Tell me about dating right after a relationship

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by valkurious, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. valkurious

    valkurious Member

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    Hi! I've been dating a girl who's just gotten out of a relationship, struggling with it a bit, and could use some perspective. Have you dated right after a relationship? Have you dated someone else who just got out of one? Thennnn, I need you. :)

    For a little more info, she messaged me online about three months ago. She and her ex of a year and a half, whom she'd lived with, had broken up a little over a month before. It said on her profile that she wasn't necessarily looking for anything serious right away, so OK, no problem; I'm pretty cautious about commitment anyway and was already dating two other people when I met her.

    Every date from the first has been great. We have fun, we laugh, we kiss, we hold hands, we have great conversations, we've slept together several times, she seems really engaged and even more so the last few dates... but the problem is, she barely stays in touch between dates. Even though we've been seeing each other a little more often (2x a week instead of 1) and she seems more comfortable and talkative when we're out, her communication (which was never fantastic) seems to be getting worse. She used to at least send me a picture or a "how's it going" every second or third day; now it's basically only to set up dates, and if I try to be even a little bit conversational, she responds very slowly or not at all. I'm also hearing a lot more super vague "I can't that night" or "I have plans" without further detail, which makes me think she's starting to date around more.

    I guess I'm just frustrated at the lack of development. I haven't liked someone this much in years, so I would like to think that she's feeling something more than just casual whatever too, but I don't see any evidence that she's thinking of me when we're not together. I feel like it's just been stagnant for the last little while and we're not getting any closer. I'm trying to give her space and time and not expect too much too soon, but given my lack of experience with this situation, I don't even know what is a reasonable expectation.

    So, if you have any experiences with this, lay em on me! Even if they're not encouraging; I need data. How did it go for you, and what did you learn? What advice would you give someone who has no idea what they're doing?
     
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    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
  2. Gyldenragg

    Gyldenragg Well-Known Member

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    Hum hum hum... I'll give you my thoughts and I apologize in advance if they seem more discouraging than not.

    First of all, I'm happy to hear you've met a great girl you get along so well with! However, the fact that she just came out of a relationship of a year and a half makes me very cautious and I advise you to be the same. Not saying that it can't work out just because she was recently in a relationship, but what usually happens is that you tend to need some 'off time' in between relationships to readjust. (Speaking from own experience, I did at some point a few years ago jump into a 'relationship' quite quickly after I ended another, which I only later realized was more like a rebound than an actual relationship I would have formed in my right mind...if that makes any sense).

    Based on what you've told so far about her changing behaviour I suspect that she might not be so fully invested emotionally as you are. Which makes sense, because it's hard to jump from one meaningful relationship to another without the proper time between to reflect on things.

    I'm not sure if you guys ever talked about being exclusive but if you didn't, I wouldn't expect that of her just because that might be the standard you keep for yourself right now. Maybe you're right and she is considering or even starting to date around casually a bit more (which is quite normal given her recent break). She probably might be realizing that she isn't ready for something too serious/committed with one person yet, and even if she were to find another person she connected really well with (i.e. you for instance), maybe she questions her own judgement given her recent history and how things turned out. Lots of speculation on my side as I'm writing this of course, but I'm just trying to give some possible explanations.

    What I'd do if I were you, unless you're happy to go on like you are without knowing for sure and potentially seeing things dwindling off a bit, is talk to her. Not over text (as you already say she's not very responsive to them), but when you meet and hang out next, try to have a conversation about this. Not to pressure her in any way, but at the end of the day you are two people and you might have different expectations for your 'relationship' at this point. Having an open and honest discussion about it will only help clear things on both your ends and make very obvious what the next steps should be.
     
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  3. becsgotswag

    becsgotswag Member

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    I dont see the issue and being the fact that she jumped from one relationship to another.

    My current partner used to be my best friend, within 24 hours we both left our previous relationships and ran away together. That was 3 years and 1 child ago. The fact that we both had just left a relationship played no part on our current relationship. When you know, you know. In saying that this woman does not seem to be as into it as you. I agree with the fact that you could talk to her. If she isn't giving you what you want then you are better off being open to the idea of meeting someone else that will. x
     
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  4. valkurious

    valkurious Member

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    Gyldenragg, thanks for the input! I think it's pretty clear she's not where I am emotionally; I just need to figure out if I can be OK with that short-term. No, we never talked about exclusivity and I definitely don't expect it from anyone (nor do I practice it for myself) until it's explicitly talked about.

    becsgotswag, I hear what you're saying, but I think readiness really depends on how you felt about the person from your previous relationship, and how it ended. I don't know many details of her previous relationship, but it definitely seems like it ended abruptly and traumatically for her, and I think some of her feelings are still tied up with that. I don't think the experience of going from one relationship to a new relationship with someone you've known and trusted for years can be generalized to opening up to a new person you just met, because when you're hurting and healing, you're not going to be as willing to let someone new in, or as motivated to want to get intimate with them.

    Recent interactions:
    I've been trying let her make the moves and ask me out instead of vice versa, and she was, sort of... the last time we hung out was her idea, although I basically had to threaten to make other plans to get her to answer my text to confirm where & when. On that date, I felt like she was kind of avoiding kissing me, but she had mentioned she was getting sick, so that might have been a factor. At the end, she asked me when I was available next weekend because she wanted me to meet her best friend who was coming in town (surprising, as I have never been invited to meet any of her other friends), but I told her I wasn't sure if I would be available.

