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Hey! So I just listened to your podcast episode "Don't Look at the Cupcakes," the one about how Venmo histories (and social media accounts, in general) can make breakups harder than they already are. So my question is: I just broke up with my boyfriend of about six months the other week, and while I was ready to break it off months earlier, I had to wait until the right time. So by the time I actually did it, he was quite sad (understandably), but I had basically been checked out for a while and was eager to get into the dating scene.
I want to go back onto the dating apps like Tinder and Bumble but I don't want him to know (i.e. if his friend sees me on there and sends him a screenshot). Some of my friends say it's not my responsibility to look out for his potential sadness, and that I have to do my own thing. Others say to lay low for a while. So how soon is too soon to get back into the dating scene when you don't want to shove it in your ex's face?
– Ready to Date
It's not your responsibility to hide from the world until your ex is over the breakup. You're allowed to go on dating apps and meet new people. If he happens to see you on Bumble or Tinder, it'll be a reminder that you're moving on and that he should too. Hopefully his friends won't send that kind of screenshot, by the way. I'm not sure why they would.
I do wonder why it took you so long to break up with this person. You were together for six months, but you wanted to break it off months before you did. Why did you have to wait? Maybe the lesson here is that "the right time" is the exact moment you know you're checked out. Your letter makes it clear that you want to avoid making people feel bad, but that's part of the dating process. By putting off the pain, it's possible you made it a lot worse.
Live your life and accept that at some point, he might see evidence of your happiness, and it might make him sad. And that's OK. It's part of what it means to break up.
Readers? Should the LW put off Bumble?