Becoming Single Again


How soon is too soon to start dating someone after a breakup?

A girl I'm friends with, who just got out of a relationship, asked me an interesting question. She broke up with her boyfriend of 1 yr, about 2 weeks ago. A different guy asked her out and she said yes and they went out this past weekend. Her ex found about it and got really pissed off at her because he thought it was disrespectful to him for her to date that soon.

She asked me..."is he right?"..I didn't really know. I mean technically, they broke up, so he doesn't have a right to say anything about her dating life. But on the flip side, if I was in his shoes, I can totally understand. I would've felt pretty disrespected.

What do you think? How soon is it ok to start dating new people? Is there a formula based on how long the relationship lasted? (someone once told me something like that)


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Answers 2 | 4

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oohlookasquirrelover a year ago

Answer 1 of 6

been there

If you've just been broken up with, you probably won't feel too great hearing that your ex has already found someone new. It might feel like your ex only dumped you because he/she found someone better and decided to upgrade. If you haven't gotten over your ex, it's going to hurt to see them with someone new.

That being said, I think it's really stupid to assign a number of days or weeks or months as "relationship mourning time" during which neither person should date anyone new. After the death of a relationship, sometimes the best thing to do is go out and find someone to make you forget about your ex instead of sitting at home alone because you feel like it's not right to date yet.

What do you owe your ex if you're moving on? I'd avoid forcing my ex to see me with my new boyfriend if it's possible. If your ex works at a coffee shop, don't take your new date there and make out in front of your ex. Don't brag about your great new relationship in the presence of your ex. Let your ex get over you without being forced to watch you with someone else. But ditch the mourning period. After all, the dump-er probably agonized over the end of the relationship BEFORE they had the breakup talk. The person who was dumped may not realize this.

I have been guilty of "moving on too fast" in the eyes of an ex. I was young and stupid and would handle the situation differently if I could do it over again. I dumped a guy I had been dating for 2 years, and the next weekend I started seeing someone else. Word got back to the ex through a mutual friend and I was called all sorts of nasty names. But that new guy is still with me to this day (over 7 years later) and there's no way I would have waited any longer than I did to start dating again. If I could do it again, I would have dumped the ex months earlier, when I realized that the relationship wasn't making me happy anymore and didn't have staying power. Instead, I let it drag on until I met someone who provided the kick in the pants that I needed to get off my butt and end a dead relationship.

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Studley Do Right

Studley Do Rightover a year ago

Answer 2 of 6

Whenever you personally feel comfortable is the right time

Of course her ex got pissed and of course we all would if we were in his position. That's just the nature of a shitty breakup. However, that does not mean you have to sit around for weeks, months, maybe years, waiting for it to be "ok" by your ex's standards to see somebody new.

If you are single then you should have the right to start seeing people whenever YOU feel comfortable and not whenever someone else, especially your ex, feels comfortable.

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ArgGuy89over a year ago

Answer 3 of 6

Why generalize?

First of all, I can understand that a person may feel really crappy about the fact that their ex has moved on so quickly after them. In a way, it's a bit of a hard blow to take.

Yet, at the same time, if you really care for a person (including your ex) then I would really try to get rid of your ego and start caring more about seeing them happy rather than hope that they are miserable without you for as long as possible. No, I'm not saying it is easy (it certainly wasn't for me), but at the same time, if the relationship meant anything to you, contrary to "popular belief", hope that they can get on with their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible.

It's a real ego boost to have another person still care about you for a long time afterward. It's a great method for validation that reminds you of how special you are. Please realize that this is a sign that you are being NEEDY AND DEPENDENT on others.

What is my conclusion? You can start dating as soon as you break up. Not saying this is easy, convenient or common, but once you break up, the unwritten contract in the relationship is broken. Thus, both people are free to date whoever they want, as soon as they want. What legitimate claim do you have as an ex that the other person should remain single and not date for the next few months? I would argue that it is more disrespectful to spite or get pissed off at your ex about them trying to get on with their lives and try to be happy, than it is to start dating after being in a long term relationship.

Ok, this was a bit long, I know, but I stand by my point. As a good exboyfriend/girlfriend, you should want to see other people happy, no matter what happened? How would you feel if your own ex got mad that you were dating someone you really liked after the relationship was over? I can assure you that you would not stop seeing the person out of "respect". If there was any reason, it would be because you want to sort yourself out and your feelings before jumping into something you are not ready.

In this case, defining a minimum time to get into a new relationship is just absolutely pointless because it's a "one size fits all solution". If you are ready, you are ready. If you are not, then don't. But don't let someone else define that for you. It's a personal decision.

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Albedoover a year ago

Answer 4 of 6

It is a free world

She has the right to date who she likes whenever she likes and he has the right to get mad about whatever actions he may find offensive. Everyone has the right to deal with a breakup however they like, and if that includes going on dates with other people that is just fine. The person who I see getting the most hurt in this situation is the guy she went on a date with because of the time it takes for those old feelings to settle.

Also everyone is going to need different amounts of time so any rules that work for other people are likely to be wildly inaccurate as a general rule to be applied across the board.

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ilikethisover a year ago

Answer 5 of 6

My formula for when it's ok to date after a breakup

First of all, I agree with the boyfriend in your story. 2 weeks is way too soon to start dating. You need some time off to gather yourself, sort've...pick up the pieces and put yourself back together. Unless it was an absolutely terrible break, here is my formula/rule for dating after break ups.

>1yr : 1 month
Then for every year, you wait an additional month to date, so...
2yrs: 2months
3yrs: 3 months
4yrs: 4 months

and so on and so forth...

BTW, I'm referring to going on dates. Getting into another relationship takes more time.

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Strongfpover a year ago

Answer 6 of 6

It's a slap in the face..

It kinda shows that what they had was really nothing at all. If she has already been feeling like she has moved on enough to go on a date with another guy than what was the point of her dating this other guy in the first place? Did they have any feelings at all?
I highly doubt she will be going far with this other guy, I think it was just more of a rebound, obviously, dating other people right after a breakup is never a good idea, not only will your ex find out and get really, really pissed off, but you will have feelings for your ex that soon.

I don't care how bad the breakup was or is, feelings will still be lingering, the good times will be floating the persons head. so allowing time to heal is 100% needed. Unless you left someone for another person, than don't start dating right away, I would give it at least a month of no contact before you start dating.

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