When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Date Someone Who’s Recently Single

You met someone great. However, they are recently single. So how early can you date someone who just ended a relationship? After all, isn’t it wise to let someone grieve and get over a breakup? And if they didn’t do it to the fullest, wouldn’t that create problems for your budding romance?

According to Laurel House , an expert on harmonious relationships, generally speaking, after a breakup, there is no such thing as “too early” for dating.

“But when it comes to every individual relationship, [it might be] ‘too early’ for some new single dates,” she says. “For example, it may be too early to start dating again if someone is completely dependent on their ex-partner, their relationship, and hasn’t officially ended the physical and/or emotional connection.”

However, she notes that many relationships do last months, if not years, before the final goodbye. That being said, if there are still unresolved feelings and the connection persists, it doesn’t matter when the breakup happened, because there will still be some messy feelings.

“While some relationships end and feelings dissipate immediately, others are so emotionally and physically intertwined that it takes a lot of intentional work to be ready to move on,” House says. “And that’s the key: intention. It is best to date intentionally after a breakup. Randomly or reflexively jumping into a random dating app just to see what’s going on is less likely to produce long-term results.” And that could mean heartache for you if you’re dating someone who’s recently single.

But in every situation there are nuances. House says dating someone who just ended the relationship “absolutely” can work “if you’re intentional and outgoing.”

Below are her tips on what to know about dating someone who has just ended a relationship.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Did you find out that your new partner just ended the relationship? This is your time to ask them questions so you can get some clarity. “Never assume that someone is ready to date again or that they are necessarily single,” House says. “You have the right to understand their current emotional and relationship state because you are considering dating and possibly entering into a relationship with this person and you need to protect your heart.”

At the same time, she cautions against suggesting that due to their recent breakup, they are not yet ready for a relationship. “Also don’t think that they need to play on the field for a while before taking action again,” she says. “Each person is individual. Some people come out of a bad relationship feeling more whole, ready and clear about who they are and what they really need in a relationship to find a relationship that is right for them this time around, one that is strong and healthy. And it can happen immediately.” That’s why she says that asking the right questions and having deep conversations is very important to get to know the true emotions and thoughts behind them.

What are some good questions to ask someone who has just broken up?

  • How long have they been single?
  • What caused the breakup?
  • When did they know it was over?
  • What steps did they take to try to save or mend the relationship?
  • How do they treat their exes?
  • What would they do if their ex came back and promised that they had changed and wanted another chance?
  • What did they learn after the breakup?
  • What are they doing differently now as they move forward?
  • What did they like about their ex?
  • What attracted them to their ex in the first place?
  • What do their friends/family think about their ex?
  • If they were you, would they be comfortable dating themselves?

What are some disadvantages of dating someone who is just single?

Even if your new love interest fits most of the right parameters, there are some things that might not work out in the long run or might turn you off very quickly. Typically, feelings for exes can resurface, House says, and they may want to give them another chance, or they may still date as if they were in a long-term relationship, such as having certain expectations from the first and last daily call. or messages. For example. They may also talk a lot about their exes, whether good or bad. In addition, she says they “may want to just ‘hang out’ all the time together at home instead of putting in the effort and actually going out. They may call you by the name of their ex, and not because they miss him, but simply because they are used to pronouncing this name.

They can also meet on a “hurt first” basis, which means “they lead with their pain, anger, sadness, and expect you to hurt them too,” House explains.

What are some common red flags that someone else isn’t ready to date after a breakup?

It’s really normal to feel insecure about someone who just got single. Watching for some common red flags can help you make the right decision when it comes to pursuing a relationship. According to House, some red flags to look out for include:

  • They are provoked by the mention of their ex’s name.
  • Someone hides their phone or turns it upside down when it’s not there.
  • They still see or interact with their ex on a regular basis.
  • When it comes to good news or bad news, their ex is still their person because their ex “gets” them.

And while the above is important, House says don’t forget to look out for green flags that show someone who’s recently single is ready to date again. Such as:

  • “They took the time to find out who they are, what they need in a relationship, what was missing in their past relationship, what they can do better this time around, and how to express their feelings in a healthy way. They’ve been through pain, they know what it’s like, and they don’t want to feel it again or make anyone feel it, so they deliberately talk about their feelings and needs.”
  • “They check on you and how you feel to increase the chances of a successful relationship.”
  • “They love what it’s like to be part of a couple and they know how to make room for you both in their home and in their lives.”

Above all, communication is key

House says that if you have any doubts about your new love interest’s past, it’s important to let them know. “Communication creates clarity, which creates confidence,” she says. “Communicate what you feel, what you need, and how they feel and what they need. Communication will help you clarify the situation, and then you will be sure of who you are as a new couple.


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