Breaking up. Ugh, even the words sound bitter. But what’s even harder than dealing with a broken heart is getting back into the dating game. You don’t want to step out only to have a rebound fling and start crying halfway through a date, but you also don’t want to stay inside watching chick flicks for too long. So when exactly are you supposed to be ready to date again? Here are 8 signs that will let you know if the time is right.
1. You Don’t Cry Anymore
If you have passed the wallowing phase where everything reminds you of him, daydreaming about getting back together and can go a whole 24 hours without breaking into tears, it’s probably a good sign that you’re over your ex. Can you listen to “that song” –we all have one, mine is Strange and Beautiful by Aqualung– and instead of activating your tear ducts it brings a smile to your face? That is even better!
2. You’re Not Seeking Rebound Revenge
Since you are not angry anymore, you aren’t looking to get back at him by hooking up with the cute guy from art class who you know isn’t boyfriend material. Rebounds are just a way to fill the emptiness and normally we use them as a tool to make our exes jealous in hopes that they’ll come crawling back. Experience has taught me that sadly this only happens in rom-coms.
3. You Really, Truly And Honestly Don’t Care Anymore
Stalking his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in hopes of finding some cryptic message isn’t one of your daily activities anymore. You don’t check up on him to make sure he isn’t dating the blonde all while having a major jealousy freakout. You honestly couldn’t care less about what your ex does. In fact, you find watching paint dry a thousand times more exciting than playing James Bond on his social media.
4. Crushes Are Popping Up Again
One day you wake up and notice the dark haired cutie across the hall. And you can’t wrap your head around the butterflies in your stomach when he smiles back at you. Wait a minute… You’re not even comparing him to your ex! Developing crushes is a definitive sign that your emotions are healing up.
5. Your Self-Esteem Comes Back
When your self-esteem starts building up again, you will realize something that you’ve been missing during your post-breakup blues: You are turning heads and there are plenty of guys with whom it wouldn’t be awful to have a coffee date with. Even better, you don’t mind being single anymore since a relationship doesn’t define you and you feel free to go out with whomever strikes your fancy. This is the ultimate sign of being ready to date again.
6. You are taking good care of yourself
Self care is an indication that you have healed from within and are ready to move on. You’re eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep. You’re also enjoying time with friends and family. You’re not letting your feelings of loneliness or guilt (associated with the breakup) get in the way of enjoying your life. You’re not obsessing over your ex or constantly thinking about your ex either because you are in a good place in your life. This is a solid sign that you are ready to get back on the dating bandwagon.
7. You’re happy with who you are
You should have confidence in your own appearance and personality. You should be able to laugh at the memories of your past relationship and see the positives in it. You should have stopped listening to breakup songs. You should be able to spend time on your hobbies and interests without feeling guilty that you’re not spending enough time with your friends. You should be able to enjoy watching a movie or a TV show without thinking about your ex. You should be able to be independent and work on your own personal goals. You should be able to meet new people without feeling anxious or insecure.
8. You feel complete in yourself
This point might seem like a repetition, but it needs to be said. You know you are ready to date again when you don’t need a partner to complete you. You feel complete in yourself. You enjoy your own company. You enjoy your alone time. You know that you are a unique and valuable person and you’re ready to find someone who can appreciate that.
A breakup is like a huge wound; your heart is metaphorically broken. If you give it time and stop poking at the bruise, there will come a day when you can’t even remember how badly it hurt. And if you’re already there, why not text the guy you’ve had your eye on for a while? Back on the saddle and back into the dating scene you go!