I recently ended a five-year relationship. How long should I wait to start dating?

This relationship was very serious, but I was admittedly a terrible girlfriend. He let me do whatever I wanted just as long as I didn't leave him. I cheated on him several times. He knew about every single one of them but never broke up with me. I initiated the breakup after years of shouldering guilt, and It was the best decision I've made for myself as an adult. I couldn't live with myself, and with him, after the things I'd done. I've had a lot of alone time to think about why I did what I did, and I NEVER want to do this to another person for the rest of my life. My actions were directly associated with my low self-esteem and the need for people to like me. So I find myself at the heart of my realization: I have no experience with dating. I know guys are interested in me, but it only ever seems to be a physical interest (which I'm guilty of as well). I find myself lonely at night, and sometimes feel the need for physical contact. I don't feel good about myself after one-night-stands, but it seems to be the only way to somewhat fill this void. I just don't know what to do. Should I date? Should I abstain? How long should I wait? I'm not sure I'm ready, but I wish I was.


Most Helpful Guy

  • You said yourself that you're not sure you're ready. That is the key in this question. Who cares what other people have done. The time you start dating again should be when you are comfortable with it. Once you are comfortable with it again, you'll know because there will be no second thought in your head about whether or not you want to date. There is a huge transition between dating for a long time and being single, but don't let that loneliness be an excuse to rush yourself into a bad relationship. Wait until YOU are ready.


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What Guys Said 1

  • Maybe find a guy who's cool with having an open relationship. Cause I really don't think you can handle being monogamous


What Girls Said 3

  • You need to stay away from physical contact from another for as long as you can.

    What you are doing is filling up the void for the time being, but in the end you are still left with that emptiness.

    Ask yourself, "What am I looking for?", "What am I missing in life?", "Why do I feel this way about myself?" There are positive ways in which you can fill this void, you just have to find them. There are ways you can go about feeling great about yourself, without having to give your body to men that only want to use you.

    I say reach out to someone...seek counseling or see a therapist to help you better understand yourself, and why you do this.

    If you date another guy, you will realize that the history will repeat itself and you will soon be doing what you did to your ex to another guy.

    You need to break this cycle and get to the root of the problem.

    How can you hold yourself to a higher standard? If you have low self esteem and feel you aren't worth what you really are?

    Abstain from dating and men.

    Focus on yourself.

    You are a great person and deserve to give yourself the time and dedication to fix whatever

    is broken inside. Good luck.

  • there's no rule here to follow. just do what feels right.

  • You have already been dating and seeing others so keep doing the same thing but just try it without the sex or at least try to stop the one night stands. Try to wait also when you meet an interesting guy you can get to know each other and this will help will self control after doing it for a while. If you drink a glass of wine at night you will be relaxed and fall asleep and won't know you're alone. Just a suggestion but I understand not wanting to be alone no one does.