The relationships we thought would never end did. All the hopes we had of spending forever with someone were crushed and so were we. We had a period of rejection-induced-loathing-filled-misery. We sought all the advice there is to seek. We replayed the breakup and the events leading to it again and again in our heads, picking apart where we went wrong. We spun in mental circles and considered every possibility, but came to the same conclusion: we had to move on. We had to date again. We had to figure out a way to let down our defenses and allow someone back in. Here are some words of wisdom from those of us who have been there. Seven ways to know it’s time to get back in the game.
1. When you can talk and think about something other than your ex. It’s probably not going to bode well for you if you can’t hang out with anybody else without obsessing over your former flame. From everything to the new people they’re dating to the ugly shirt they wore out last night, like, did you see it? I’m so glad I’ve moved on… if you still feel the need to discuss it, you need some more time to accept it. We call this baggage. Don’t bring it with you.
2. You had your rebound. Once that’s over, you can probably move on to more legitimate things. No offense to anyone who has had a rebound relationship work out for the long haul, but anybody you get with immediately after a hard breakup usually isn’t someone you’re really interested in. You would have been dating them in the first place.
3. When you find someone you are really, actually, oh-my-God-you’re-so-awesome-and-attractive interested in. Not for the sake of getting over your ex, but just because you honestly like them. There may not be a more plausible way to know it’s time to move on other than when you find some rockin’ new person. Especially if the thought, wow, maybe things didn’t work out for a reason, crosses your mind.
4. You’re not comparing this new person to your ex. Okay, well, you’re not doing it very much. If you feel like nobody can live up to your ex, you’re probably not going to find anybody that will. Wait until you do feel that you can, and you just might.
5. You’re not going back and forth or fighting with your ex anymore. I’m of the belief that hating someone is just an extension of actually loving them, but not being able to cope with the feelings that accompany losing them. You really cannot move on to bigger, better and more date-able things until you’ve closed and locked that door.
6. Your therapist tells you it’s really time to get a move on. If even your therapist says it’s time to date someone else, you, my friend, are approaching certain readiness. Your therapist won’t lie to you. Usually.
7. When you’ve given yourself enough time to mourn the loss of someone significant in your life, and come to terms with losing them. Don’t leave unfinished business before you get into your next relationship. It will come back to haunt you. I promise.
The Thought Catalog Dating Playbook is brought to you by Silver Linings Playbook, an Academy Award® winning romantic drama about getting back on your feet after falling apart.
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