How Soon Do You Start Dating
After A Break Up?
By Frank Kermit
"How much time should I wait before I start dating again?" is a common question that I get asked from someone that has just recently gotten dumped, and still suffering a broken heart. I always tell them the same thing: none. The sooner you start getting out there, the better. The shock, and startling surprise from people sets in, and then a calm comes over them when the realization also sets in that they are free to do what they want.
If you are going to break up with someone, you had better mean it. You had better be sure that you do not want a future with that person, and that you are ready to hear about your soon to be ex partner having a new life with someone else.
Losing your temper, or feeling too overwhelmed are not solid excuses for a break up. If you break up after every fight, and then get back together after every cooling off period, all you are doing is turning a repeating behavior pattern into a solid habit that is going to take effect even after you get more serious in the future if you somehow end up living with, married or having children with that person.
On again, off again relationships are notorious for intermediate flings and love affairs that "do not count" as cheating because the partners were "on a break" at the time. The problem with this pattern is that, although it may start as a legitimate attempt to break up, or a mistake in letting anger gets the best of you, it can easily turn into a means of casually breaking off your primary relationship, not because there is anything wrong with it, but because you need an excuse to try to date someone new without it technically being cheating. One of the worst potential consequences is that this kind of repeating behavior pattern is hard to break even when you finally end up in a great relationship with someone totally new, as your old standard behavior pattern is to break up instead of fix the problem head on. Long-term relationship success is not for quitters.
Some break ups turn out to be nothing more than emotionally abusive tactics employed by manipulative toxic people. These manipulators usually target emotionally vulnerable people who have inherit deep rooted fears of abandonment, and a manipulator will time a dramatic break up to lay siege on a vulnerable person's need for security at the worst possible time, in order to put that victim into a state of hyper-panic. This places the victim in a zone where the emotions are so overwhelming that the victim then agrees to just about anything as a means to sooth their anxiety. The manipulator's tactic is complete when the manipulator comes back just before the traumatic effects start to subside in the victim. This allows for the manipulator to capitalize on enforcing the victim's attachment to staying with the abuser at all costs to stave off deep emotional hardships. For this reason, when someone breaks up with you, and assuming this is a routine occurrence, the BEST ADVICE in such a break up dynamic is YOU NEVER TAKE THE BREAK UP ARTIST BACK.
Dating other people right away is a reminder that your ex partner is just one of many people you can potentially connect with. It is not about how attracted you are to your new date it is about getting back into the habit of realizing your ex is not the only person out there.
So the next time you are thinking about temporarily breaking up with your partner as a tactic to "keep'em on their toes", you may want to re-think that strategy. All you are doing is giving someone that has been waiting for you to step out of the picture long enough, to make a move and make your ex, his or her new partner...And rightfully so. Breaking up with someone is not "a tactic". It is a choice you make, and be sure that you can live with the consequences of saying goodbye.
In my personal philosophy, everyone has the right to seek out a soul mate without interference. When you break up with someone, your ex has that right to seek out someone new that could be his or her next soul mate. Getting in their way is simply unethical.
One very key understanding to dating after a break up, is that you are ONLY suppose to -date- and not get into serious relationships right away. It is normal to be a little emotionally vulnerable after a nasty break up, and seeking comfort in someone new is very OK. As long as you understand, and the person you are dating is also made to understand, that due to your recent break up, getting into a serious commitment is not permissible at this time. Date each new person no more than once a week, and date as many people as you can.
One last dating tip: In the event that the person who left you does come back begging to reconcile, and in the event you want to give that person a chance, the only way to make it work for the long term is that you only date your ex again once a week to start off, and have your ex earn your trust, commitment and TIME all over again. They have to start at the bottom all over again just like any one new you are dating. If you simply pick up where you left off, all you are encouraging is for your re-partner to break up with you again and again when the fancy strikes. That is not love. That is just loopy.
FRANK KERMIT MA
EXPERT RELATIONSHIP COACH
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