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5 Signs You’re Ready to Date Again: A Broken Heart Doesn't Last Forever


A woman with long hair facing a glorious sunset on a bench.

If you’ve been heartbroken over a breakup, there’s a good chance you want to date again. The thing is you might not be sure you’re ready. And it’s best to be sure before you jump into something new.


But how do you know if you are? It’s not always easy to determine especially after heartbreak. But, as someone who’s been there, I’d like to share a few things that helped me know I was ready to date again after my divorce.


Sign 1


A statue of a naked man in a sitting pose. It's as if he's thinking. The image is burnished gold.

If the majority of your thoughts are no longer on your ex, it’s a good sign you’re ready to move on. After all, it’s hard to step into the future when one foot is always in the past. Isn’t it better to enter a new relationship when your thoughts are more forward focused?


My experience

In the early days after my divorce, I was nowhere near ready for someone new. I thought about my ex all the time. He would show up in my dreams, too. I would have brought too much baggage from the past into a new relationship if I had dated then.


Sign 2


two Asian women talking

What do you talk about? Do you still talk about your ex most of the time, or do your conversations focus more on the excitement of meeting someone new and what your future might look like? If you’re talking to friends and family more about what’s ahead than what’s behind, you’re might be ready to start dating again.


My experience

I remember talking to others about my hope for a new relationship about six years after my divorce. I even mentioned that I didn’t think he was in the same province as me. This was about three years before I met my current husband. I was getting ready. (Please don’t let my timeframe discourage you. It may not take you as long as it took me to recover.)


Sign 3


A woman with dark skin. Her face is pointing upwards as if she's thinking.

How are you feeling emotionally? Do you feel burdened by all that has happened because of your relationship breakup? If so, you’re probably not ready to date again. You’ll be in a better position for a new relationship when your emotions are balanced again.


My experience

I experienced varying degrees of anxiety throughout my recovery from divorce. A few years later, I was going through another rough patch and was even dealing with panic attacks. On the other hand, I experienced anxiety again when I met my current husband. Thankfully, he was understanding and patient with me. (You don’t have to have all your emotions in order before dating, but if you’re in deep despair, it’s probably not the best time for a new relationship.)


Sign 4


A pink heart that is singed at the tip

What is your attitude? If you’re bitter about what you’ve been through, it may not be the best time to start something new. On the other hand, if you’re not jaded by what happened and generally have a positive outlook, you may be ready to try again.


My experience

I’m so thankful I didn’t become angry at all men because of one man’s behaviour. I felt that I would meet someone nice and remarry early on. If I had been bitter and stayed that way, I don’t think I would be in the relationship I’m in today.


Sign 5


a white arrow pointing up on black pavement

What is your imagination like? Can you imagine someone good coming into your life and being happy again? Or do you see only doom and gloom in the future? If you can imagine a happy relationship, you’re getting ready for it.


My experience

Shortly before I met my current husband, I made a long list of qualities I wanted in a man. I reviewed this list and revised it more and more as the years went by. I could see a happy relationship in my future with a good man.


Sign 6



A woman with long hair dressed in black. She's standing on a rock with a camera in her hand.

Do you like yourself and enjoy your own company? Being happy with yourself and accepting your singleness is a sign that you’re ready for a relationship. Because you shouldn’t look to someone else to fill a void in your life. And dating out of loneliness is never a good idea.


Also, if you like and respect yourself, you’re less likely to settle for someone who’s not good for you. Likewise, if you’re willing to let a person go because they’re not right for you, it’s a good sign that you’re ready for a mature relationship.


My experience

When I met my husband, I was determined not to settle a second time. I’d found happiness as a single woman, and although I wanted a relationship, I wasn’t going to settle for just anyone.


My husband was the first man I dated since my divorce, but I talked to a few men online beforehand who just weren’t right for me. I was happy to let them go. In fact, I almost let my husband go in the first month. But I soon realized he was special and that I’d be missing out if I did.


 

As a disclaimer to the foregoing, I wanted to add that each person and situation is different so not all of these signs will necessarily apply to every person. There are surely other signs, too. If you’d like to add to the list, please do so in the comment section.

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