Dating or Waiting?


    A heartbroken reader who broke up with the man she thought she was going to marry three months ago asks how long she should wait before dating again.

    Dear Miriam,

    Three months ago, I broke up with the man I thought I was going to marry. I'm totally heartbroken, but I also want to meet someone else and get on with my life, including getting married. How long should I wait before I start dating again?

    Dating or Waiting

    Dear Dating,

    It's been so long since anyone's submitted a dating question, I was beginning to think that everyone had gone and gotten themselves happily coupled while I was off answering Passover questions over the past month. While I'm sorry to hear about your situation, it's also kind of a relief to know I'm not out of  a job. 

    The fact that you're self aware enough to know that there could be legitimate reasons to wait — and that you're weighing those considerations against your desire to move on — is a really healthy sign. If you'd said that you're definitely ready to jump back in, that could be an indicator of denial, whereas your question is pretty grounded and realistic. So I'd say you're off to a good start in terms of getting back in the game!

    I imagine that breaking up with such a serious boyfriend comes with the added difficulties of figuring out how to relate to mutual friends, and possibly even moving into a new apartment. So there are some built-in reasons why socializing could be especially problematic right now. Even so, your first step is to go out and have fun, possibly with the goal of meeting someone new but definitely with the shorter term goals of regaining confidence, reestablishing yourself in your social circles as a single person and deciding how you want to present yourself in this new phase of your life.

    Once you've tested the waters, but before you go on a date, figure out what information about yourself you will lead with that has nothing to do with past relationships. If you can't come up with anything, you're not ready to date. I also would encourage you not to tell a prospective date that you've just been through a bad break-up. 

    Keep asking yourself what you're going to lead with as potential dates come your way. When you have a great answer completely unrelated to your ex, go for it. That might be today or it might be next month or even three months from now. Give yourself permission to take as long, or as short, as feels right.

    Good luck and be well,