There’s no getting around it – breakups suck.
Whether your relationship came to a sudden halt or slowly petered out, you’ll have to go through a re-adjustment period.
At first, you may never want to go on a date again, but over time you’ll probably start wondering if you’re ready to start meeting new people.
This presents a problem – how do you know for sure whether you are really in the right headspace to start dating again?
Here are nine encouraging signs:
1. You’ve stopped stalking your ex on social media and you’ve deleted their number.
The internet and cell phones have made getting over an ex really tough.
It only takes a couple of seconds to stalk their Twitter and Instagram accounts or make an ill-advised call.
When you can make it through the day without checking their relationship status or flicking through their posts, you’re one step closer to letting go of your past and moving on.
2. You’ve regained a balanced view of relationships.
Breakups can make you cynical and jaded.
You may start to think that all relationships suck.
That kind of attitude is totally normal, but it will hold you back when it comes to dating.
You owe it to yourself – and your future partners – to only start dating again when you remember that relationships can be enriching, fun, and loving.
3. You have rediscovered your own hobbies and interests.
If you’ve recently come out of a long-term relationship, you might be alarmed to discover that you’ve lost sight of who you are along the way.
You need to bring your real, authentic self to your next relationship, so take some time to rediscover old hobbies or pick up a couple of new interests.
4. You feel slightly envious when friends tell you about their dates.
After your breakup, you probably found it hard to listen to your friends’ dating stories.
However, after a few weeks or months, suddenly their anecdotes might make you a bit jealous.
This is a good sign that you’re starting to think of yourself as someone who wants to go on dates rather than someone who is still mourning the loss of a relationship.
5. You’ve started wondering what you’d put on a dating profile.
This is the next logical step that builds on point #4.
Once you’ve started contemplating looking for someone new, you might start spending quite a lot of time thinking about how you’d describe yourself online.
At this stage, it’s only a matter of time before you sign up to a dating site!
6. You’ve started to enjoy hanging out with other people again.
When you’re going through a breakup, spending time with others can feel like a chore.
You may feel as though you have to hide your emotions, or that you’d rather be at home wallowing in your own misery.
When you’ve started meeting up with friends and family and having fun, it’s a good sign that you are re-engaging with life again.
7. You can understand why your relationship didn’t work out.
If you don’t understand what caused your last relationship to fail, you risk making the same mistakes again with someone new.
You might need to do some self-development or even therapeutic work to avoid falling into the same old patterns.
For instance, if you tend to choose emotionally unavailable people, you need to work out why you don’t feel attracted to balanced, healthy partners.
8. You know what you want from your next relationship.
Many women make the mistake of dating someone solely because they find them attractive and they share a few common interests.
However, what really makes or breaks a relationship is shared goals and compatible communication styles.
Before you start dating again, think about the type of partner and relationship you really want.
This will stop you wasting time with people who don’t suit you.
For instance, if you want to date with the hopes of finding a husband, you need to get clear early on whether they just want a casual fling or something more substantial.
Stay grounded and accept people for who they are, not what you want them to be.
9. You don’t feel like you “need” to date again, you simply want to.
Don’t date again until you start thinking of a romantic relationship as a bonus rather than a necessity.
Emotionally stable, desirable, mature men are turned off by neediness and desperation.
Remember, everyone is different.
You might be ready to start dating a few weeks after your breakup, or you may need a couple of years.
Take your time, trust your gut, and go after the healthy love you deserve.