Dating has changed over the past few years, heavily influenced by modern societal standards and the development of technology. Today, dating is more accessible than ever. You can meet new people by simply swiping on an app on your phone. Elite online dating services are available to help even the busiest people find the best matches. And in the modern age, people’s expectations about dates are not as high as before, meaning you don’t have to pull all of the stops just to secure a second date unless you want to.
With all of these things making dating easier, the remaining problem is: are you ready to date? Whether you’ve just gone from a bad breakup or have stayed single for quite some time now, here are the signs you’re ready to dive back into the dating scene:
1. You’re not afraid to be alone
Some people don’t like being alone, and that’s perfectly acceptable. However, if you are looking for a relationship just for the sake of having one, you may not be fully ready to date again. Not only is this unfair to the other person but it is also a potentially toxic way to enter a relationship.
In contrast, when you’re no longer afraid to be alone, when you actually enjoy your own company, and when having a partner is no longer a life or death thing–it’s a good sign that you’re ready to date again. In this way, you’re not looking for someone to fill your time; you’re looking for someone to be in a healthy, productive relationship with.
2. You’re not bitter anymore
Sometimes, a bad ex will always be a bad ex, but that doesn’t mean they will spark pain and rage every time they are mentioned forever. It can take time to get over an ex, especially after a bad breakup, and that process usually involves feeling bitterness, anger, resentment, and all sorts of negative stuff towards them. It’s normal and it will pass. When you no longer feel all those negative feelings when you think about them, it’s a good sign that you won’t bring baggage into your next relationship.
3. You are available
You don’t have emotional baggage, you feel ready to look for a partner again, but are you really available to date? Dating doesn’t only require being emotionally available, it’s also about actually having the time and energy to see someone on top of everything else going on in your life.
If you can’t see yourself squeezing in a date into your packed schedule, maybe hold off on dating for a while. It will be unfair to see someone that you can’t make time for at this point in your life, and it will only be a waste of time for the both of you if you try to force it.
4. You feel excited about dating again
If the idea of dating and getting to know other people again doesn’t send feelings of dread to your stomach, then congratulations–you may be ready to dive back into the dating scene. Dating, when done right, can be an exciting experience. Sure, you won’t know if the next person you see a movie is will be The One, but the excitement in getting to know other people is sometimes worth the risk.
If you feel that excitement about dating again, you can start easing into the dating scene, but of course, don’t let that excitement cloud your judgment when finding a potential date.
5. You’re no longer cynical
After a particularly bad experience with your previous partner, it’s common to think that “every man/woman is the same” or “everyone sucks so why bother?”. However, these thoughts won’t last forever, and soon, you will see the good in people again, particularly your preferred gender. However, it won’t happen overnight. Sometimes, it can take months or even years before your jaded view of other people disappears and becomes replaced with the desire to give them a chance.
6. You know what you did wrong
Accepting that you are wrong is one of the hardest parts of getting over a relationship. Your ex may not be the only one at fault for the breakup, and it can take some time to realize what you did wrong. Once you do, that’s one step closer to being ready to date again.
There’s nothing wrong with being single for however long you want or need. But when you are starting to think about dating again, it’s best for everyone involved to ensure that you’re actually ready to have someone in your life again–and potentially make a commitment to them.