Let’s face it, break-ups suck. They are emotionally, physically and financially draining. In an instant, your life changes, leaving you in a whirlwind. (If you’re getting divorced, this process is twice as long and seems to last forever).
Everyday is a roller coaster of emotions, you’re in a fog, and you know your functioning and breathing, but not sure how. Yet, almost immediately your friends are pushing you to start dating again, as if it’s the cure. But I beg you not to listen to them and this is why:
The best way to get over someone is not to get under someone else; it’s to clean up your mess. I don’t mean the dishes in the sink or pile of laundry on the floor (but while we’re at it – could ya? And those sweat pants you’re wearing; time for them to go to the laundry).
I mean get past the hurt, anger and sadness. Settle things with your ex; have whatever closure it is you need.
Go pick up your stuff, sign papers, get your new place, whatever it takes to actually be done. If you don’t do this you will end up dragging the new person into your emotional mess. They end up “paying”/getting blamed for the things your ex has done and will leave. Or you wake up one day realizing you are still not over your ex and not ready for this. And now you’re in the middle of another break-up. Rebounding is for sports, not relationships.
Misery does not love company. When you go on a date the other person is expecting, at the very least, a nice time and good conversation, the only tears there should be are tears of laughter. This is their free time away from their life/work/family situations; they don’t want to hear about yours.
It’s a date, not therapy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone on a date (to be more specific – a first date – sometimes the first time we’ve ever met), and listened to guys drone on and on about there ex/divorce/woe-is-me story. There have even been tears, not mine from boredom, his over the situation! It’s not attractive. It doesn’t make them feel bad for you. There will be no pity sex. There will be date leaving – quickly – annoyed that you wasted their time, never wanting to see you again.
And you, rejected, feeling even worse, back in those smelly sweat pants, missing your ex even more. So, since your date isn’t paid by your health insurance, save the complaining for your friends or a therapist.
“Revenge sex”, does not exist. How is sleeping with someone you just met revenge on your ex? If your ex wanted to sleep with you – they would be.
“Revenge sex” is a one-night stand your friends talked you into hoping that if you get laid you’ll stop complaining to them. But all it does is leave you feeling empty/rejected, still complaining.
So how do you know when you are ready to date?
There is no way to say how long it should take or rule to go by (but if you dated for 2 months and 6 months later you’re still not over it, you should probably speak to a professional). You need to let the grieving happen and learn from the past. Then when you are out of the break-up fog and:
- You don’t think about your ex everyday
- Have stopped counting how long it’s been since you broke up (if you can break it down to minutes… not ready)
- You can talk about something you did together without saying things like “my ex and I did that – back when he/she loved me”
- Can have a conversation without bringing them up at all
- Can say their name without a nasty comment (my ex that !&$%#) or bursting into tears
- No longer complain to your friends about them
- Won’t drag the new person into your emotional mess
You are ready to date again.