How to Know When You’re Ready to Date Again

Are your friends telling you to “get back out there” following heartbreak? Here’s how to know when you’re ready to date again.

You’re no longer angry.
Anger does not a healthy dater make. Until you’ve dealt with the anger, bitterness and pessimism associated with your last breakup, it will be difficult to start fresh in a new relationship. Once you’ve let go and found peace post-heartache — no matter how painful the breakup may have been — you can move forward and give yourself a real shot at new love.

You’re taking care of you.
Since your breakup, have you taken time out to take care of you? Do you feel like yourself again, and not a half of a whole? Are you content being alone? Are you pursuing things that make you feel alive and most like yourself? A healthy sense of self is attractive — and will help you make healthy decisions about who you date next and what you’re looking for in a relationship.

You know what you’re looking for.
Reflect on the past as you look forward. What worked in your last relationship? What didn’t? What factors led to its disintegration? Take the time to evaluate what you must have and what you can’t stand in a partner. It’s okay to be picky. You’ll know you’re ready to date again when you’re ready to do so intentionally, unwilling to fall into the bad dating habits of the past.

You’re emotionally available.
Regardless of how long you’ve been single, you might still be holding a torch for someone else. If so, you aren’t ready to give someone new a fair chance. Wait until you’re emotionally healthy and available — no longer dwelling on what was or comparing new dates to those who’ve come before — before bringing someone else into your life.

You want to date again for the right reasons.
Why do you want to date again? If it’s just “to win the breakup,” and prove yourself a catch to the loser who left you, hold off for a while. You’re not ready. Dating shouldn’t be a form of revenge, validation or competition. Dating should not be a bandaid solution for breakup wounds.

You feel ready.
Sometimes you just know.

If you don’t feel ready, you probably aren’t. There are no rules or timelines for these things. It’s okay to feel a little nervous about getting back on the horse, dating-wise, but if the idea feels altogether wrong, enjoy a season of intentional singleness as you find your bearings without your ex.

Tell us – how did you know when you were ready to date again?