There are always risks involved when you are considering dating someone who recently got out of a relationship.
First things first, you should probably take into consideration how his relationship ended.
Did they split up amicably because things just weren’t working out? Or maybe someone cheated and broke the other’s heart? Whether the guy you date dumped a girl or got dumped himself will have a huge impact on his behavior and how he treats you.
There are many behavioral patterns that are at play here, including:
- He may not feel ready for a proper emotional connection and therefore treat you poorly
- He might be using you as a rebound girlfriend, mainly focusing on the physical side of things
- He might still be in love with his ex-girlfriend, even if he says he’s over her
- He might be extremely clingy and affectionate, moving too fast with the relationship
- He might be feeling so rejected and sad that he won’t be able to tell a good thing (you) when he sees it
Whatever his behavior post-break-up, you need to arm yourself with patience and understanding. If you really want to give this a try, here’s a handy guide on how to date a guy who just got out of a relationship.
Dating someone who just ended a long-term relationship
Being in a long-term relationship is very different from casual dating. So it makes sense that if you date a guy who just got out of a serious relationship, you may encounter some challenges.
You will probably be feeling some doubt as to whether he actually likes you, or you are just a rebound. You may see signs that he isn’t quite over his ex, like him being on his phone a lot, checking her out on social media, or visiting places where he knows he can bump into her.
He probably won’t be quite ready to introduce you to his friends and family yet. Some of them might not even know that he’s split up with his long-term girlfriend. As a result, you will probably feel like you still need to win his heart and do a lot of hard work to prove to him that you are worth his attention.
You will need to be very patient with him, especially if he had his heart broken. Long-term relationships can take a considerable time to recover from. He might still be holding onto hope that his ex will change her mind and take him back.
A guy who’s been in a long-term relationship will naturally be a bit awkward on the dating scene again. He will have simply forgotten how to be single and might find it weird to flirt or play dating games, like waiting a number of days before calling you, etc.
Accept that it might be a good thing if he simply doesn’t know the protocol. Or, he might just not care about those sorts of things and wants to follow his heart instead.
Dating a fellow dumpee
This situation is even more unique because it might actually have some advantages. If you recently got dumped you are likely feeling sorry for yourself. Then there’s him, a recent dumpee too.
At the very least, you will both know what the other is going through and can be there for each other.
You might actually find closure in sharing a mutual understanding of how bad it feels to have been dumped. The downside is that you will also both be aware that this might only be a rebound thing.
You just need to get over the pain of losing a loved one, and this relationship is okay for now. It gives you some relief and at least you don’t have to be alone.
You will probably focus on just having casual sex and occasionally using each other to make your exes jealous. You won’t have to make a big deal out of it or meet each other’s friends and families.
As long as you both know where you stand, that might actually work out fine, as this relationship is based more on problem-solving than mutual enjoyment. You might not be able to bond over feelings of positivity and love, but you can still build each other up.
It’s more about the give-take dynamic and developing a balance that works for both of you. If you are both still attached to your exes, you won’t be pushing each other for commitment either, just using the opportunity to heal.
Understanding his feelings and boundaries
When you get together with a guy who just got out of a relationship, it’s important to be aware of his boundaries. He might not be interested in having a serious relationship at all.
No matter how much he likes you, you have to respect if his heart’s not in it. It’s important to not take it personally.
Another thing to be mindful of is not treating him like damaged goods. He will be okay eventually; he might just need some time. In fact, seeing a guy heartbroken over his ex should reassure you that he’s capable of a serious relationship and isn’t afraid to show vulnerability.
There’s a lot of positive in this if you choose to see it that way.
You should also try not to pry when it comes to the ex. When and if he’s ready, he will share with you what she was like or what went wrong. But you’ve got to accept that he might not want to talk about it at all.
Don’t pressure him to open up about it, especially if the breakup was really painful.
How to deal with his ex’s presence
In some cases, dating a guy who just got out of a relationship is particularly tricky because his ex is still in the picture.
