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When Should I Start Dating Again After A Breakup? 

By: Dr. Aesha

This question came in from my Facebook Page:

“After a breakup how long do you suggest waiting to start dating again?” 


This is a great question, but you might not like my answer: It depends. 

I don’t know important information about your situation like, were you in a marriage, long-term relationship or a new relationship that was just getting off the ground? How long were you together? Why did you breakup? How long ago did you break up? 

Your answers to these questions determine your availability. I’m not just talking about whether you have time to date. I’m talking about if you have room in your heart and soul for a new relationship. You should start dating again after a breakup ONLY when you are emotionally available for someone new. 

In other words, when you’re over it. 

How do you know if you’re over it? 

  • You wouldn’t want to get back together with your ex, even if he bought a ring, hired Eric Bonet to serenade you, and surprised you with a proposal in front of your friends and family 
  • You can talk about your ex to another man without telling all the details of what he did to you
  • You don’t cry (or cuss) when you think of your ex
  • You’re clear about the role you played in the breakup 
  • You can see the positive lessons from your last relationship and you’re willing to grow from them

Now this isn’t a complete list of signs you’re over your ex. There are a ton of other factors that can affect how relationship-ready you are and whether you should get back on the dating scene. Things like,

How long were there problems in the relaitonship? 

Did you have kids together?  

Do you still talk to your ex?

What was the reason for the breakup?

Who intiated it? 

You really have to do an honest self-check here. Your mind could say “I’m ready,” and your heart might say, “Not now.” If your heart is not ready, you won’t have the emotional resources to give to anyone else. Dating would be a waste of time for you and unfair to the people you meet who may be looking for somoene who is ready for love. 

I dated a guy who wasn’t over his ex. How did I know? Because he told me. On the drive to meet his family for the first time, he told me, ‘By the way, everybody loved my ex-girlfriend and they were more upset about the breakup than I was. If they’re acting funny toward you it’s probably because they’re hoping I get back together with my her.”

I felt some kind of way about his “warning.” Why would you even say something like that to a girl you’re taking home to meet your mama? When his family fell in love with me (and no one treated me funny) I realized this was his way of telling me he still loved his ex. 

My suspcisions were confirmed when he later told me, “If my ex called me today and wanted to get back together, I don’t know if I’d choose you.” 

Maybe you’re in a better place than my ex was and you’re ready to date. Or maybe you’re stuck in your pain and the thought of dating again scares you. No matter what, you need to do the work on yourself so you can date with joy and confidence again.

What do you think? When do you feel ready to date again after a breakup?