Is There An Amount Of Time You Should Wait Before Dating Again Post Breakup?

Breaking up with a partner can be a traumatic experience. This is especially true if your relationship was long-term and you truly loved the person.

Losing a relationship can induce physical and mental pain according to psychologist Ethan Kross, the lead author of an article published in the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences." He said, "The experience of social rejection, or social loss more generally, may represent a distinct emotional experience that is uniquely associated with physical pain" (via the University of Michigan). 

At the same time, per Hey Sigmund, you may get a rise in the stress hormone cortisol, which can produce damaging effects, from headaches, skin issues, and muscle tightness to digestive issues like cramps, indigestion, and diarrhea. You may also have trouble sleeping and focusing, making getting through your daily activities incredibly tough. In extreme cases, excess stress hormones can cause heart flutters which can become a serious medical emergency (via the South Bend Tribune).

Naturally, only when you are able to fully process the loss fully will you be able to even consider entering another relationship.

You first must sufficiently grieve the relationship

Whether you initiated the breakup or were broken up with, you will still go through the stages of grief. They include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

New York City-based psychotherapist Rebecca Hendrix told Glamour, "It's a trauma. It's a shock to your system." She added that acknowledging how you truly feel is vital, saying, "You want to be really gentle with yourself and you want to allow yourself to feel your feelings."

Trying to avoid the pain of the loss or acting as though the breakup never happened or isn't affecting you will only prolong the grief. "Avoiding grief can keep you stuck in feelings of sadness, loneliness, guilt, shame and anger — which can take a big toll on your self-esteem," clinical psychologist Adam Borland told Cleveland Clinic. "And if you don't properly grieve, that also means that you don't ever resolve your feelings about the relationship and its end. This can make it very difficult to be emotionally available to a new partner."

There is no specific amount of time that is the same for everyone

Psychologist Paulette Kouffman Sherman told Glamour that a month is a bare minimum. "Most people need a month or two to process the breakup, to mourn, and to integrate lessons before jumping back in if they were in a fairly serious relationship." However, Sherman warned that the longer the relationship, the more time you'll need.

"There are some schools of thought out there that say you should be single twice as long as you were in a relationship. Or at least the same amount of time," licensed professional counselor Kisha Walwyn-Duquesnay told NBC News. "But there really is no magic number. You should take as much time as you need to heal, and that's different for everyone."

However, one sign that you may be ready to begin dating again is when you no longer have anger or sadness about the relationship or the breakup anymore (via Psychology Today). When you start to feel hopeful about your future and your life again, that is a good sign that you may be ready to enter a new relationship.