When Will I Be Ready To Date Again?

are you ready to date

Be Certain You’re Ready to Date

Did you break-up with your partner in the last year? Do you feel pressured into dating? You think you *should* be ready? Uncertainty is normal, but if you are feeling overwhelmed at the idea, then perhaps you aren’t quite there yet. Don’t cave into pressure, Wait until you know you’re ready to date.

If you start dating before you are ready, it won’t go well. You could harbor feelings of distrust or fear. You might be looking for negatives. You may not have any enthusiasm. You might be constantly comparing your date to your ex. To be ready to date, your heart must be free to soar. You will have fears, but they should be delicious frissons of excitement, not deep-rooted suspicions or worries. 

Are you ready to date?
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Are You Really Over Your Ex?

The most common obstacle to dating someone new is the memory of your ex. If the breakup is still raw; if you feel pain at every small reminder, you aren’t ready to date.

The reason why your previous relationship broke up may be having a psychological effect on you. Are you carrying hurt forward instead of putting it firmly in the past? Do you still feel as if you have lost an important part of yourself?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to forget your ex, or suppress memories of them. They were hugely important to you and always will be. You learned so much from being with them… and you are continuing to learn from the break-up. The people you meet during your lifetime: romantic partners, in friends, acquaintances, and even brief chance meetings, they all leave an impression, a layer of energy, and an emotional connection. They all change you imperceptibly. And the ones you love deeply inevitably have the deepest influence. Honor their memory, but don’t wallow in it.

Signs You Aren’t Ready to Date:

  • You still cry at the thought of your ex.
  • You compare everyone to them.
  • You are still checking his social media.
  • The thought of dating makes you feel sick.

Signs You Are Ready To Date:

  • You notice other people.
  • Those sad songs don’t have the same effect as they once did.
  • You’ve forgotten all about your ex’s Facebook, or at least, you haven’t checked it in ages i.e. weeks, not hours.
  • Your heart skips if you think about snuggling up to someone new.

The Gift of You

Do remember that when you date someone you are auditioning them as potential partners, a partner to whom you will give the gift of you. This is really big. When you commit to someone you are handing them your vulnerable self: your heart, your trust, your feelings. When you are considering dating seriously, you need to be prepared to fall in love, to be able to give that person the precious, incomparable gift of you. Are you ready to do that?

Have You Sufficient Emotional Energy to Start Dating Again?

If you’ve been through a difficult time recently, you are probably feeling emotionally drained. Dating again might be the tonic you need to lift your spirits. But, it might not be. You may not be ready to withstand the emotional ups and downs that dating invariably entails. The last thing you want to do is to lump your emotional baggage onto a new person. They’re not looking for a relationship which is overshadowed by a previous one. And neither are you. You want to approach dating with a clean sheet, with anticipation and delight. So if you are still feeling blah, you need to work on yourself to bring your emotional vibration up to a higher level.

You Are Whole

Know this: you don’t need someone else to complete you. You are a whole and perfect individual making your way through the journey of your life. You will meet others with whom you will create a bond, some temporary, some long-lasting. Yet, they are not there to complete you as a person. They are there to enhance your life. In some cases, to teach you. In others, to have fun. In one or two, to love you deeply. 

To be able to be with someone, knowing you are a whole person (and that they are too) is glorious. That you can be together without needing them to make up the missing part of you. Because there is no missing part.

Are you ready to date again?
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Avoid the Same Old Mistakes

Do you have a pattern of attracting the same kind of people with the same problems? Learn from your past mistakes. You can’t fix them. Make it different this time. Go slowly so that you are able to spot patterns, both in them and in yourself. At the same time, don’t be on high-alert looking for, and in expectation of, flaws. 

Shared Core Values

It’s a good idea, while in the fallow period between a relationship and embarking on dating, to do a little analysis. Think about how your values differed from your ex’s. Those differences were probably the reason why you broke up. Those values are part of who you are and are non-negotiable. 

Examples might be: 

  • Honesty  
  • Integrity  
  • Trust  
  • Compassion  
  • Kindness  
  • Putting your partner first
  • Shared decision making
  • Responsibility 
  • Enthusiasm

All those things (and many more) make someone who they are. It is essential that two people share core values. It’s much more important than having common interests. Common interests don’t mean jack when there is a deviation in core values.

What’s negotiable, what’s essential? What will you want to keep as you go into a new relationship? What are you prepared to discard or compromise on? What values won’t you ever compromise? 

Thinking and/or writing about your own core values; remembering when they came into play, or when your refusal to cast them aside, is a good thing to do after a relationship break-up. It will help you to know yourself better and therefore, to know what is important for a long-lasting, stable, rewarding and loving relationship.

Happy dating!

Featured photo by Rowan Chestnut on Unsplash

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