Getting through a break-up isn’t easy. Moving on after a relationship isn’t easy. The first date after a break-up? Definitely not easy. It shows that you are ready (or are trying to be ready) to move on. Sometimes we don’t want to admit to ourselves that we’re ready to move on and be done with our last relationship for good. Other times, we want to believe we’re ready when we’re not quite there yet.

I have thought of a few questions that I think are important for deciding whether or not it’s time for you to move on and go on a date with a new person. Whether you’ve been debating meeting a Tinder babe for coffee or a guy from work has asked you out, these are important things to keep in mind before RSVPing yes.

Have you healed?

The first question I would start with is “have I healed yet?” If the answer is no, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not time for a date. What it means is that you probably won’t be ready to jump into a relationship. If you haven’t healed properly, it’s important to make that clear when you’re dating. Sure, it can come across like an excuse that people throw around when they are afraid of commitment. But it’s better to be honest and explain your situation than to give out mixed signals to this new potential bae. Let them know where you’re at and go from there.

Will you be comparing the whole time?

Ah, the biggest dilemma in my mind about going on a first date with a new guy is the fact that the poor new guy has no chance if your ex is still on your mind. This is especially crucial if the break-up was one-sided or you’re the heartbroken one. Be honest with yourself about whether you will give this new person a real chance. If the new guy tells you he likes baseball and your ex liked baseball, it doesn’t mean that he will also cheat on you. You get my drift? Decide whether or not you can give this new person a chance or recognize that maybe you’re still a little too jaded to do that yet.

Are you excited/nervous/anxious?

These are the good signs. If you’re a bit anxious and nervous, but there is excitement there, listen to that feeling. If all you feel is dread, listen to that feeling and don’t push yourself. Your body knows what you need and it will give you the signs. Fear will be a natural feeling when you’re putting yourself out there again. I would fully expect to feel nervous before a first date, but I would hope to feel some excitement about the possibility of meeting someone interesting. If that isn’t there, I say give yourself a little more time to heal.

Why do you want to start dating now?

Is it out of obligation or pressure from friends? Is it because you’ve heard that your ex is dating? Or is it because you’re genuinely interested in seeing what can happen with this guy/girl? Figuring out your true reason for moving on is a good indication of whether you’re ready or not. Don’t feel pressure from other people to move on before your ready. You know yourself better than anyone else. It’s okay to move at your own pace.

Are you rebounding?

I’m neither for or against rebounding. I can see the pros and cons of it. I think it’s helpful though to know when you’re doing it and to be fair to the person you’re rebounding with. It’s not like you’re going to tell someone that they’re your rebound, but I think it’s important to make sure you’re on the same page about commitment.

Are you ready for a date?

This is the time to be really honest with yourself. Have you given yourself time to grieve? (Ready!) Are you open enough to see what’s out there? (Ready!) Are you still talking to your ex/hoping you can get back together? (Not ready!)

At the end of the day, a date is just a date and there is no commitment necessary there. If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to move on, meeting up with someone new casually will probably give you an idea of whether you’re ready or not.

Trust your gut and do what feels right to you. Just be sure you’re taking care of yourself first and foremost, because you and your well-being matter.

 

Do you have any advice for moving on after a break-up? Let’s chat in the comments!

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