9 Signs You’re Not Ready To Date After A Breakup

After a breakup, you’ll go through a lot of complicated emotions, including two that can make the recovery process worse: the one that makes you feel like you and your ex are in a competition as to who can move on the fastest and the one that urges you to be with someone else because you can’t be alone. These are normal, but also not exactly healthy. Running into the arms of a new person before you’re ready is not the way to get over someone. You’ll either end up treating them as a rebound, or just hurting yourself even more because you’re not allowing yourself to properly heal. It can take a long time to feel truly ready to date after a breakup – and sometimes it’s hard to figure out.

First of all: Don’t rush this process! It’s not a race. You have time. You’re not going to be alone forever – there are millions of people in this world! Just based on chance and probability alone, you will move on and find love again and it doesn’t have to be right now. Give your heart the time and space it takes to regenerate the broken bits and heal itself. Not all breakups are the same, so you probably won’t recover in the way you were used to before. All that said, maybe you’re thinking, “How am I supposed to know if I’m ready for a new boo?” If these nine things sound like you, you probably aren’t ready to start dating again after your last breakup.

You're Looking For What You Had Before

If you find yourself searching for someone very similar to your ex - not in looks, but in personality - hold up a minute. Yes, some people have a specific type, but looking for someone who acts like your ex is a bad idea. It could lead to the same things that didn't work out with this past relationship. For example, if you just ended things with a man-child who hates commitment and you find yourself lusting after a new man-child who hates commitment, you're doing it wrong. If learning how to be in a relationship with a new person is a little too much and you're only in the mood for the comfort of what you know, you're definitely not ready to start dating again.

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Someone Turning You Down Will Crush You

Nothing says unfair expectations quite like expecting the next person you date to love you forever. Rejection is just a part of dating, and you need to think honestly about how you would feel if someone turned you down or if things didn't work out. Would you be heartbroken? If, after a first date, you're going to be completely devistated if this person doesn't want to see you again, you clearly aren't ready to date. If you know your response to rejection is a depression spiral of self sabbotaging "What's wrong with me?" thoughts, what's wrong with you is that you aren't ready yet - and that's fine.

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You Still Think About Your Ex Constantly

This goes beyond walking past someone who smells like them (the worst) and thinking of them when you hear their favorite song. You actively think of them on your own and maybe even miss them a little. Even if you're mentally conjuring up tiny versions of your ex and daydreaming about stepping on them like a giant, that still counts as thinking of them. If you want to date someone else, you at least need to clear up some brain space so there's room to let someone else in, even if it's for just one date. Look, this doesn't happen overnight, but when it's been a few days and you think "Oh, I haven't thought about [That Person] in a long time," and are pleasantly surprised by your freedom of thought, then you might be ready to start dating again.

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You Make Your Happiness The Other Person's Responsibility

If you're thinking, "If only I could find someone else, I would be happy," then... no. You're not ready. That's essentially making the new person responsible for making you feel better, and that isn't fair. There's no magic New Relationship that's going to save you from your sadness with the power of true love's first kiss and you need to let go of the notion that your happiness can only be unlocked with someone else's special key. Be fair to your new partner. Nobody wants to feel like they're responsible for your emotional stability and well being. It's a lot to ask of someone, not to mention that it's totally unrealistic. Healing a broken heart isn't a one stop shop, and that shop isn't another person or relationship. Properly find happiness on your own before you think about getting into a relationship with anyone else.

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You're Just Looking For A Band-Aid

Well, you need a significant other in order to properly function as a human being, and clearly the position is vacant, so get with it, universe. Tick, tock. Anything to smooth over and temporarily heal this gaping chasm in your heart would really do the trick. You aren't looking for a person to share your life with or at least just spend some time getting to know, you're looking for a temporary fix for a large problem.

I'm calling them band aids, but you can probably guess that I'm talking about rebound hook ups or rebound shallow af relationships. It's not a proud thing to admit, but sometimes you just need a good rebound to get on your feet again. Be honest with your rebound! Let them know where you are and what you want. Don't make any false promises because it makes you feel good to play at being in a relationship.

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You Pretend Your Breakup Didn't Affect You

One coping technique is to pretend you're totally fine and strong and like nothing is bothering you. It's not ideal. You can be strong and heartbroken at the same time. Let your feelings happen to you. Squishing it down doesn't make it disappear, it just festers and will rise back up when you least expect it. You don't have to pretend you're fine if you aren't fine. Even if you were hurt, got out of an abusive relationship, and literally hate your ex (and rightfully so), you have to take the time to greive your relationship and mend, whatever that means to you. It might not be sadness you're feeling. It could be anger, disappointment, whatever, but feel it. Be effected by your break up. It's totally okay. Being the opposite of that doesn't miraculously make you well adjusted and "over it."

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You're Mostly Looking For A Distraction

Anything so you aren't alone with your thoughts or crying. Anything to get your brain off this person so you feel close to who you used to be before this relationship, whoever that was. Instead of actually dealing with your problems, you're plowing through actually dealing with them, and going straght to packing your schedule with people and activities so you're literally too busy to grapple with the fallout from the end of your relationship. Moving on doesn't mean doing all of the things, moving on is moving on. Moving on isn't "just getting over it," it's dealing with it, and coming out on the other side. Dating shouldn't be a distraction, dating comes after you've properly healed after a break up.

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You're Still Super Bitter

Yes! Scream about how much your ex sucks and how they're a human dumpster fire. Let it all out. It's healthy and totally necessary... but you still need to move past this stage if you want to start dating again. Pretty awkward to be in a relationship with someone when they're still getting a profound amount of joy from hating their ex, don't you think? If you're still on the "Screw them! What's wrong with me? Why don't they love me? They're just so messed up. Who do they think they are?" train of thought, dating isn't going to be the best thing for you right now. Again, being bitter is all a part of healing and is totally essential, but you can't combine or skip steps. Even though this feels like the ultimate moving on thought to have, it's not.

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You Fundamentally Hate And Fear Being Single

Okay, it's not always awesome, but being single isn't the worst thing in the world. Still, there are some people who treat it like a fate worse than death and maybe you're one of those people. After being in a relationship, maybe "starting over" and being single again feels like the worst possible thing to ever happen to you, but trust that it's not the end of the world. If you have a lot of negative thoughts and hang ups about being single, what it means, and what you think about yourself because of your new relationship status, you are for sure not ready to date again. Fearing and hating being single puts you in the mindset of desperately needing to pair up or... idk, die? See how extreme and nonsensical it is? Let go of your fears and judgements about being single and actually settle into being solo for a second before you think about dating again.

Source: iStock

When did you feel ready to date after a break up? Was it when you expected? How did you know you were ready? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.


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