How soon to start dating again?
September 24, 2012 1:34 PM   Subscribe

How soon is too soon to start dating again?

This was me:

I DTMFA a month ago. We had dated for a little over a year and lived together for 6 months. I met a guy on okcupid who seems really nice and cool and we've been emailing and texting for about a week. He wants to meet for the first time tonight and go out to dinner. I agreed to it. Now I'm feeling incredibly anxious and like I am not ready for this yet. Are these normal first date jitters or am I moving on too fast?
posted by sunshine37 to Human Relations (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Now I'm feeling incredibly anxious and like I am not ready for this yet.

You should trust yourself. Tell the guy you just got out of a relationship and you need some time to breathe. And pause your OK Cupid profile.
posted by desjardins at 1:39 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

There is no one size fits answer to when is the right time to start dating again. The right time is when you're ready. It sounds like you aren't; I'd cancel the date.

(And, it's okay to take a while - even with a no-one-behaved badly breakup, it has taken me several months to be ready again. When someone behaves badly, it often takes longer.)
posted by insectosaurus at 1:50 PM on September 24, 2012

It might just be first-date-in-a-while jitters.

If you're the type to fall into relationships after just a few dates, or if you feel pressured to do things with guys that you're not comfortable with, then cancel and give yourself more time. Otherwise, I'd go and have fun.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:52 PM on September 24, 2012

No one here can answer this question for you.

You can go out with this guy despite your nervousness and see and how it goes. You may be glad you did, or not, and this could be because you didn't like him in particular or because you're not ready. Or you can cancel the date and pause OKcupid until you feel more ready.
posted by shoesietart at 2:04 PM on September 24, 2012

Just take the plunge. You will know on the date if this is something you're not ready for.

I once went on an OKCupid date very soon after a breakup and basically what happened was that I wasn't any fun, didn't click with the dude, and it didn't go anywhere. That's basically your worst case scenario. And it's not such a bad one.

Despite not having been ready, I am weirdly glad that I went on that date. If only just to discover that the planet will not self-destruct if you go out with someone and don't feel it for whatever reason.
posted by Sara C. at 2:16 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

My initial answer was "Just jump in and try, what've you got to lose." Date doesn't imply anything other than "we went on a date," unless you decide to allow it to.

Upon reading other responses, I think that the young rope-rider has a great way to tell if you should take her (and my, and Sara C's) advice, or sit this one out.
posted by Alterscape at 2:26 PM on September 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

There's no "how long" answer. There's only the answer you figure out for yourself in terms of how you feel. It sounds like you're not ready; listen to yourself.
posted by Madamina at 2:34 PM on September 24, 2012

I'd go out with the guy. Be really honest and then drop it. Ask him about himself, see what he's like. Maybe neither of you are right for each other, and what have you lost?

It's okay to nurse your wounds. It's okay to reflect upon what you've learned in your last relationship. It's also okay to go out, kick up your heels and have a good time too.

Live in the moment. At one moment this sounded like fun, go with that thought until proved otherwise.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:46 PM on September 24, 2012

Did you get to the point where you were not feeling All Of The Feelings over the last relationship's demise yet? If so, go and have fun.

If not, maybe this current anxiety is just grief that you still need to work out, and I would suggest doing that by getting yourself some non significant other seeking hobbies until you feel awesome as a stand alone package.
posted by skrozidile at 2:47 PM on September 24, 2012

Hey, good news: you're going to meet a new person tonight. Might be a friend, might be a relationship, might be a waste of time. Mentally adjust to the idea that this is just a new friend you're meeting, and if he inquires or sends signals that don't jibe with your ideas, let him know up front where you're coming from.
posted by davejay at 2:51 PM on September 24, 2012

Do you feel like you need to be in a relationship, or do you feel comfortable and whole by yourself?

I ask because by my calculations you signed up for a dating site 3 weeks after the end of a year-long cohabitation relationship. I know "there's no rule of thumb, you're ready for when you're ready" and all that, but that I think you might benefit from taking some time for yourself, and process whatever you need to process from your last relationship before moving on.
posted by Asparagus at 2:58 PM on September 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

It's just nerves from blind dating, which is all dating sites are. It's not "first date," it's "first meeting." Emailing is not the same as spending time with someone.
posted by rhizome at 3:15 PM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, every interview except the bad ones will have these jitters - show up to the interview.

I am going to guess that so far, you like this guy.
posted by Kruger5 at 3:33 PM on September 24, 2012

Since you brought up your old questions, I will contextualize thusly: Are you a person who feels pressure to be in a dating relationship and for that dating relationship to be a certain level of "serious"- ie, do you feel better about yourself when you are dating someone seriously or living together, like you are more adult or more socially acceptable, than you do when you are single or dating (possibly more than one person) casually?

If the answer to that question is honestly, really and truly, "No," then go ahead and meet this guy. If the answer is yes- hell, even if you have a flash of a second of an insight that the answer might be yes but uuuugh it feels weird and uncomfortable to think about that - then hold off and get on solid footing before you start dating again.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 3:38 PM on September 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Hmmm...well, I started dating three months after my ex broke up with me. I probably wasn't ready, but I did anyways because I figured it was better than sitting home alone. A few weeks into it I met this guy...we've been together 9.5 years and married almost 4:) I always tell people to start dating even if they don't think they're ready yet.
posted by bananafish at 7:19 PM on September 24, 2012

I (male) started dating less than a month after a (inevitable, no fault, just wasn't going to work) breakup. I figured I'd put the lady firmly in my past, regardless of what happened on the date, and had no expectations apart from just hanging out with someone new. It worked out very well for me.

Obviously take the usual precautions to filter out wierdos but if you feel like it then just do it.
posted by epo at 1:09 AM on September 25, 2012

If there was a textbook on dating (there is not) it would say this is a problem.

I DTMFA a month ago... I met a guy on okcupid who seems really nice and cool and we've been emailing and texting for about a week.

Your last question was asked exactly a month ago. And you are a week into chatting with this guy.

Your last boyfriend you got very financially entangled with very fast and moved in with shortly after.

Maybe your anxiety is you telling yourself to be alone and take some time to sort things out.
posted by French Fry at 9:06 AM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

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