Meeting Someone New After a Breakup Can Arouse Negative Emotions

Starting a relationship after a breakup can trigger past memories, fears, and pain. Find out why it happens and how to deal with it.
Meeting Someone New After a Breakup Can Arouse Negative Emotions

Last update: 27 August, 2022

Mourning is difficult and a breakup usually confronts you with negative and unpleasant emotions. In fact, you find yourself waiting for that moment of acceptance when you’ve managed to heal and are ready to meet someone new.

You believe that this moment will bring you hope, happiness, and satisfaction again. Consequently, you may be unprepared for a completely different set of feelings that this transition period brings.

Starting a relationship is exciting, but it’s also challenging, especially if you were in your previous relationship for a while. In fact, starting over from scratch may not be as easy as you’d hoped. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be afraid or give up before you even try. Quite the contrary. Indeed, knowing that you may experience difficult emotions will help you deal with them in a calmer way.

Couple talking about emotional validation
When meeting a new person it’s possible to experience negative emotions related to past relationships.

Meeting someone new can arouse negative emotions

Let’s say you’ve ended a relationship and you’ve been through the grieving process. You’ve been able to reflect, heal, and integrate what happened into your life and you now feel that it’s time to move forward. In fact, you really want to be in a relationship, to love and be loved, and to share your life with someone again.

For this reason, you agree to let your friends introduce you to new people, accept that date with your gym partner who’s been asking you out, or decide to try online dating apps. Whichever option you may choose, you’re looking forward to connecting with someone again.

However, although it doesn’t necessarily have to happen, you may experience some of the following emotions:

Insecurity and uncertainty

When you’re in a relationship, you usually know that your partner likes you, loves you, and wants to be with you. This makes you feel at ease. On the other hand, when you meet someone new, you don’t have this certainty. That’s because you don’t know what they’re like, what their likes and dislikes are, or what they expect of you.

Therefore, you may feel like you have to show your best side all the time when you’re with them to win them over. You might even worry about being rejected or being a victim of ghosting, an increasingly common practice in today’s world.

Dealing with uncertainty can be exciting for some people, but complicated and uncomfortable for others. If you’re in the latter category, be patient and try to let go of your need for control. In fact, allow yourself to be surprised.

Dissatisfaction and frustration

Excessive optimism and high expectations can also play tricks on you. Indeed, if you’re expecting to meet your ideal partner on the first date, connect instantly, and everything will be perfect, you’ll likely be disappointed.

Of course, it’s natural for you to harbor this desire. However, you must be aware that it might not happen right away. Maybe you can meet the kinds of people who, even if you don’t end up starting a relationship with, can provide you with enriching experiences. Being open-minded and flexible will help reduce the dissatisfaction and frustration that the encounters you’re having don’t fit your ideal.

Sadness

This is perhaps the negative emotion you least expect to experience when meeting a prospective new partner.

Although comparisons are hateful, it’s natural that you’ll tend to compare new people with your ex-partner, especially if you haven’t fully healed. You might remember the complicity that you had with your partner, how comfortable they made you feel, or the jokes you shared together that don’t yet exist with this new person. However, by comparing, you start missing what you had and feel the loss and absence of your ex more strongly.

For this reason, it’s important to remember that the degree of intimacy between you was built over a period of time, so don’t expect the same level to occur immediately with your new partner. If you feel this way, maybe you’re not really missing your ex-partner, but how you felt with them. You’ll eventually be able to feel the same way about your new partner if both of you accept the adventure of building a new life together.

Fear

Lastly, meeting someone new after a breakup may bring unexpected fears. Fear of not reconnecting with anyone on a deep level or of never falling in love again. You might also be afraid that the relationship won’t go well, that you’ll end up suffering again, or end up being deceived or abandoned.

A bad romantic experience can leave you with a layer of pain that acts as an obstacle to you becoming emotionally involved again. If you’re in this kind of situation, you may need to first address your past hurt in order to trust again.

Worried woman thinking about meeting someone new
The fear of suffering again can be an obstacle to a new relationship.

Meeting someone new requires flexibility and patience

In short, the best way to avoid these unpleasant emotions when meeting someone new is to be flexible and take the process slowly. After all, you don’t want to rush or force situations for the simple fact of being in a relationship again.

Allow yourself to meet people and make yourself known to others. Enjoy the journey and your experiences without expectations. Above all, understand that your feelings are completely natural. You need time to love again.

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  • Timmermans, E., Hermans, A. M., & Opree, S. J. (2021). Gone with the wind: Exploring mobile daters’ ghosting experiences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships38(2), 783-801.
  • Verdesoto, J. R., Villacís, M. V., & Franco, X. E. (2019). Impacto emocional de la infidelidad en las relaciones de pareja. Importancia de su conocimiento para el psicólogo clínico. Opuntia Brava11(4), 349-361.