Last week I wrote about the 4 steps of getting over a breakup. What I failed to mention is how long the healing process takes, and that’s because the time frame varies so widely between people. It could take weeks, months, or years depending on the depth of your feelings, your previous experiences, all the things that make you who you are.
What I can offer instead are guidelines to help you determine if you’re ready to jump back into the dating pool. These are based on my experiences. Please feel free to add your own additions to the list in the comments section below.
4 Signs You’re Ready to Date Again
1. You Haven’t Thought About Your Ex in a While
If you’re about to go to sleep, and you realize that you haven’t thought about your ex all day, that’s great a sign. It means you’re almost ready to move on and meet someone new. When you haven’t thought about her in a couple of days, that’s even better.
When my breakup was fresh, I thought it would take years to stop thinking about my ex, but thankfully, it only took about one. We had only been seeing each other for about three months, but it was a very intense relationship. I heard somewhere that on average it takes about three times the duration of your time together to get over someone. What do you think?
2. You Can Talk about Something Other than the Breakup
This is crucial because nobody wants to date someone who can’t stop talking about his broken heart. You have to be able to set it aside for a least a night before hooking up with someone new. That’s why it’s so important to talk things out in the early stages. The more you express your feelings in the moment, the less pain you’ll end up dragging around with you in the long term.
Taking up a new activity (as mentioned last week) will also help you move on, as it will give you a new focus and provide some solid topics of conversation.
3. You’re Excited about the Future Again
Feeling good about yourself and at least somewhat optimistic about the future is important if you want to attract the right person. When you’re really down and feeling like the world is a piece of shit, you won’t be open to all the good things that come your way.
Wait until you have at least one cool thing happening in your life that you can share with someone new. The danger of dating when you’re too fucked up is that you’ll find another equally fucked up person to lean on and suck the life out of, and that’s not fun.
4. You’re Not as Angry as You Once Were
Wait until you start to forgive your ex (or yourself) for the things that were said and done. You don’t have to be 100% over it, but at least more than halfway there. Forgiveness tends to come in waves and how you feel one day might not be how you feel the next.
It’s okay to move on with your life even while you’re dealing with this, just try not to project the anger you feel for your ex onto your new partner. This is easier said than done at times. It helps to get your anger out in other ways, like sports or a rage room.