How soon is too soon to start dating again after a break-up?

Everyone will be different in terms of how the cope with a relationship break-up. Some of you will be very resilient and bounce back quickly from this setback. For others, you’ll be devastated and you’ll require time to make meaning out of everything and to heal from the pain.

So if you’re currently single and you’ve come out of a relationship break-up, when do you know that you’re ready to date again? How soon is too soon to be getting back on the horse and trying to meet someone special? The key is to look at your current thoughts, feelings and behaviours. 1) Consider your mindset After a break-up you may experience a negative mindset. Check in with your thoughts and evaluate where you’re at. Have you become cynical, bitter, self-critical and pessimistic about your love life? Or are you optimistic, positive and keen to get things moving forward? Jump back in when you’re thinking in an upbeat way about dating and your possible chances of finding love. 2) Check in with your feelings Before jumping into the dating game again make sure you check in with your emotional state. Are you feeling strong, confident, excited, positive and hopeful? Or do you experience anxiety, flat mood, hopelessness, insecurity and doubt? Your feelings will tell you a lot about your overall readiness for a new relationship. Jump back in when you’re feeling good about yourself and your romantic future. 3) Evaluate self-sabotage Your behaviors will reveal a lot about whether you’re ready or not to get back in the game. If you’re avoiding social events, letting go of your health and fitness, neglecting your appearance, and being angry and stand-offish with people then you’re not ready. On the other hand, if you’re getting out there, looking after your appearance and health and being open to meeting new people and having new experiences – then there’s a good chance you’re ready to start dating again!

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship psychologist, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (

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