Recently, it seems that committing yourself to someone in less than a month is the latest trend–just look at Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, or Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin. While getting engaged and having someone want to spend the “rest of their life” with you is romance at its very best, you don’t want to commit to someone for the wrong reasons.
Looking at the couples above–3/4 of them got out of rather serious relationships not long before jumping into their new ones (and getting engaged). All across social media, people have been buzzing about how moving on too fast can be toxic for you and your new partner. And, it really can be. So how do we know how much time we need before starting something new with someone else? Here are the universal signs that it’s too soon to move on.
9. You still think about your ex throughout the day.
When you break up with someone, it’s only natural that you’re going to think about “what went wrong.” If you’re dating someone new and you’re still focused on your ex and your past relationship, it’s completely too soon to be dating someone new. Not only is it unfair to yourself, it’s unfair to your new partner. According to Dr. Suzanne Degges-White,
“If you’re already wondering if you’re mentioning your breakup or your ex too often, there’s a good chance you’re doing just that. If you spend time focusing on how the other relationship ended or how wronged you felt, you’re setting up a wall around yourself.”
8. You spend way too much time with your new partner.
One of the biggest reasons for jumping into a new relationship after a break-up is feeling lonely. When we lose someone we spent the majority of our time with, it’s inevitable we’ll feel a void. But, replacing that void with someone else isn’t necessarily healthy. Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Susan Edelman says that spending too much time with someone is a sign you’re moving way too fast.
“You’re together all the time, in person or texting. It’s exciting when you find someone you like, but pacing things is very important so that you don’t get hurt if things don’t work out.”
7. You haven’t given yourself a chance to feel the break-up pain.
An important part of the break-up process is giving yourself time to feel pain and heal from it. If you move into a new relationship too soon, you aren’t giving yourself any time to truly grow from the hurt you felt. Additionally, you most likely miss out on opportunities to learn from the mistakes you’ve made in your past relationship. Deborah L. Davis Ph.D. points out that grieving a past relationship is vital to growing as an individual.
Grieving is how you gradually let go of what might have been, and adjust to what is. And over time, your outlook will naturally shift from “I must demonstrate I am a worthy mate for her/him” to “I can reclaim my own sense of worth.” Grieving is what sets you free from the pit of despair.
6. You’re hoping to make your ex jealous.
Sometimes, people jump into new relationships hoping their ex will notice and get jealous, maybe even change their mind about ending things. Naphtali Roberts, licensed marriage and family therapist, says:
“[Be careful if] you are stilling hoping your ex will notice you or change their mind. If part of the intention in this new relationship has anything to do with your ex you are rushing into a new relationship. You deserve a relationship that’s about you, and the bond you share with someone, not a ghost from your past. Give yourself some time to grieve for your breakup, and you’ll be ready to date again, for the right reasons, soon.”
5. You compare your new partner to your ex a lot.
Experts say that it’s natural to compare our new partner to our ex, but when we do it too often, it’s a sign that we aren’t totally over our previous relationship. While it’s normal for people to compare the past and the present, it’s a red flag when your new partner doesn’t completely match up to your ex. Susan Pease Gadoua L.C.S.W. says one of the signs you’ve moved on too fast from your failed relationship is:
You compare every aspect of this new person to your ex and this person often comes up short (by the way, it’s a natural tendency everyone has to compare new and old relationships).
4. You try to rationalize your new relationship.
Whether you’re trying to prove a point to someone else (or yourself) if you find yourself having to have mental “pep talks” about why this is the right move for your love life, chances are it’s not. New relationships should be natural and pressure-free, you shouldn’t have to rationalize your new love to yourself or anyone else.
3. You’re using your new partner to rebuild yourself.
If you’re banking on your new relationship to help “find yourself again,” it’s a huge sign it’s way too soon. You should use the time after a breakup to rediscover yourself, by yourself. Relying on someone else to help do that is unhealthy and risks the chance of you losing yourself in someone else. Irene Fehr, sex & intimacy coach says:
“Notice your own eagerness to put aside what’s important to you and place your relationship and your partner in the foreground. What’s driving this decision? If you’re twisting and bending your own life to suit that of your partner, most likely you’re acting from fear of losing them. The speed of your actions in this situation is a fight/flight response — slow down to ground yourself into what’s important to you. Relationships where one person loses themselves to create or keep the relationship are bound to fail.”
2. You’ve said “I love you” earlier than you have in the past.
After getting out of a relationship, we’re eager to feel that blissful feeling of being in love. It usually pushes us to pressure our new partner into feeling it, too. Many people who jump into a new relationship right away tend to say “I love you” earlier, because they’re chasing that high they had in their previous relationship. However, it’s usually too soon to really be “in love” with someone just yet. Marriage and family therapist Moshe Ratson says:
“Many people confuse the word ‘love’ with ‘in love. While being in love ― being infatuated or experiencing lust ― is more relevant to early stages of a romantic relationship, loving someone is more relevant to a long-term relationship, after you’ve really gotten to know your partner.”
1. You know deep down that you’re not ready.
It’s important to always listen to your gut and your heart when it comes to relationships and love. If it’s too soon to be with someone new, most of the time we know deep down–we just don’t want to face the truth. Even if you’ve met someone really great, if you’re not ready, it’s important to be real with yourself. Dr. Jill Weber claims that it’s important to be honest with yourself and completely examine your love life before moving on.
“Skipping this important step puts you at risk of entering another relationship without much self-growth and may set you up for even more unprocessed grief in the future.”
Instead of rushing into a relationship with someone else, invest in the relationship you have with yourself.
While we all want to be in love and happy, after a break-up it’s more important to invest in yourself than in someone new. Taking time between relationships allows you to learn from the past and prevent yourself from experiencing the same old heartbreak over and over again.