I don’t care what Steve Harvey says there is no golden rule about how long you should wait for anything in romantic relationships, including the best time to enter into a new relationship.
Instead, trust your gut and take a leap when you “feel ready.”
I’m always a bit hesitant to say when you feel ready because people tend to use that as an opportunity to never be ready. Sis, you can keep finding all the things wrong with everyone but you are the one that’s going to keep spending your nights alone. The secret is to find someone that you like more than their flaws.
Say what now Dr. T?!
Everyone has flaws, so figure out if you can deal with those flaws long-term.
Trust the process and check-in and make sure that y’all are on the same page. Also, make sure that clear boundaries are in place.
What are off limits?
Do you both agree on those things?
Do you both have the same long-term relationship goals? What about the same short-term relationship goals?
Do not assume. Talk about it! If you feel good about the major things and you are both committed to doing the work that it takes to sustain a relationship then go for it.
Sis, I don’t need you out here as another statistic. You know the one that says the reason the relationship ended is that I thought he wanted kids, but come to find out he didn’t. How does that even work?! Oh I know because too many people jump into a relationship based on assumed shared values and beliefs that nobody decided to talk about until 5 years later. Let’s do better! If y’all are still struggling with any of these issues then you are not ready to enter into a new relationship yet.
BUT…before you start entertaining joint issues make sure that YOU are together first. Sis, if any of the following things are still on the table, then you might want to push the pause button on this new love interest.
#1. You compare your new love interest to your ex.
If you find yourself constantly comparing qualities about your new boo with your ex-boo that’s a red flag for a couple of reasons.
First, comparing any two people is dangerous because no two people are alike. Instead, you should focus on the specific qualities that your new boo possesses and figure out if these are qualities you are seeking in a partner. Also, do you foresee yourself still continuing to like this person despite their current flaws? Dating potential ain’t never helped nobody.
Second, post-breakup we tend to have nostalgic views of the past relationship and view it in a more favorable light than is typically the case. Remember that person is an ex for a reason.
#2. You are entering into a relationship because you don’t want to be alone.
Sis get a hobby or something. If you are only entering into a relationship because you are lonely you will spend the duration of that relationship trying to convince yourself that you like the person when you don’t.
Listen this has been my life! I spent almost 7 months in an unfulfilling relationship just for the sake of companionship and it was awful! When I finally let go of that relationship I was able to realize that I could live my best life and have companionship from others (e.g., friends and family) that was wayyy more fulfilling than that dead-end relationship.
#3. You are looking for a partner to complete you.
I probably say this in every other post (see here) but stop looking for someone to complete you. Show up to a new relationship as the best version of yourself as possible. Will you have it all together? No. But you should feel that you can retain some sense of independence and security in your new relationship. For instance, not feeling that you can only attend events if your partner is with you. Live a little and make sure to maintain and cultivate relationships outside of your romantic one.
#4. You haven’t dealt with past hurt.
That hurt just doesn’t disappear. You have to actively choose to let that hurt go. Harboring negative feelings about an ex or even from your childhood will influence multiple things about your future relationship such as how you communicate, manage conflict, and even your comfortability to share intimate spaces with your new boo.
#5. You lowered your standards.
I get it dating can be exhausting but DO. NOT. SETTLE. Having standards around how you want to be treated and being in a relationship with a partner that shares and/or respects your personal values and beliefs is essential. So again DO. NOT. SETTLE. Your forever bae is out there!