So are you, or are you not ready to start dating again? You may be keen to start dating soon after a break-up, but how soon is too soon? When is the right time to start dating again?
The answer is that there’s no specific timing. There is no formula for everyone to follow – like all things at PIVOT – everyone is unique.
Some people start dating within days of ending their previous relationship. Others feel like they need to spend the same amount of time being single as they were in their last relationship.
However, if dating seems too hard now, or you feel anxious at the thought of sitting opposite a stranger and talking about yourself… then you may not be ready to date right now.
The good news is that it’s not permanent. It means you may need to take time to heal first.
If you’re wondering if you are ready or not to date, here are 7 signals that show you are not quite ready now.
7 Signs You’re Not Ready to Date
1) You’re not over your ex
If the pain from breaking up with your ex is still fresh and raw, then perhaps you haven’t healed from your past relationship.
- Does seeing your ex with someone new make you jealous, sad or angry?
- Do you keep in touch regularly?
- Do you talk about your ex in general conversation?
- Do you compare others with your ex?
If you said “yes” to at least two of these questions, then you may not be ready to let someone new into your life.
It’s important to let go of the past relationship before you commit to someone else.
2) You keep making the same dating mistakes
Some people have unhealthy dating patterns. They seem to date the same type of person, choose an unavailable partner, or they attract people who bring out their worst.
These unhealthy dating choices are typically based on past experiences… a reaction to our parents’ relationship or our own relationship experience.
In either case, a negative relationship experience can have a deep impact on our capacity for healthy relationships.
If this has happened to you, then the best way to move forward is to seek professional help, so you understand what your typical attachment style is and how to choose to date someone who is more compatible.
3) You change yourself to be what you think the other person wants
One signal that you’re not ready to date is that you feel like you need to change yourself to be what the other person wants. If you don’t cook – don’t say you do! You will find yourself panicking at the first invitation for them to come to your house for dinner!
If this is the case, take time to reflect on what’s important to you, what your values are and what makes you special. Appreciate your positive qualities.
If you do feel like you need to change for the other person, then this might be a sign that your old relationship gave you insecurities about who you are or your self-worth. Remember, it’s important to bring yourself to a relationship, not lose yourself in it.
Take time to reconnect to yourself, determine your values and find out what you like and don’t like.
Most of all, love yourself for the special, and unique person that you are.
4) You’re looking for someone to complete you
If you believe that a relationship is going to fill your “emptiness,” then you’re not ready to be in a relationship or start dating yet.
You may be looking for someone to fill a role in your life… rather than looking to share your life with someone.
You first need to feel whole and confident as a single person before being ready to share your life with another person. If you have untreated attachment wounds, it is hard to find healthy self-esteem to bring to the dating process.
The best relationship you need to have is with yourself.
Start by validating your own existence, instead of counting on someone else to do that for you. And remind yourself that a relationship doesn’t define you.
Focus on becoming the best version of yourself first. Once you feel whole, then you can invite someone to share your life.
5) You are working on yourself right now
If you feel like you have some work to do on yourself, then you may still have unresolved issues or pain in your life.
And that’s ok.
You need to be ready to let someone else into your life.
After all, it’s not possible to be available for others if you haven’t taken care of yourself first.
The key is to work through your pain, don’t ignore it; otherwise, you’ll be emotionally vacant.
It’s crucial to feel happy, balanced and healed.
If you’re not happy with yourself, your job, your health or your life in general, then you need to own and get straight with your challenges first.
6) You have trust issues
Trust takes time. Not being able to fully trust someone over time that you let into your life is a sign you’re not ready to date.
Although you may want love and to be loved, lacking trust in your relationship from the past will make it difficult for you to emotionally attach to someone because you don’t want to get hurt.
Trust issues come from past hurts that may have occurred in previous romantic relationships or from unhealthy family relationships during childhood. Or both.
Many people with trust issues know they have trouble in their relationships, but don’t realize it comes from a trust problem.
Before you are ready to date, you will need to work through your trust issues and heal from past hurts.
7) You want someone to “save” you
A healthy relationship is not about saving each other. It’s about giving and sharing.
If you feel like you need someone to “save” you, then you need to look deeper at the real issues.
First, you need to fix yourself, find out what makes you happy, think about what needs to change.
When you know you have something to give and share with others, then you know you’re ready to start dating seriously.
If you say to yourself:
- I’m such a mess. I need help.
- Why am I so insecure?
- Am I good enough for a relationship?
…then you need to heal these issues first before you are ready to start dating.
If you don’t do this, then you’ll attract a partner that wants to “save” people, or someone with the same issues.
And, the wounded cycle repeats itself…
To help you determine when you may be ready to date again, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I think that I’ll eventually find the person I want?
- Do I believe that I’m a worthwhile partner?
- Do I trust that I’ll have a great new relationship in the future?
- Do I think that I’m over the pain from my past relationships?
- Do I think of the good things I did in my past relationship?
- Do I believe my previous partner did care for me?
- Do I believe I’ve learned what I need to know to try dating again?
- Do I feel confident knowing what to do differently next time?
- Do I know without a doubt that I will respectfully get out of a relationship that is unhealthy for me sooner rather than later?
- Do I believe that things work out the way they’re supposed to?
If you answered yes to at least seven of the questions, then you may be ready to date again.
Remember, the more you value yourself, understand what you want and can give, then the more effective you’ll be identifying what a good relationship versus an unhealthy one is.
If you would like more advice on how to heal from past hurts so you can be ready to date again, contact PIVOT. We’re here to help.