Are You Ready to Start Dating Again? Ask Yourself These 5 Questions
Going through a break-up is hard, but what comes after can be even harder: deciding when you’re ready to start dating again.
But rejoining the dating game isn’t always easy; jumping back in before you’re ready can result in confidence knocks, rebound relationships, and projecting your own hangups onto the poor soul you’ve just started dating.
So how do you know when you’re ready? When to start dating again?
Luckily, we’ve got the answers. Or at least, the questions that help you determine if you are ready for a relationship.
Here are five questions you need to ask yourself to find out whether you’re ready to start dating again: the answer depends on you.
1. Have you let go of your previous relationship?
One of the first questions you need to ask yourself is whether you have let go of your previous relationship. If you’ve come out of a marriage or lost long-term partnership — particularly recently — then you really need to make sure that you’ve made your peace with that loss before you start dating again.
You need to make room for your new relationship, and you can’t do that if you’re still stuck on your old one, obsessing over what went wrong and living in the past.
This can be especially hard if the relationship didn’t end on your terms or if you feel it ended prematurely. It can be so difficult to let go once you’ve made that deep connection with a person and you’ve shared a life with them.
But the good news is that it is possible to find peace and happiness again without that person — and to open your heart to someone new.
You just need to do it in your own time, once you have healed and made peace with the past. Then you can look to the future and begin to date again.
2. Have you recovered your sense of self?
When we come out of any serious long-term relationship, we can often feel like we’ve lost part of ourselves.
We’ve spent so long as part of a couple and defined ourselves as such, that it can feel like you don’t know who you are anymore without that person. And that journey toward finding yourself again is hard.
It’s not impossible though.
But, before mapping out how to start dating again, you need to take time to reconnect with your inner self — to find out what you want and need, on your own terms.
Instead of worrying about others, practice self-love: nourish your mind and body, accept all of your emotions and embrace yourself.
Sometimes, you might need professional help from a therapist or life coach as well as your own strength and support from friends. Don’t be ashamed about this: professionals can help you learn to love yourself again — working with you to help you heal and rebuild your self-worth.
However, you do it as finding your sense of self before dating again is a must. You don’t want to fall into the habit of relying on others to give you worth. That also answers how long to wait before dating again as there is no particular deadline to hang upon.
Remember that self-love is the key to finding happiness with another person as you can’t love others before you know how to love and accept yourself first. So first, cultivate a relationship with yourself.
3. Do you know what you want?
This question sounds easier to answer than it actually is — do you know what you want from your dating experiences? I mean, really?
Or you could think that you’re ready to commit again when you actually just need to make the most of your newfound singleness and try a bunch of no-strings dates instead.
There’s no judgment either way — we’re all different, with different desires. Having said that you need to do some serious soul-searching, “am I ready to start dating again”, or am I ready for a relationship?” would be good questions to start with.
It’s about finding the right thing for you at this moment in time, whether it’s having fun or admitting that you’re ready for a serious relationship.
Answering this question will help you to get the most out of dating, and find what you’re looking for. It also means that you can be more honest with the people once you start dating again and will be less likely to hurt their feelings along the way.
4. Are you dating for the right reasons?
There are all sorts of reasons why people start dating again after a big breakup, and it’s not always to find happiness again.
Breakups are a huge, emotional upheaval in our lives, and they can seriously mess with our heads. This means that you might act differently to how you normally do — acting on impulse, being reckless, or ignoring your emotions.
You might want to start dating again as a way of burying your feelings or as a quick fix; if you’re dating again, then you must be okay, right?!
Perhaps you think that getting back on the dating scene — in a public way — will help you to “get back” at your ex after you have done a Facebook surveillance of your former partner, or prove that you’re handling the break-up fine.
We don’t need to tell you that this probably isn’t the healthiest way of dealing with a broken heart and a bruised ego.
Also, watch this interesting video on the stages after a breakup:
When you’re thinking about dating again, ask yourself why and make sure that your intentions are good.
You owe it to yourself and the next person you’re going to be dating.
5. Do you have enough time and energy?
Perhaps this sounds like a weird question, but it still stands: do you have enough time and energy for dating?
We’re not asking you to jump into a full-blown long term relationship right away, but dating takes effort. Whether you’re trying online dating for the first time or heading out for a blind date, chatting to complete strangers and forging new connections is hard work.
You need to make sure that you’ve got enough energy and time to commit to dating again before you do.
Otherwise, the prospect of talking to new people, browsing those profiles, and going on dates will seem overwhelming, which means you’re more likely to freak out and bail.
These are five questions that you need to ask yourself to figure out if you’re ready to start dating again. If the answer to all of them is yes, then get out there and start dating again!
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