5 Signs You’re Ready To Start Dating

breakups dating relationships Feb 03, 2023

After leaving a difficult or toxic relationship, it's expected that you would need time to heal. After those types of relationships, we need to decompress, and it takes time to release all that negativity we were surrounded with.

But how long is too long?

How long after a breakup can we start dating again? Unfortunately, there is no set time to start dating. Everyone has a different time frame for when they are ready to start meeting new people, which can change from relationship to relationship.

Some people can leave a relationship and be ready to start dating again almost immediately. Others need a few weeks, months, or even over a year before they consider seriously dating.

Being ready to date depends if you are emotionally, mentally, and physically ready. Someone who is ready to date soon after a relationship ends could be because the end was anticipated, drawn out, or inevitable. It could also be because there was not much to process in the end. A person who needs a long gap between relationships usually needs it because there is a lot for them to process. They either need time to process their relationship, or they need time to work through their own baggage.

There is no wrong amount of time; there is only the time you need.


If you're wondering if you're ready, here are 5 signs that you are ready to start dating.


1. You Let Go Of The Past

You are not still mourning or recovering from your past relationship, and you don't want to carry that same baggage and pain from relationship to relationship. You have taken the time you needed to heal, accepted what you could not change, and now let go of those insecurities, fears, and pain.

Letting go of the past is a lot easier said than done. If you're still working on letting go, there are some tips and tricks that you can use.

  • Create distance between yourself and the person or situation.
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • Allow yourself to feel those emotions instead of always pushing them away.
  • Practice self-care.
  • Learn to forgive yourself.
  • Don't let others continually define you, take control of your life.
  • Let yourself let go of the past. Actually letting go of the past can be hard because your emotions are tied to what happened. Accepting and letting go of the past does not mean you are okay with what happened; it just means that you are moving on.


 2. You Understand What You Want

You know what you want and what you need in a relationship. You know what qualities you are looking for and what type of behavior you will and will not accept. You have a grasp on the direction you want your life and relationship to go.

Still trying to figure out what you want? Knowing what you want takes time and a lot of internal work. If you are still figuring out what you want in a relationship, you will need to:

  • Figure out what your core values are. What are the things that matter most to you?
  • Look at your past relationships. What parts of your relationships were good, and what parts were bad? What about your partner's behavior and personality did you like, and what did you not like?
  • Look at how you acted and felt in your past relationships. This takes a lot of self-awareness and being honest with your behavior and actions in those relationships.
  • Look at healthy relationships around you. This can help you get an idea of how healthy and happy relationships can work. What do you notice about the people? What do you like about it? What do you not like?


3. You Are Not Seeking Validation

You are in a place where you can fill yourself up, and you don't rely on the validation of others to give yourself worth. You are not starting a new relationship because you are afraid to be alone but because you want someone to enjoy your life with.

When it comes to relationships, it can be hard to know if you are in a relationship to seek validation. So here are some quick signs that you seek validation from others:

  • You constantly apologize.
  • You are afraid to say no to people.
  • Your happiness is dependent on someone being happy with you.
  • You have a history of jumping from relationship to relationship.
  • You are constantly comparing yourself to other people.

If this sounds like you, here are some things you can do to help so you don't seek as much validation from others.

  • Be mindful of what you are doing and why.
  • Say no when you need to, and enforce boundaries to protect yourself and your energy.
  • Practice self-care and self-love.
  • Focus on your good qualities, and don't compare yourself to others.


4. You Are Okay Being Single

No matter where you are in life, you need to be comfortable with being alone with yourself. Being single gives you opportunities to learn how to be alone and enjoy your own company. It gives you time to learn, explore, and accept yourself. That is why you have to learn what you need and want for yourself before entering a relationship.

Being okay with being single doesn't mean you can't be lonely. Being okay with being single means that you are okay with being with YOU. People strive for those feelings of connection and being with others. So how can you learn to be okay with being single?

  • Stay connected with friends and family. There are different types of relationships, and staying connected with the people that bring us joy is important.
  • Find hobbies and activities to get involved in.
  • Manage your expectations. Being single is not always fun or exciting like you see on social media and tv. Like everything in life, there are ups and downs.
  • Date yourself. Take yourself out and do the things that you are passionate about or enjoy. Go out to dinner, see a movie, or have a night in.


5. You Want To Start Dating Again

This is your biggest sign. It seems simple, but often we can confuse what we want with what is expected. You might hear, "It's been months, put yourself back out there! What are you waiting for?" But the truth is, you don't have to date, and you shouldn't start dating again unless that is what you want. Dating should be fun, exciting, and even make us nervous and full of anticipation. Dating should be an enjoyable experience, not a chore.

If you're not exactly there yet, that's okay. Wanting to date is something that takes time. If you are happy being single and want to enjoy it a little longer, then do it. You're ready when you're ready.