Absolutely! I am actually kind of the opposite, I would find it incredibly hard to date someone else when I am still grieving from a break-up… I guess just because right after a break-up I still usually feel love for my recent ex, and even thinking about someone new feels like a betrayal to me.
When I was younger, I heard it takes just as long to get over a relationship as you spent in it. I took that to heart, and when my first boyfriend broke up with me, I took a calendar and marked the date that I should be “over” my ex by- it was 7 months to the day! At first, it seemed like I would never get over him, but it really only took that summer, so about 2 months. When he called me at the end of the summer to beg to get back together, I still wasn’t fully over it, but it was enough to tell him no! My second relationship was even more serious- it lasted 2 and a half years, he really was my best friend, and I really thought we would get married, etc etc. I was devastated when the relationship ended (the summer after our senior year) and my first year of college was horrible for many other reasons on top of that. It probably took me about 2 years to even be open to another relationship, though I think it was also about the other turmoil I was experiencing. After around 2 years, I remember thinking I would be open to a new relationship, but certainly wasn’t looking for one or even really wanting/needing one. About 2 years after that, I remember wanting to date, but nothing ever really happened with anyone beyond a few innocent crushes on my end. And about 2 years after that, so now 6 years since my ex and I had broken up, I was actively hoping NOT to meet anyone. I was working very hard to achieve a long-held dream of traveling, and I was afraid that if I met someone, I might decide to stay instead of going to fulfill my dream. So I really hoped he *wouldn’t* come along then, lol.
I didn’t meet anyone, and made my dream a reality. I spent nearly a year traveling, and it was an amazing experience! I did end up flirting with some guys abroad, which was good fun, and I even hoped to meet someone there, though that never happened either. I came home for the summer and had a fling with someone through a dating app, then had one more trip planned for another couple months. I met my now-husband about a week after I was back for good. My dating profile wasn’t even set up nicely when I messaged him for the first time- I apologized that it was pretty empty, etc. He didn’t care and we chatted for a couple of weeks before finally meeting up- then had our first three dates in the first three days! And never really looked back.
It can feel like a lifetime when you’re hurting, I know. A lot of my friends worried that they would never meet anyone and would probably die alone. I told them all they were wrong- while there is nothing wrong at all with being single for life, that wasn’t what they wanted for themselves, and I knew they are wonderful people who would eventually attract other wonderful people in due time. They didn’t seem to believe me, but many of them are now in serious, healthy relationships with good men now. As for me, I always knew one day I wanted to get married, but was single for a full 8 years- during my early and mid 20s, at that!! Sometimes I wish I had met my guy earlier, but then I realize I wouldn’t be who I am today if I had. I grew a lot by myself. I got to see the world and make new friendships. I grew my career and my independence. I was selfish and made decisions for myself alone- like dropping out of college, which was one of the hardest and best things I ever did for myself. There was also a lot of darkness in those days for me- struggles with depression, loss of loved ones, not knowing who I was, and a few very dark experiences. I was utterly alone, and at times it was so, so hard. I know it would have been easier with a good guy by my side to help me through! But I faced those things alone and made it through, discovered the depths of my own strengths and celebrated my own triumphs. I delight in shared achievements, but it was also incredibly rewarding to know that what I had done and overcome, I had done myself, through my own strength, grit, and determination.
I’m not saying you need to be single for 8 years, but for some period of time, it can be very good for you! It wasn’t until I actively started trying to find someone that I found my guy. But I’m glad I had that time alone to figure out who *I* am, just me. It makes you feel so much stronger, and it keeps you focused on the right things- looking for the right person for you, and not just falling into a relationship that acts as a band-aid for your problems.