Starting to date again after a breakup is a nerve-wracking experience. What if you get rejected? What if you end up comparing someone new to your ex and it makes you sad? What if your first date as a singleton is a bust? What if... your date is so awkward already that it actually gets better when you accidentally set your hair extensions on fire? (Okay, that last one was stolen from the Anna Farris comedy What's Your Number? , but hey, it could happen.) It might take some time, but one day you'll be ready to date again. Here are some signs that it's a healthy time to start.
1. Your Past Is In Your Past
Anger and guilt keep you from pursuing new relationships. "Many choose to stay 'in the angry' or 'in the bitter' to the point that they are unable or unwilling to move forward from a place of pain to a place of peace," writes Carole Brody Fleet, author of Widows Wear Stilettos. "The resolution of lingering anger is an important step before the resumption of dating."
2. You Don't Need a Relationship
If you don't take the time to figure out who you are, you'll have a hard time accepting others as they are. With that, you risk trying to make over a new partner in an old partner's image. "When you are content with yourself, you are genuinely ready to begin the dating process again, because you are not simply filling the void that your last partner left behind; you are instead opening your heart and your mind to the possibility of a new relationship," Fleet tells Match.com.
3. You Can Get Things Done on Your Own
Yay for being a functional adult human being who can meet other functional adult human beings.
4. You Know What You're Looking For
It's important to take things slow and know what you want before you get back in the game, writes therapist Meghan Stone. "Many stay out of the dating world too long, afraid of feeling the pain they experienced in their last relationship. Others jump into another relationship too soon, attempting to fill the void that the last relationship left. Take care of yourself and assess whether or not you feel healthy and happy enough to date again on your terms."
5. You Don't Hate Your Ex
"When you have made peace with the circumstances that ended your last relationship and you have begun to move forward from that loss into your new life, you are truly ready to begin exploring the world of dating again," says Fleet.
6. You Feel On
Hey, sometimes it's all about attitude.