    Fast forward to last week; she got in touch with me again trying to convince me to come hang out with her and her friend later that week, I told her I probably couldn't but would definitely try. Couple days later she asked me what I was doing that night, I said no plans but I was down to hang out, she didn't respond forever so I made other plans and invited her, which she declined. Next morning she asked me how my night was, I told her, she never responded. Saturday I reluctantly reached out to to tell her I could probably meet up that night after a show I was going to, she said she'd love to see me; I texted her after the show to touch base and she invited me to swing by where she & her friend were. I didn't end up being able to make it but sent her a follow-up apologizing; she seemed unoffended. Yesterday, asked her what they were up to; she told me two things they were going to do but said they'd probably have time between them for us to meet up. I said great, I'm just hanging around today so text whenever... she never did, and still hasn't followed up over 24 hours later.

    I'm thinking maybe that's just that? Should I even bother texting her again? I feel like the ball's firmly in her court, but maybe that was just turnabout for me not making it to see her on Saturday.
     
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  5. TheScandinavian

    TheScandinavian Well-Known Member

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    I personally wouldn't rush to get into another relationship right away. I'd rather just explore, check my options and enjoy myself while focusing mainly on work & friendships. I'd take some "alone" time to "unbreak my heart" (Tony Braxton reference, lol). Dating someone right after breaking up with someone would mean that you're trying to fill some sort of emptiness. Remember that you're your whole person and not a half only.
    If I happen to meet someone who's a good catch, I'd take it slow and tell them that I'm not really up to become "serious" with them (like, I wouldn't cheat but don't expect me to be super into you) and if that someone's up for it, I'd pursue it :)

    Tried dating right after break up with someone and that's how I know that it doesn't work (for me-might work for someone else, though).

    Hopefully, I was more or less helpful :)
     
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  6. Kaorin

    Kaorin Member

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    Honestly, it sounds to me like you're a distraction. Ending a long term relationship can be very painful. There's a lot of free time to suddenly fill, and filling it with someone else is the most logical solution for a lot of people.

    I've been there. I dated a girl who had very recently come out of a relationship. I had also come out of a relationship with my first love a few months before, so I was probably just as bad. Any who, we would text somewhat regularly, go on dates, kiss and hold hands, she'd buy me flowers, and so on. One day, we were texting and she just never text back. Ever. Completely vanished. I guess she probably just got back with her ex, and that was that.

    We were each other's distraction and that's fine, but you are obviously more invested in this situation. I'm sorry to say this, but I think you should try to back off a bit and distance yourself emotionally from this girl. She needs time to heal, and you need to find someone who is able to really give themselves to you.
     
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  7. valkurious

    valkurious Member

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    An update, just for the hell of it, in case anyone was following, or just as a dating case study.

    I decided pretty shortly after my last post to just stop thinking of this as a traditional dating situation, as something that might lead any particular place in any particular period of time. I've been sporadically dating other people (nothing noteworthy), letting go of the idea that this should fit into a dynamic it doesn't fall into naturally, letting it go in the relaxed and unhurried fashion that it seems to have taken. In this way I've been able to just have fun with her when we're together and not worry too much about what she's doing or thinking or feeling when we're not.

    As for the result of all this, I guess that remains to be seen, but she does seem to be drifting closer to me lately. She invited me out on her birthday, I met several of her good friends, and I got the impression they'd all heard of me before. It was a really fun night and I got along great with everyone; she told me later that a few of them even told her pointedly that they liked me. It also made me feel kinda good that she arrived with me and left with me on her birthday night. Anyway, since that night, for whatever reason, it really feels like there's some momentum that wasn't there before. A couple days ago she invited me to come with her to a days-long event she wants to go to several months from now, and she didn't bat an eye when I invited her to something similar. We still don't really have detailed conversations between dates, but, she's getting more responsive, and suggests hanging out more often, and tells me she misses me if we don't see each other for a while.

    So, right now what we're doing feels pretty good and I don't think I need to push anything; it will go wherever it goes and I'll be fine no matter what. And I think I'm going to just try to carry this attitude into the future and just stop fussing so much over what SHOULD happen and just let things be what they are, rather than trying to force them to be what I want when I want.
     
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    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  8. Gyldenragg

    Gyldenragg Well-Known Member

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    Hakuna matata ;)
     
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  9. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    Please remember to take things at face value -- if she told you she wasn't looking for anything serious, and she hasn't changed her behavior or even told you that she's ready for something remotely serious, then you can't make the assumption that this is progressing toward anything. Of course, you said that in your update..that you're fine with "letting things be how they are..." but to me it does seem like you're getting your hopes up in expecting there may be a progression.

    Be cautiously optimistic. There's no rule on dating right after a breakup...depends on the circumstances, but if the previous relationship was serious, you don't want to find yourself being a rebound.

    Keep communication open and as things progress, continue to check in with her....if this is going somewhere, she won't be afraid to talk about it.
     
    #9
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  10. valkurious

    valkurious Member

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    Thanks for the perspective, Spygirl. You're right; I still like her a whole lot and I am hopeful it'll develop into something more eventually; I just think I'm at the point where I'm not freaking out about the timeline or the details. She's never told me specifically that she doesn't want anything serious, I just read it on her profile all those months ago-- but she certainly hasn't indicated verbally that she DOES, and I'm not going to make any assumptions about it until and unless that happens. Her behavior is definitely changing, though, so I'm watching with interest to see if it continues in this direction... in the meantime, I do enjoy being single and the freedom that comes with it, so I'm not going to rush it along.
     
    #10
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