Sometimes you meet someone and you just click – whether you intend to or not. On some level, you belong together, as friends, as fuckbuddies, as soulmates… the proverbial list goes on. Online dating is a wonderful thing, but the causality of it can involve some heartbreaking hiccups. For example, more often than not, if you’re dating someone and falling dopily in sappy soulmate love, the problem can arise in which said soulmate has just exited a long-term relationship and is not ready to enter another. Eye-roll, god dammit!
The answer? Keep it cool, and don’t move too quickly or they will run for the hills. Also stick to the below rules. Here is what NOT to do in this situation:
1. Don’t fall into a love bubble
More often than not, if someone has just left a long-term relationship, they are definitely not used to being in a casual one. You may find that within a week of dating you are planning trips away, and in a month to buy a puppy and shack up… it all seems like a dream come true! Hate to break it to you, but it’s not. Sooner or later your dreamboat is going to freak out and back up big time. What you need to do, is be prepared for this scenario. This freak out has nothing to do with you – the person you are falling for will treat you like they are used to treating their ex, it’s what they know … until they (and you) realize that you are definitely not their ex.
2. Don’t let yourself be a fix
If they have just broken up with someone, no matter how beautiful you may be, or how hard you laugh together – they are not ready to get back into another relationship any time soon. Timing is a bitch! The best way to deal with it is to try your hardest not to be a rebound or distraction from their subsequent feelings. Although you may really like someone, you need to let them figure out what they want before you dive into dating, as they are most definitely not in the same headspace as you and you will get hurt.
3. Don’t get sexual
It’s kind of a no brainer. Typically, at the end of a relationship, sex is certainly not the best, so someone can come enthralled when it is re-juvenated in their dating life. You shouldn’t allow yourself to be exploited, however. If you want a relationship with them that is personal and emotional (as well as sexual), it’s better to wait a little longer when it comes to hitting the sheets.
4. Don’t meet close friends and family
Keep it casual. Pump the brakes on meeting best friends and family before it is too soon. Meeting people who are important in their lives takes your relationship to the next level – try as hard as you can to divert from this for the first few months.
5. Don’t allow them to be the only one
Date other people! Casual is key. On top of this, be honest about how you feel and keep your eyes open. If they do like you just as much and they are just confused about all their feelings flying around – that’s ok, give them some time. But if you feel that they are simply not ready to feel anything for anyone for a while, it is probably better to back up and away, and let go. Who knows, you may come across them again at another time in your life – maybe even in a few months from now! In the end, respect their wishes, but respect yourself, too.