How do I know when I am ready to date again?

There are different ways in which individuals react when they experience the break up of a relationship.  Some do not want to even think of another relationship and others want to start (or already started) a new relationship ASAP. So, the big question, when are we ready?  Are we ever ready for a new relationship?

When a relationship ends many things are shaken inside of us and it’s important to have some time to reflect on them and to allow ourselves to heal.  Some questions that you might want to ask yourself to determine where you are in this process are:

How do you feel when you think of your ex?

Notice what happens when you think of your ex.  Do you recognize any of the following feelings?

  • Anger
  • Hatred
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Profound sadness
  • Anxiety

If you answered yes to one or more of these, there are probably still things you need to work on before being ready to start something new.

How do you feel when you go out alone?

Take a look at what happens when you go out alone to grab a bite to eat or to the movies or concert.  Do you recognize any of the following sensations?

  • Feeling uncomfortable
  • Embarrassed of being alone
  • Missing your former partner
  • Feeling sad, anxious or depressed
  • Thinking of your ex constantly

If you recognize any of these sensations, you have most likely unfinished grief.

How do you feel towards yourself?

When you think of yourself, what do you notice?  Do you like yourself?  Do you say positive things to yourself about you? Are you critical of yourself?  Do you sometimes feel that you are not good enough?

In order to be ready to start a new relationship, we need to be very aware of how we feel towards ourselves, what triggers us and how.  We all have insecurities.  Sometimes, our insecurities take different forms.  We might put ourselves down constantly and feel bad about ourselves or we might become very defensive  protecting ourselves from any hint of feelings of vulnerability.

You know you are ready for a new relationship when you feel comfortable with your vulnerabilities.

What happens when someone approaches you?

When someone expresses interest in you, do you recognize any of the following?

  • Feeling very excited and eager to know this person.  Being quick giving out your contact information and/or get their information to start contact right away.
  • Feeling very withdrawn and distrustful of their approaching you.

Too much too fast or too little are signs that you might not be ready yet.  These feelings might be telling you that there are still some wounds inside that have not healed and that you might need to process.

Ideally, whenever we meet someone new, we assess how they are and if we have common interests and values.  We go slow but feel calm and open to get to know them.

How do you feel about the thought of a new relationship?

When you think of starting a new relationship do you experience any of the following?

  • Feeling anxious and nervous
  • Scared of experiencing another heart break
  • Scared of opening up and being vulnerable with someone
  • Fear of it not working
  • Fear of feeling you have failed again
  • Feeling as if you are on the edge of a cliff about to fall

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might not be ready to start a new relationship. Your gut is telling you so.

When you are ready, you will know it because it will feel right.  You will feel good with yourself: calm and with a sense of confidence.  You will be able to recognize your emotions.  They will be manageable and not overwhelming.  When you are able to listen to yourself and your inner wisdom, you will be ready and, you will know it.

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