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Dating again

Community Member
How do you know when your ready to date again?

I'm struggling as I know I still really love my ex but I don't think we will be getting back together (even though contact seems to have started again... long story).

I want to move on and part of me thinks trying to date may help. But I also know how I still feel about my ex so I just don't know what to do, I don't want to just use someone to work out my own feelings. And now days it's all done online which scares me, it was why I had been single for so long before my last relationship.

How have others gone with this?
33 Replies 33

Hi bubbles85,

It can be very difficult to know when to get back out on the dating scene.  It can be very hard to move on from a relationship, particularly when they mean so much.  It sounds like you may be greiving the loss of this relationship, although it may be a complicated situation.  I understand not wanting someone around just to work out your feelings with them and online dating can be scary.  It's ok to take time to get over relationships, sometimes they are difficult to process and there is no specific time limit to finish the grieving process.

Have you considered speaking with a friendly counsellor and working out your feelings with them?  If you would like you could get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals. 

It's great that you have turned to this community for support.  You are not alone and we are here to help you.  

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey bubbles85

Those are really good questions and good concerns also IMO. You seem to have a rational head on your shoulders, which is great.

To your first question, I think you'll know when you're ready to date again.
It's probably best if you're pretty much "over" your last relationship.

You're right in saying you don't want to put it all on the next relationship. Even though it's natural to talk about previous relationships with a new partner at times.

I believe in the whole "rebound" thing.
It's not nice for the reboundee lol!

Take your time with this. Surrounding yourself with really good friends and LOTS of happy times on your own will bring yourself into a "better place".
Feeling empowered to make the RIGHT decision with the next relationship and not just "settling" is pretty important for your future happiness.

Online dating?
Well I'm completely against it lol, as others here know.

I find that DOING the things you LOVE doing, will surround you with likeminded people and from there many wonderful friendships can bloom, one might be a great match.

Still I'm sure other BB members will come in and tell you a positive story or 2 about online dating lol.

Go with your own instincts.

Best wishes

Thanks to you both for your responses. I know I am definitely still grieving the relationship. It ended suddenly while I was still in love and was still seeing the future we had been talking about.

I'm trying not to rush myself so am probably not quite ready to date but know I also need to know that it is in my future

Hi bubbles85,

Thank you so much for being so open and for sharing what you are going through. You are not alone in how you feel.

Breakups can definitely be so difficult, and there is a grieving process. Some of my friends have found that this is a great time to focus on themselves and to 'find their light' or 'love themselves again' by doing the hobbies they enjoy doing and creating new experiences. It can be so challenging with dating but for me personally I believe that people can come into your life at the right time.

I'm definitely here for you! I look forward to hearing from you!

Community Member

So i bit the bullet and downloaded a dating app and have attempted to put myself out there and I'm really unsure if I'm ready still.

Matched with someone and has a bried conversion with him yesterday and it made me feel sick with anxiety. Like I'm doing something that I shouldn't be, and it wasn't even flirty just discussing travelling. And have started to picture that it is possible that my ex is dating and it makes me feel physically sick.

Is this a sign I'm not ready, or is it just the usual anxiety around getting to know someone and letting them in?

Hey bubbles85,

Thank you for sharing and being so brave!

You've done the first step in getting the app, now just try your best to connect with others, letting destiny take its course!

You sounds like an awesome person whom will meet someone amazing for sure! Good luck!



Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey bubbles85

Welcome back!

It's normal to think yucky thoughts of your ex dating when you were in love with him when the split happened.
If you can, try to distract your thoughts of ex when he pops into your mind, please DO IT.

What he does now is not for you to worry about.

I'm glad you matched with someone you can talk to.

I'm not sure if it's "normal" to feel the things you do atm. Probably is since you still have feelings for ex? IDK.

Usually I know I'm ready when I get super excited about meeting someone new.

But we all have different personalities!

You don't need to put rules on how you feel.

Good luck!


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hey bubbles85,

Dating again after a break-up is always so tricky. I don't know if there ever is a 'right time', or if we can even know when that is. The most important thing is that you check in with yourself as you go, which it sounds like you are doing already, and find a new routine with friends, family and perhaps some new hobbies.

It may feel terrible and confusing, but having all these feelings and asking questions is actually a really good thing. It means you're checking in with your feelings - am I okay? Is this too quick for me? Is this even good for me? I can't claim to know what the answers are, but my own experience (current - eurgh! dating is exhausting sometimes - and past) is that if you feel bad about something, then it's worthwhile asking why. Your anxiety talking to this new person could very well be a mix of both - the anxiety of being vulnerable to a stranger, as well as the anxiety of dealing with your own past.

In my own experience, my last relationship broke down in May last year and I went about 3 months before I downloaded a dating app. But I made a decision to, largely, not use it and spend minimal time on it. Instead, I tried to focus on finding a routine again with friends and family, and getting back into reading. It was a bit tricky with covid, but I just doubled down on the reading and I'm actually really happy that I did. When I finally started dating a bit more seriously, I found it really quite emotionally draining and am really glad to have had my reading to pick me back up again.

So if I was to offer a suggestion, it would be to make sure you've got a good support network and perhaps a good routine to help you along as you experiment again with dating. It can be tricky, especially if you've been out of the dating scene for a while!


Community Member

If I'm being totally honest with myself, i think I'm trying to date as i feel like I'm stuck in a rut. I have mentioned in another post about the breakup that i have to still see my ex. So i do know i still have feelings and still have to see him so i just feel like I'm stuck. I need to make a change and part of me hopes that meeting someone knew will make me forget about my ex.

I've also become conscious of my age, this year I'll be closer to 40 than 30 and most of my friends have found their person and are starting families. I feel left out. Not that they make me feel left.