I’m going to give you some pretty direct advice here. But in answering this question, let’s assume that you’ve suffered a proper heart break, or something close to it. Firstly, there’s a couple of ‘rules of thumb’ going around that calculate how long it will take to get over a former lover. One of them suggests that it takes half the amount of time you were together. I don’t mind this rule, but it seems unlikely that it could take 10 years to get over someone if you broke up after 20 years of being together, so maybe there’s a cap. Either way, what I’m suggesting is that time is what really heals the heart. It actually works every time too, so you can take comfort in that, even when you think you’ll never stop thinking about your ex. So where does dating come into all of this?
Dating is a social activity that gets you meeting new people, expanding your networks, and gets you out and about. It creates a great distraction from sitting at home thinking about your ex. There are some considerations though, and one is for the person you’re dating. If they don’t know that you’re not in the headspace to be meeting someone new, they might get strung along, or they might pick up on it during the date and feel like they’re wasting their time, and maybe money. So be as honest as you can, particularly in the early stages when you’re organising the date. If you tell them that you just came out of a relationship, they can make up their own mind as to whether they still want to meet you.
The second negative is that YOU might meet someone amazing, but you’re just not capable of finding that spark within, because you just cant wait to start thinking about your ex, or worse, discussing your ex! People who are having trouble moving on tend to talk about their ex a lot. They find sounding boards who will listen to their story, particularly when their closest friends have had enough of hearing about it. Sometimes you’ll look back and realise you did meet some good prospects, but didn’t give them your full attention.
In the wrap up, I’m an advocate of dating as a means of getting over an ex. These days its all online too, so when someone matches with your profile, it gives you a dose of validation, and that’s good for your self esteem. Of course there are some who abuse the system and seek validation without being honest, and without any intentions of meeting. That can be particularly annoying for genuine daters. But in general, there’s nothing wrong with getting online, creating a profile, and feeling desirable. When you meet someone, start up a chat, be honest and see where it takes you. The most likely outcome is that you’ll get out and about, meet new friends, and expand your networks. You’ll still think about your ex from time to time, until that magic period passes. The average time between feeling forlorn will increase more and more, until it becomes so rare that the feeling attached is no longer stressful, and then you’ll be ready to welcome someone else into your life.