How Early Can I Start Dating After Ending a Bad Relationship?

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Some relationships boost your self-confidence and leave you looking forward to life together while others leave you dreading the next phone call. While ending a bad relationship may bring relief and a boost in self-esteem, you may also worry about how soon is too soon to move on. While there are no easy answers for such a question, there may be signs that you are ready to start dating again after ending a bad relationship.

The Ex Factor

Whenever you are alone, your thoughts drift to your ex and what he may be doing. In conversation, your statements drift to him and your feelings for him. If your daily life still revolves around your past relationship and your feelings about it, it may be too soon to get back into dating, according to "Psychology Today" licensed clinical social worker Susan Pease Gadoua. If new partners are compared to your ex or you hope to create that your new romance will progress the same way as your last one did, it may be time to put the brakes on dating.

Your Emotions

The breakup may have left you feeling emotionally scarred, and the desire to rebound into another relationship for comfort and security can be pressing, according to the Two of Us article, "Am I Ready to Date Again? After the Breakup." If you still feel grief-stricken, depressed or anxious, give yourself time before pursuing another relationship. If loneliness, revenge, or avoiding the single life is your primary motivation for dating, you may want to wait a while longer before putting yourself back out there.

Ready to Go!

If your ex returned tomorrow to resume the relationship, and you know your answer would be "no," it may be a sign that you are emotionally ready to date again. Understanding and accepting that a new partner may be different from your ex can also be a positive sign, according to "Psychology Today" associate editor Margarita Tartakovsky in the article "6 Steps to Finding New Love." If you have processed your grief and returned to your usual daily life, it may be time to call up that special someone for a date.

Other Concerns

There is no set timeframe for recovering from a breakup, even if others impose those rules on you, according to Tartakovsky in the "Psych Central" article, "6 Steps to Finding New Love." If you feel that you are taking an unusually long time to recover from a split, and it is affecting your ability to get back into dating, a counselor or therapist may be able to help you with your grief.