you’re still healing from a breakup.

It’s all about the sex.

“The reason we hurt so deeply after a long-term sexual relationship ends is that our body chemistry is going through a withdrawal process,” says Dr. Degges-White. When your body is still missing the sex and cuddling, you may find a new person makes you feel more excited than they otherwise might.

The texting never ends.

“It can feel like you know this person very well, because you are communicating regularly, but yet in reality, you don’t,” says Dr. Weber. “Constant texting brings familiarity with someone, but not intimacy.”

You’re posting couple pics to prove you’re doing just fine.

“Posting continually suggests you may be more interested in proving your worth to your public or your ex than in developing a meaningful partnership with your new love interest,” adds Dr. Weber.

Read More: How to Tell If You’re Jumping Into a New Relationship Too Soon

 

 

 

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