Relationship Advice

22 March 2012

5 signs that you are ready to start dating again

by eHarmony

It is hard to get over a broken heart or the loss of a loved one but time is a great healer. There will come a point when you feel ready to start dating again but you may not recognise when that is so here are five signs to look out for.

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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5 signs that you are ready to start dating again, 8.9 out of 10 based on 44 ratings




8 April 2012 21:03

This is all very true and what I have discovered after separation and divorce. Time is definitely the answer.

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8 May 2012 07:44

starting to think about the future and realise that to have a true relationship a lot of experiences must be shared together i feel that it is time for me to move on with this side of my life

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13 May 2012 10:30

im not sure what love is any more. Cant wait to find out!!

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30 May 2012 10:40

i love a woman

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3 June 2012 12:40

Yes, great advice! Thankyou, It ‘s been only recently I’ve felt ready to move on and start to date seriously and this has confirmed I’m ready.

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8 June 2012 23:03

i am ready to move on for too long i have been sitting around wondering what i did wrong but now i’ve woken up and think its not me that was the problem all these years

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11 June 2012 14:29

Thank you for all the guidelines you have provided most helpful .wish me luck!

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Mike D

28 September 2012 13:53

Most of my anger towards my ex has subsided, though I still harbor a very uncharacteristic quick temper when it comes to her.

Despite this, I believe I’ve “moved on.” Time really has been the best medicine. :)

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Mike D

28 September 2012 13:55

[/Quote] 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. [/]

I think this should also include “when you know for sure that you will never take them back.”

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9 December 2012 07:40

I have no idea…Most women on these dating sites want a tall man I’m a shortarse. The love the footy, beach etc….I don’t….I will be single till death.

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23 January 2013 10:48

After being separated for five years, I am now divorced, definitely ready to find love again, but can’t find out how to update my marital status, so eharmony won’t let me in! Anyone have any ideas?

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23 January 2013 11:11

Hi Sue,

The simplest way to do this is to call our Customer Care team on 1800 707 894. They will be able to take you through the steps to getting you signed up to eHarmony and receiving matches. Good luck in your search!

Best wishes,
eHarmony Advice

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29 January 2013 01:07

I like this article very much. I can for sure relate. I was married 6 years and have been divorce 3. Haven’t dated anyone one seriously because i knew i wasn’t ready. But now im more than ready but the problem with meeting someone is that i work all the time. Im sorting out my life to find time to get out and enjoy life.

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Andrew Thompson

2 February 2013 01:50

I find this very true I have been separated for 8 years instead of cut things off I have tried relentlessly to repair things in the hope of resurection always blameing myself . Huge mistake I have lost my self completely, I dont know what I enjoy or like and just cant bring myself to go out by myself. About 10 months ago I started to realise that the problem was not with me and am now on the road of recovery. Lonely as anything and I long for someone to share lifes wonderful moments with again maybe one day i hope I will be blessed with a wonderful lady in my life once more

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15 March 2013 22:18

I have been so lucky to have been in a marriage where my lovely husband and me had a real sense of ourselves we celebrated our individuality and this allowed us to be just us……to love each other truely. To find someone that ‘you dont want to change’, and they dont feel the need to change you is unconditional pure love and it does exist anything else in my world is a waste of time and this can only happen when you have met your true soul mate dont settle for a diluted measure I lost my Love through a horrible disease but know I am ready to date again because I have no guilt no anger no vengence and no dependence I just miss the pleasure and joy of the love of a good man and we made the most of our life together which has so sadly and tragically come to an end.

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14 April 2013 14:39

OMG comment number eight made me laugh alot, nicely put

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21 April 2013 00:40

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.”

I hadn’t realized that I was in this state of mind and was afraid to get into a relationship because I knew I’d just concede everything. I have finally found myself and am happy now to honour myself and my contribution to any relationship – it’s taken 6 1/2 years. Thanks for all your good advice.

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21 July 2013 00:02

I can totally identify with Andrew’s comments about dwelling on trying to consistently repair a broken relationship.
My partner for 8 years cheated on me twice. Both times I found out about. The most recent was only last December and was the most hurtful experience I have ever been through. But for some stupid reason I keep wanting him back, and he keeps telling me he still sees us together in the future. (Even though he is still seeing her) I am consistently being told I have a chance even though I realise it won’t happen, or at least be an honest relationship. Clearly I need and want to move on, but I also want to find a man who I can trust, and who wants me for who I am, who can accept my past for what it was. It is so hard to let go, especially when they are still around the place watching and being there every now and then. I really have trouble working out how to move on and how to let go. I don’t want to let go at times, and at other times when I hear he is going out and enjoying her company, I do. I want to be with someone who wants to be with me. And I need to be able to recognise that when/if that ever happens too. Wish me luck!

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8 January 2014 03:40

Great article! I think we loose ourselves in a relationship of who we are what we like etc. The secret is to be Happy with ourselves first. Do what makes us happyI not what everyone else wants from us. I have been married for 10 years and now divorced never thought in any real means that I would end up like this. By reading this article – I know I am not willing to let go of the past…. yet. I have to do this first. I want to rediscover my own self… where did that happy go lucky girl go? She disappeared somewhere in a dark cave…. hiding away from the world and herself. The light is there and I am walking towards it now. Ready to discover who I am again, what makes me laugh and what makes me happy. Time has shown me this now and in time I will fall in love again and hopefully not loose myself in the process.

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8 January 2014 08:11

Great article and good tips. A very good friend once said to me “I have a happy life, good friends, am financially secure and have people that love me – now I just want someone to share it with”. That is how I feel now. I love my life and am comfortable with myself but I would like to find someone honest, trustworthy and wants the same things I do so that I can share my happy life!

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12 January 2014 18:10

Good luck Amanda
I have just been through the same this past December. He had been in an intimate relationship with her, while he is intimate with me and tells me that he loves me. 22 years of Marriage and 3 children. I will never take him back as I would never trust him ever again, I never saw it coming the first time. I’m still not over the hurt but I am over him and have realised that the grass is definitely greener.
I hope that someone special comes you way soon

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22 February 2014 06:55

I can relate to number 21 …
I two after 20 years of marriage and 2 children,I had my husband being intimate for 6 months with another woman at the same time as he was with me.
I didn’t see it coming… no one did !!
I will never take him back as I can not ever trust him ever again. I am over him. Its been 4 long months and I’m finding the two of us are starting to be in a good place we can now talk to each other with out emotions flooding or tempers rising .. I’m feeling I need to get out and start living life again !!

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