Love, Self

How To Tell If You're Truly Ready To Start Dating Again

Whether by force or by choice, more people are living the single life than ever before.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that just over 50 percent of Americans over the age of 16 were single in August 2014. That's the first time since reporting began, in 1976, that unmarried people actually outnumber their married peers.

And what an amazing time it is to be single, too ... if that's what you want.

But what happens when you think it's time to find someone special again? Whether you just recovered from a bad breakup or just spent some time enjoying the life of a single person .... how do you know if you're now prepared to re-enter the dating world?

Host and YourTango Senior VP of Experts Melanie Gorman gathered a panel of experts to find out exactly what signs verify that you are relationship ready. She spoke with therapist Dr. Pat Love; divorce coach Dr. Karen Finnmatchmaker and dating coach Jasbina Ahluwalia; and relationship trainer Julie Nise

The experts all agree — far too many people jump back into dating before they're truly ready. 

During their fascinating conversation (see the video above), the experts explored this topic from a variety of critical angles, including: What verbal and physical signs let you know if you're ready to date again; Why it's so important to believe someone when they say they're not ready for a relationship; Why we feel pressured to jump back into a relationship too soon; and,The importance of clarifying your unique dating goal before actually seeing anyone. 

And of course the first place to begin this journey to love is ... with yourself. 

Jasbina Ahluwalia reminds us, "Your relationship with someone else cannot be greater than your relationship with yourself."  There is a great deal you must feel secure and clear about within yourself before attracting and sustaining a happy, fulfilling relationship is even possible. 

The experts also say that stepping back into the world of love doesn't always mean diving immediately back into dating. 

"So we'll often look for a new primary relationship instead of realizing there is relationship with self, there is relationship with the rest of the family, there is relationship with friends, that we forget about," says Dr. Karen Finn. So, take your time and baby step your way back to love by first reconnecting with yourself and your other loved ones! 

Watch the video above to hear all of the great wisdom shared. And if you think you need a little extra help getting yourself ready to date again, feel free to reach out to one of the experts on our panel.