After a breakup, how do you know when you are ready to start dating again? I know that there’s no exact answer to this and everyone is different. Are there any clues to knowing you are healthy enough to allow someone else into your life?
I don’t want to wait so long thinking I’m not ready when I truly am or vice versa.
– Am I Ready
Dear Am I Ready,
After a heartbreak, it could feel like forever until you’re ‘ready’ to start dating again. To answer this question, let’s break down what ready even means.
Heartbreak or no heartbreak, ready means you’re open – open hearted and open minded to connection. What happens after a heartbreak is that we’re so hurt, that the grieving closes our heart. If we try to distract ourselves from the pain by dating people, we are going in with a closed heart which doesn’t create the conditions for a connection to grow. Disappointed, this can end up setting you back even more.
Also, if you rush into another relationship without processing the emotions from the last one, you carry baggage into the new relationship. A breakup is a great time to get off the hamster wheel of unhealthy habits, to take a pause and reassess, so you can learn about yourself and grow. If you don’t learn, it’s easy to repeat the same emotional experience over and over again, just with different people.
Everyone’s period of time for grieving a separation is different. Grieving a 20 year marriage will look different than grieving a 2 month one. From what I’ve seen – if you’re grieving a significant loss, give yourself 4-6 months to recalibrate. Grieve, heal, grow and build an even stronger foundation so that when you do connect again, it’s coming from a place where you’re standing tall on two feet.
And when you do get back in to dating, reframe your relationship with dating to simply – connecting. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to ‘meet the one’. When you go out on a date, don’t size the person up if they’re going to be your future husband. Just make it an intention to have fun, be curious and if you had a good time, then that’s a signal to say yes to another date. One date at a time. No pressure. Just presence.