So, you broke up, feel like you’re over it, got into dating… and BAM, instantly met someone amazing!
Sounds great, right? Except now you’re wondering, “Hmm…isn’t it too soon?”
Whether you’re confused if it’s just anxiety, fear of commitment or your intuition kicking in, this article will help you know if you’re ready for a new relationship or not.
What do the experts say?
There is no magic number
You’ve likely read or been advised to use certain formulas.
A famous one is “the number of years in the relationship divided by 2” …which makes zero sense, especially if you came out of a long-term one, say 13 years.
You’ve also likely heard somewhere between 4 to 6 months because that’s usually the time it takes for most people to heal.
If you’re a numbers person looking for a specific number, I’ve got to tell you, there is simply no set standard for getting into a new relationship.
Instead of focusing on a number, you need a good check in with yourself and check the factors to look into before diving into a new relationship. (It’s up to you now if you want to make a scorecard out of it. Come to think of it, that could be fun!)
Yes, dating is better than staying single
Studies show that those who date are generally better off than those who remain single.
That’s mainly because single people take longer to detach from their previous relationship.
Other than that, those who start dating may have better self-confidence than those who didn’t because they have lessened the uncertainty about their desirability and capacity to attract a partner.
And the most important of all, you learn about yourself while dating. It’s a good way to rediscover yourself after you’ve been in a relationship for a while.
Attachment style is the key predictor of “moving on” speed
Studies show that those with anxious and avoidant attachment styles get into a new relationship quicker.
The grief of the breakup for those with anxious attachment, makes them want to get into a new relationship faster.
While those with avoidant styles, simply experience less stress after the breakup so starting a new one is easier.
This means that the speed of getting into a new relationship isn’t always the best indicator of the long-term success of it.
And if a healthy, committed relationship is what you are looking for, building a secure attachment style is a must.
Now, this isn’t easy to do alone. You need guidance from relationship experts to make real, long-lasting changes to your attachment style.
I highly recommend having a session with a relationship coach at Relationship Hero. They’re trained professionals with years of experience in guiding people on how to become better so they can love better. I had five sessions with my coach and I must say it totally transformed my dating life.
6 factors to check to know how soon is too soon
Now that you know what experts have to say, it’s time to look inward and ask yourself some questions.
These can guide you in answering the question “How soon is too soon to get into another relationship?”
After all, it’s a case-to-case basis and you know yourself better than anyone.
1) Your relationship with your ex
How do you really feel about your ex? And by that I mean…are you totally over them?
Now, I’m not a believer that you should be 100% over them or 100% healed from the relationship before you enter another one. You usually move on WHILE you’re still dating.
But if you’re still 70%-100% in love with your ex, well…you’re not ready. You’ll just be using the other person to heal, which is totally unfair.
But if, let’s say, you only think of them fondly from time to time, then you’re probably more ready than you think.
2) Why you are getting into a new relationship
The premise here is you don’t have to be in one in order to be happy. So if you’re getting into a new one, why would you?
To feel less alone? To have great sex? To validate your worthiness of love and admiration? Vengeance?
We’re not here to judge (and neither should you), but all the research points to the importance of being really honest with yourself and getting clear on your WHY.
If you’re not sure yet, then it simply means it’s probably too soon.
If your answer is “because they’re really great and I think we match”, then it’s probably worth a try even if it seems too soon.
3) Your needs and wants in a relationship
Will long distance work for you, or do you need someone who is physically present?
What values, principles, and lifestyles are non-negotiable for you?
Is your ideal for a date dressing up to the nines and fine dining? Or camping in the woods?
Get down to the details, even to the kind of food you would like to eat together.
After a breakup, your concept of self may still be recovering. And if it was a long-term one, your needs and wants might have adjusted to fit your previous partner.
So to make sure it doesn’t happen again, getting curious again about your values, needs and wants is a great idea.
Dating may clarify this. For example, someone who eats too fast and makes you feel stressed may help you realize that relaxed dates and mealtimes are a must for you.
Getting into a new relationship before you clearly know these may set you up to shapeshift and bend in unhealthy and unconscious ways to match your new partner, just because you found them cute.
Besides, if you don’t know what you want, how are you going to get it?
4) Your patterns and dating history
Step back and examine how often you jump from one relationship to another or hang on too long instead of letting go.
There may be unhealthy and unconscious patterns you’ve been repeating that are keeping you away from your best relationship.
It can be difficult to avoid your own biases though, so perspective from a professional relationship coach can help you avoid falling into the same traps.
I mentioned Relationship Hero earlier, and I will recommend them to you again. They’re awesome coaches and they can help you analyze your patterns and give you advice on how you should approach your dating and relationships in a healthier way.
Trust me—they’re worth your time and money. If you can invest in good shoes, surely you can spare a few dollars for something that can transform your dating life.
5) Your time, energy, and resources
Let’s be honest. Dating and getting into a new relationship consumes time, energy, and even money—especially if you’re the type who likes to date lavishly.
Whether it’s casually dating or with intentions to get into one for the long haul, knowing how much time, energy, and money you are able and willing to extend will help you know how ready you are to get into a relationship.
If you really don’t have time to commit to getting to know another person and can only manage a few hours once every few weeks, then this will be a factor in the speed of the new relationship.
Not only that, it will be unfair to your new potential partner!
If you don’t know them well enough because you haven’t had the time, energy or resources to get to know them on a deeper level (and if you feel guilty for “stringing them along”, then you know it’s too soon.
6) The potential partner
After you have gotten clear on the factors from your side, you can then look at your potential partner.
Does the potential partner match your values, needs and wants? Does their capacity to give you time and energy at a level that will satisfy you?
We’re not saying it has to be a perfect match (and we’re not saying you should lower your standards ever either)…but ask yourself which compromises are fine, and which are non-negotiable?
It can also happen that the right person comes when you’re not yet ready.
If they’re worth it (as you are!), they will give you the time you need to be ready to get into a healthy space.
As the saying goes “Nothing good gets away.”
Some tips to go into a new relationship wiser
Surround yourself with models of healthy relationships
What is normalized in your circles will be the standard… so raise yours!
Seek them and go out of your comfort zone, especially older people who have long-term healthy relationships.
Make sure that you aren’t looking for perfection. Simply notice how they treat each other, how they calmly discuss differences, for instance, or how they make each other a priority.
Practice loving your authentic self
While we do need healthy doses of love and support, the capacity to get real with ourselves is a great indicator of being ready for the next relationship.
If the person they are dating hasn’t been the real you, that’s a recipe for failure.
Get comfortable with conflict
Before getting into the next relationship, get curious with yourself and observe how you navigate conflict— first with family and friends.
Do you shut down? Do you find yourself raising your voice or feeling defensive? Do you tend to nod even when you deeply disagree?
No relationship with depth or meaning is without its share of differences, so the more comfortable you are navigating conflict, the more you are ready for a new one.
So how soon is too soon?
Well…when it feels too soon.
The key here is to feel secure, safe, and relaxed as you go in.
If, for any reason, you feel rushed, anxious, pressured or stressed to get into a new relationship, breathe and step back.
As the song goes “Only fools rush in.”
With your experiences and understanding, choose to go into a new relationship wiser.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
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