If you’re like most people after a breakup, you probably need some time to process and regroup before heading back into the trenches of modern dating. For others, however, the solution seems to be getting right back out there without skipping a beat (looking at you, serial daters). While not everyone needs months to cry with Taylor Swift’s breakup ballads in the background, there are some reasons to be cautious about dating someone who just got out of a relationship.
Sleeping alone again or making a weekly farmers market trip solo can be really difficult after a relationship ends. Even if a breakup was hard, though, it’s still a natural response to want companionship when things end with a partner, says professional matchmaker and dating coach Anika Walker. “After going through a breakup we all ask ourselves the same question: When am I going to get back out there and date?” she says.
With this in mind, it’s understandable that you might be pursued by a recently single person — but should you date someone who just got out of a relationship? Read on for all the expert advice you’ll need to consider before you take the leap.
What To Consider Before Dating Someone Who Just Got Out Of A Relationship
When you immediately hit it off with someone only to find out that their last relationship just ended two weeks prior, some warning alarms might sound in your head. After all, hopping right back on the apps or prowling around local bars for a rebound can’t be healthy, right? Well, according to Walker, there’s more to it than that.
“We all hear that the easiest way to get over someone is to jump into something new,” she says. That person may be dating again to cope with the loss of their previous relationship, she explains. The driver for that person jumping right back into dating may be to help cope with the loss of the previous relationship ending, she explains. On the other hand, Walker also says that they might put themselves out there immediately to simply get back into the dating rhythm. “Sometimes when you’ve been out of the game for so long, you’re nervous to see what it’s like on the other side, so you want to jump in sooner than later,” she says. Dating soon after a breakup could be a good way for them to learn about what they like and don’t like after a long-term relationship or to regain dating confidence.
Even still, you should proceed with caution when you meet someone who just got out of a relationship. “When someone gets out of a relationship, the discomfort of suddenly being alone can overwhelm them. Jumping back into the dating pool right away is to avoid that discomfort, so instead of healing they jump into another relationship prematurely,” says self-love coach Maria Inoa, MSW. “Even if it was their choice to end things, they still need to process what went right and what went wrong.” In that case, she notes that someone fresh out of a relationship looking to date again could easily be a major red flag because they haven’t taken the proper time to heal.
Drawbacks To Dating Someone Who’s Newly Single
Before proceeding with a new connection that just went through a breakup, it’s important to consider the potential risks. Relationship expert and dating coach Alexis Germany explains that people who constantly feel the need to be boo’d up might have some deep-rooted issues that need to be addressed before they say “thank you, next” and hit you up. “It’s a major red flag if someone is super eager to commit immediately following a relationship,” she says. “The ‘always in a relationship’ type often fears being alone and may just use the new partner as a crutch.”
Your potential partner could also be looking to get into a new relationship as a form of revenge or to hurt their ex for a variety of reasons, says Germany. “If you are considering dating someone who just got cheated on or is leaving a very toxic situation, I say run — that person needs time to heal.” Relationship expert and dating coach Jennifer Hurvitz shares this sentiment. “Taking some time to reflect on your part in your breakup and accepting accountability before swiping again is a must — it's a huge red flag if you go out with someone who is still badmouthing their ex,” she tells Bustle. Even if their ex was guilty of cheating or emotional abuse, moving on too quickly in the name of spite can be a surefire sign that your S.O. hasn’t fully processed and recovered from that experience.
How To Date Someone Who Just Got Out Of A Relationship
If you decide to give that person a chance after considering the potential outcomes of dating someone who’s just experienced a breakup, experts share that a mutual focus on growth and connection can build the foundation for a healthy relationship. “If the person was in a very brief relationship and is now interested in dating you or their actions show that they are committed to continual growth — via things such as therapy, coaching, and other healing modalities — it might be OK to date that person,” says Hurvitz. When you have the comfort of knowing that your potential S.O. did the necessary work to move on from their previous relationship and agree to commit to that growth yourself, you’ll be better set up for a strong partnership.
It’s also helpful to keep in mind that taking things slowly is never a bad idea, and that a relationship timeline isn’t necessary. “The most important thing is making sure you’re taking the time to reflect, so you aren’t doomed to repeat the same relationship mistakes,” Walker says. No matter what happened in the past, remaining empathetic and understanding of the reasons they might want to date again after a recent relationship is important, Hurvitz says. The point is to encourage each other to progress as partners and as people. “We are never going to be perfect, and that's perfectly ok! The secret is finding a partner willing to grow and evolve with you, perfectly imperfect together.”
Anika Walker, professional matchmaker, dating coach, and lifestyle advisor
Maria Inoa, MSW, LCSW, self-love coach
Alexis Germany, relationship expert and dating coach
Jennifer Hurvitz, relationship expert and dating coach