If you were lucky enough to be in a meaningful relationship, but then unlucky enough for it to end badly, then you likely understand all too well just how upsetting the entire experience can be. In the raw aftermath of what’s happened, the idea of simply “moving on” can feel like an impossible task.
In the meantime, your friends and family will likely be bombarding you with advice, the most common of which can be expressed with sayings such as:
- Get back out there
- Plenty more fish in the sea
- Get back on the horse
- Meet someone new and move on
But is that really possible? And even if it is possible, is it really a good idea? Can dating someone new help you to move on from a previous relationship? This is something we are looking at more closely in today’s blog.
Can Dating Help You Move On?
For some, dating someone new after a breakup can indeed be a key ingredient in moving on, but for many others it is a different story. It’s hard to say whether it works for everyone, but it seems more likely that one would find dating someone new too soon after a breakup something of a hindrance rather than a help.
Therefore, it’s critically important that one consider both sides of the idea, and reflect on how these ideas apply to their own situation and personality. Moreover, it requires that one can be brutally honest with oneself about how they are feeling about the breakup, and how they are dealing with the feelings of resentment, anger, fear, and sadness that are all common features of such events between couples.
So, while dating can help you move on, whether or not it’s a good way to do so, as our blog title asks, is another issue. In the sections below, we’ll take a look at the potential benefits and drawbacks of using dating as a way to move on. If you reflect on these and apply them to your own situation honestly, then you should be able to determine if dating could be a viable path for you.
Ways Dating Can Help
Let’s start with the positives of using dating as a way to move on. While advice often thrown at people who have recently been through a breakup — Get back on the horse; plenty of fish in the sea, etc. — can sound rather cliche, it does still have at least a grain of truth to it.
Rediscovering Your Confidence
Going out on a date with someone new can be just the shot in the arm that you need to get confident again in the aftermath of a breakup. Sometimes, a breakup can leave you feeling hopeless, useless, inadequate and worse. In those circumstances where someone has unfortunately made you feel like you are worth very little, or even nothing, dating can indeed be a good way to rediscover that you are a strong and attractive person that others want to be around.
Understanding There Are Others Out There
For those whose breakup has left them feeling as though they have just lost the only person they’ll ever love, dating can offer a critical insight. The cliche might say “there’s plenty more fish in the sea,” but the power of discovering that truth can be just what you need after a bad breakup. Let’s say you go on a date with someone you’ve met that you genuinely like. It doesn’t go entirely to plan, but you both decide you’ll stay friends, and you walk away with the most important message of all — moving on IS possible.
Reigniting the Spark
Breaking up with someone after being together for a long time can be particularly difficult to get past, and there are many who believe that after such a long time, no other relationship would be possible, not for some time at least. You might even think the idea is impossible at this stage. In these situations, going on a date even without any expectations for it to turn into something serious can be an excellent therapy, and a huge step forward in your process of moving on. The excitement and electricity of a first date can reignite that passion for finding someone truly special.
Getting a New “Pursuit”
If your breakup has left you pining for an ex boyfriend or girlfriend, unable to get them out of your mind even when you think you’re past the initial shock of the split, then a good date with someone new can help. Dating can be a way to show that you can devote your attention and passion to a new person and genuinely enjoy it, and even get something real and meaningful from it.
Ways Dating Can Hinder
As a way of moving on from a breakup, however, dating is not necessarily a good move, and for those people there will certainly be a noticeable downside.
You Compare a New Date to Your Ex
In some cases, people jump back into the dating game far too quickly, and end up not just hurting themselves, but also others around them. One way that this can happen is when you go on a date with someone new, but find yourself simply comparing everything they say and do with your ex. You might even vocalize these things, talking about your ex’s interests, feelings, and whatnot. This is not the time or place, and indicates that you have not properly processed the raw feelings left after your split. If this is you, then you need more time before getting back into the dating world.
It Slows Down or Even Resets Your Processing of Feelings
Following on from the previous point, a breakup tends to leave many raw and sensitive feelings at the surface — anger, resentment, bitterness, sadness, regret, and more. These things take time to process, and in the meantime can leave you vulnerable to emotional outbursts, breakdowns, and other behavior where you take out your unprocessed emotions on others. When emotions are raw and you have not had the time to properly reflect on everything after a breakup, it’s just not the right time to start dating, and it will be more hindrance than help.
You Might Just Be “Using” Others
When thinking about dating as a way to move on from a previous relationship, one should also consider carefully their chief motivation. If moving on is genuinely what you want to do, then dating might be a positive step, but if you’re motivated by trying to make an ex jealous, or simply trying to find anyone to just physically replace your ex in your current line of sight, then you should think again. These are the kinds of motivations that can be characterized as wrongfully using others to try and get some meaningless end for oneself. This is neither healthy for you, nor fair on the others you use in the process.
Consider Your Next Move Carefully
So, when you’ve considered these two sides of the spectrum and thought about your own situation, which camp do you feel you fall into more? If you have had time to process your feelings and you’re sincere about using dating as a way to accomplish the next positive steps to moving on from a previous relationship, then you’ll likely find success in doing so. For those who still harbor those negative emotions and suspect they might be considering dating as a kind of “quick fix” for something, they should think again.
In all cases, one should always consider their next move carefully when it comes to dating. Do so and you’ll find little if no regret in pursuing your next great relationship.