How can you tell when you’re ready to start dating again after a break-up? Most people don’t even bother to ask themselves this question; they just dive back in. But if you want to avoid making the same mistakes in your next relationship, you should pay attention to these signs.
- You think about your ex every day. Whether it’s wondering how they would react to your new job offer or wishing they would die a slow, painful death, if your ex is on your mind every day, you’re not ready to start dating yet.
- You talk about your ex every day. If you’ve mastered the art of turning every conversation into either a remeniscence or a rant, you’re not ready to start dating. You’ll need to ask one of your friends about this, because chances are good you’re not even aware you’re doing it.
- The ink’s not dry on the divorce papers. No matter how badly you may have wanted the divorce, you still need time to recover. Think months, not days, in most cases. A good rule of thumb is that people need a month to recover from every year they were in the relationship.
- You can’t imagine not being part of a couple. That’s need, not love. If you don’t know who you are outside of a relationship, now is a great time to figure that out. Expecting another person to complete you or make you happy is a recipe for disaster. That’s your job.
- You want to start dating before your ex does. That’s a clear sign of jealousy, which is a symptom of insecurity. Starting a relationship out of insecurity is a guarantee that you’ll make most, if not all, of the same mistakes you made in the relationship that just ended.
I recommend using the time after your break-up to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work. You can read this blog to help identify your patterns and shift what doesn’t work so well: http://romancerecovery.com/2010/08/25/how-to-spot-your-imago/. Take the time to get clear on what you want and don’t want in your next relationship as well as what you have to offer to your next partner.