Maybe she’s his sister’s best friend, someone who lives right next door, or they work in the same company. Whatever the situation, you can’t just wipe her out of his life.
You need to be understanding and acknowledge that the more he sees her, the more difficult it will be for him to move on. Offer support and solutions, not judgment.
The more he falls for you and builds a relationship with you, the less he will notice his ex is still in his life. The best thing you can do is show that you trust him and leave the past where it belongs – in the past.
Dating labels and expectations
If you want to make it work with this guy and you sense that he’s still not ready for a serious commitment, don’t pressure him into calling you his girlfriend or making it official on social media.
If he’s not ready to meet your parents yet, respect that. Don’t rush into labeling whatever this is as a “relationship”. That’s not the way to win his heart and show that you understand his healing process.
Dating red flags to look out for
There are so many red flags to look out for when dating a guy who just got out of a relationship – it might actually make your head spin. Here’s a list of things to watch out for:
- He rushes the relationship and asks for commitment straight away
This guy is so down in the dumps that he’d do anything to feel normal again, including begging for your love and attention. He comes on too strong and you know that it’s all about him, not you.
You get the feeling that he just wants to feel loved, and it could be anyone else in your place. He’s talking about moving in together after just a few dates. You might want to rethink this.
- He talks about a shared future together
A guy who recently got dumped wants to make sure that his efforts aren’t all for nothing. So, he talks about family, marriage, and his dream life. He wants to figure out how much you are into him and whether he can take a shortcut to a serious commitment.
- He’s hypersensitive
A recently dumped guy can be hypersensitive in all sorts of situations. He’s impatient, emotional, anxious, and just a bit off. He might snap at you without a reason or be too demanding.
The recent change in his relationship status might also mean that he wants to protect himself from more heartbreak. As a result, he’s controlling and too direct.
- He’s physically demanding
Another red flag to watch out for is when a guy who recently ended a relationship comes on too strong and makes physical or emotional demands of you. You do not have to sleep with him or be intimate with him just because he asks it of you.
Think about whether you are actually ready to be intimate with him and don’t let him emotionally blackmail you.
- He stalks his ex
You like this guy and you want to make it work with him, but you are starting to notice some disturbing behavior: he won’t let go of his ex-girlfriend. He still talks about her and is being obsessive.
He won’t delete her number or their pictures together. You are starting to feel like he just doesn’t value you enough.
- He’s angry about the past
A sure-fire sign that this guy isn’t over his ex is how he talks about her and their relationship together. Is it all her fault? Was she crazy? Did she make a huge mistake?
If he talks about her in an emotional and angry manner, it’s time to remind him that they are no longer together, and it’s not healthy to dwell.
- He brags about you on social media
This guy won’t really give you the light of day, but his social media makes it look like he’s smitten. He brags about you online, probably to make his ex jealous. In real life, he introduces you to his friends very quickly and doesn’t quite make a big deal out of your relationship.
- He still texts his ex
The biggest red flag is, of course, his inability to move on from his ex, so much so that you know he’s still texting her.
What to do if he wants her back
One of the most painful realizations might be that the guy you are dating is not only still caught up on his ex, but he’s actively pursuing her and trying to win her back. You are a stepping stone or a rebound and not the woman he wants to be with.
What can you do?
You just have to let him go, no matter how much you like him. Respect yourself enough to walk away from someone who just can’t commit to you. Why would you want to prove to him that you are the one when he’s still in love with his ex?
There’s no point standing in his way or pretending that what you’ve got is working out. If he really wanted to be with you, he’d be putting all of his efforts into making your relationship serious.
How to know it’s working
If you are going steady for a while with this guy, you can rest assured it’s going better than you actually think. You know that if he only wanted a rebound then he would have already dumped you.
No, this is something more. He might have feelings for you. He might still need some time to figure things out, but if things are good between you two, then congratulations – you might actually help him heal from his past relationship.