After a breakup or divorce, you may take a time out from dating or starting a relationship with someone new in order to focus on yourself. A divorce is really stressful and the last thing you need in your life is more stress. But, when you're ready to get back into the dating scene, how do you know that your heart is ready too?

Hearing Author & Relationship Expert Amy Spencer's advice will definitely point you in the right direction. One of our readers mentioned that she is ready to start dating again after being divorced for a year, but is worried that her past relationship (which was plain terrible and a bad experience overall) habits are going to pop up in her new relationships. After she asks Amy how she can tell that she's ready to start dating again, we love her response. Amy says it's important to listen to your gut, and make sure you set goals of what type of relationship you want to be. Doing this will steer straight towards what you're looking for. You have to believe in yourself use your own judgment if you want to avoid hurting yourself once again. The advice offered in Amy's new book Bright Side Up: 100 Ways To Be Happier Right Now are totally spot on!

TRANSCRIPT:

Hi I’m Amy Spencer with Ask an Expert answering your love and relationship questions.  Today’s question is: Dear Amy, I’ve been divorced for a year and I really want to get back out there.  But I’m worried that my past behaviors are going to start coming back into new relationships.  How do I know if I’m really ready or just lonely?

The way to know if you’re ready for a relationship is to say “I’m ready for a relationship” and then to see how it feels.  Say it to your bedroom wall, say it to the mirror, say it to your dashboard, say it to your friends, your family, your acquaintances.  Tell them, “I’m ready for a relationship” and see how it feels in your gut.  Do you believe it?  Because if you don’t believe it it’s probably not true.  You’re probably thinking “I think I’m ready” or “maybe I’m ready”.  So say it until you feel deep down that you really believe you’re ready.  And then when you are I have one piece of advice about how to move forward and make sure we don’t commit those old mistakes and bring old bad patterns into the new relationship.  It’s a trick that my sister learned when she was learning how to ride a motorcycle.  She was concerned about making the motorcycle turn and so she asked the instructor “how do I do it?” and he said “the golden rule is, look where you want to go and the bike will steer you straight toward it”.  So do the same with life.  Look where you want to go, and life will steer you straight toward it.  Picture the relationship you want to be in, free of bad behaviors and bad patterns.  No nagging, no anger.  Just full of life, and laughter, and love.  Picture it and life will steer you straight toward it.

Connect with me at YourTango.com/Experts/AmySpencer.

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