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Are You Ready to Start Dating Again?

By Laura Snyder

You polished off the ice cream (or beer, whichever it is that gets you though). You did the awkward stuff-exchange with your ex. You even bought a few new threads to debut on your re-entry into the dating scene. Still, you hesitate.

Not sure if you’re ready to dive right into the dating pool, or maybe just dip in your toes? Here’s how to tell.

Ready or Not Indicator #1: You Have Your Own Motives.

You’re ready to find a really happy relationship with a special someone. Or you’re ready to have a series of really happy non-relationships with several someones. Either way, you have a plan, and it’s not just to get your friends or your family off your back about whether you’ve met someone yet.

Ready or Not Indicator #2: You’re Not Riding the Bitter Bus.

You’ve stopped issuing cynical blanket statements about “all guys” and “every woman.” You no longer harbor elaborate revenge fantasies towards your ex. You’re reasonably confident you will not dump all your issues and expectations on any potential new partners. Dating can be a crazy scene; you need to be able to not take it seriously or personally (until you’re in a situation where it’s serious and personal).

Ready or Not Indicator #3: You’re Still Chummy with Your Ex.

You can't move on if you're still convinced your ex might change their mind. Don't kid yourself into thinking you and your ex and still "just be friends". Stop calling. Stop showing up at his or her favorite hangouts. Put away all the pictures and reminders. Thinking about your ex lets your brain continue to harbor romantic feelings. To really move on, you have to go cold turkey.

Ready or Not Indicator #4: You Accept Your Role in the Break Up.

It's a lot easier to blame your ex for the entire breakup, but you know you had to have had a (teeny-tiny) role. Examine what went wrong in your last relationship before you jump right into a new one and you'll have a better idea of what you can do right the second time around.

Ready or Not Indicator #5: You’re Happy. Or Getting There.

You’re building the life you want to have and not sitting around waiting for Prince or Princess Charming to show up and make your life complete. You’ve got good friends, feel rewarded either through your career or hobbies, have plans for the future. You’re responsible for your own happiness.

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