5 signs that you are ready to start dating again
Everyone who has lost a partner through bereavement, divorce or separation needs to come to terms with the loss before they are ready to date again. How long this will take will vary from person to person and will be affected by factors like how the relationship ended, whether there are children involved and the individual’s ability to let go and move on. Here we look at the five most common signs that you are ready to start dating again.
1. You have let go
This is the surest sign that you are ready to move on with your life. If you have been bereaved it is a matter of making sure you have had enough time to go through the grieving process and all that involves. There is no right way to grieve and you might find yourself going through lots of different emotions including anger and denial before you finally get to a place of acceptance. Acceptance means that you know deep in your heart that your loved one is gone and is never coming back and you will begin to be able to visualise a future for yourself with someone else without it feeling like a betrayal of their memory.
If your relationship ended in divorce or separation then there is still a loss for you to work through but there may also be feelings of hurt and betrayal. It can be helpful to talk to someone if you find that you are struggling to let go of the anger towards your ex because it will be the biggest block to you being able to move on with your life. You will know when you have let go of them because you will be able to think of them without all the old feelings rising to the surface.
2. You are doing it for the right reasons
Getting involved in dating for any other reason than because you want to meet someone new and build a happy future for yourself is likely to end in disappointment either for you, your date, or both. Some people get back into dating because they want revenge, financial security, a boost to their ego or because they simply cannot bear to be single any more. Using a date as a fix it will only ever be a short term solution and you will have to face your problems eventually.
3. You have recovered your sense of self
Often when people have been in a relationship for a very long time they lose sight of who they are as an individual and it can take some time to get to know themselves again. Even really simple things like what foods they like, what their interests are, what makes them laugh etc. can get lost over the years and it is important to rediscover them before dating again. Having a firm sense of who you are often involves going out and trying things for yourself and on your own, this will make you more confident and less likely to get involved in a relationship because you are afraid to be by yourself.
4. You know what you are looking for
Before you start dating again put some thought into what you want from a new relationship. Look around at couples you know and look for aspects of their relationship that you would like to experience yourself. Look at your friends, what qualities and characteristics do you admire in people? What personality types are you most compatible with? It is also worth doing some detective work on your previous relationships and seeing what you do and don’t want in the future. If you don’t know what you are looking for how will you know when you have found it?
5. You have time
You are most likely to be successful in dating if you have time and attention to devote to the process. It is rare that people fall for the very first person they meet which means you need to be prepared to put some effort firstly into writing a brilliant profile for yourself and then into looking through profiles; chatting to people online and going on dates.
Only you can know when you are really ready to start dating again. The most important thing is that you feel able to deal with any setbacks or rejections you may experience along the way.
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