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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

The Next Step :
Moving On Post Break-Up

You know that lull you hit when you break it off with someone and even though you thought it was what’s best for the both of you, you still feel a bit like Eeyore? Yeah, tell me about it. You can’t quite tell if you’re sad that you made the wrong decision, or if you’re sad wondering about the other person, or if you’re just sad to have let go of something. It’s never a fun thing ending something that you thought had possibilities, but that is the name of the dating game, isn’t it? That’s dating. You meet someone, date them, see if they are right for you, and if they are, great! If not, you move on, and see who is. It’s a draining process, really. Whoever came up with this is going to be in big, big trouble.

So what’s next? Sulking. That’s the easy answer. Or do you jump back out there and see who else there is? That might be the avoidance answer. Maybe it’s best to think about how the past dating experience or relationship went and what you might be looking for with the next person. I’m about to quote a line from a movie that might be all too relevant here, and don’t lie to me, I know you’ve all seen it.


You remember “You’ve Got Mail,” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan? Oh come on, how could you not? You’re living it :-). Anyway, she’s corresponding with Tom Hanks via email but dating Greg Kinnear. They go out to a movie and he makes a comment that she doesn’t like and leaves. He follows her out and claims it’s his fault and then they go into a restaurant and they both confess that they don’t really love each other, and they laugh about it! And say how right they are for each other, so should be together, but it’s just not right. Which can often be the case with people. So anyway, he asks her, “Is there someone else?”

And she says: “No, but there is the dream of someone else.”

Aww…how nice.

But it’s true, isn’t it? We’re always dreaming of someone else, sometimes, even if we’re with someone. Yikes. Dreaming of someone else is nice. You can imagine all the features you’d like them to have and how they would make you happy. All the daunting things of dating would be pushed aside and you could just be comfortable with someone who really knew you, and actually cared about that you. That’s why they call it a dream—it’s not real.

When you break up with someone and have that dream of someone else, you might go back out into the dating scene expecting to find someone who has that extra spark you are looking for. And if you don’t find it right away, you might be disappointed. Post-break up, many daters are likely to give up quickly and have a “dry spell,” because they find that it is just too exhausting. The past relationship drained them too much — why go through all of that again?

But even if that dream of someone else isn’t perfect, remember that it’s there. You do want to be with someone else, but yeah, it might take a little time and work. Don’t expect that just because you’re back on the market, you’ll be attached again instantly. Remember how you dated the last guy. You had to have met in the first place, right? Your dream might seem perfect to you, but if you live with that ideal of perfection, you might just find yourself lonely. It’s the imperfections that make things interesting. And interesting is much more likely to bring a smile to your face.

So if you’re in that breaking up and moving on stage, then yes, it’s okay to sulk a little. It’s hard to move on, even if you weren’t with someone for that long. You had established some kind of connection, and when broken, you need to patch up that hole. But when you feel together again, don’t be afraid to explore all the other opportunities out there. Even if you feel like Eeyore, he’s still a good role model. His tail fell off, but he just kept truckin’ along. It’s up to you to keep moving and putting yourself out there. Let the dream of someone else become a reality.

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at


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