Am I ready for a relationship? 21 signs you are and 9 signs you aren’t

Recovering from heartbreak can be a trying time, especially if you are trying to get back in the saddle and start dating again.

While you might be keen to find a new relationship to throw yourself into, there are some things you should consider before venturing out to find new love.

First, make sure that your last relationship is fully over and done with – there’s no point in starting a new relationship if you are secretly hoping your ex-partner will take you back some day.

Second, make sure that you are not going to just use this new relationship as a way to get back at your ex.

Enough people have already been hurt as a result of your previous relationship; there’s no need to bring anyone else into the mix.

And third, you need to ask yourself if this is what you really want. You are heartbroken, after all. A little time on your own might be just what the doctor ordered to help you feel better.

Do these next 21 things and you can be 100% sure you are fully ready to take on the responsibilities and rewards of a new partner (after that we’ll talk about 9 signs that you aren’t ready for a relationship).

1. You think about falling in love again

Do you ever remember those feelings of love that you had with your ex? The good times, before everything went downhill?

When you’re knee deep in a breakup, it’s pretty hard to remember the good. But, once you get out of it and see things for how they really were, you think about the future.

The future can be an exciting prospect that’s thrilling to experience again. All of those feelings are good, wholesome feelings.

Do you find yourself thinking about what it would be like to feel those feelings again?

Believe it or not, that’s a good thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s been a month or over a year, it could be a sign that you’re ready to move on and date again.

2. You know you’re a great catch

Breakups have a way of tearing us down and not letting us get back up. Many times, they take away our self-worth and self-esteem, making us feel like we’re nothing.

You may feel like this for a while, and that’s normal. But one day, everything will change. You’ll wake up and feel like yourself again.

It may be slow, or it may happen all at once. Either way, you’ll remember what it is you have to offer in a relationship. You’re a catch, and you’ll remember that.

3. Want to know more about your situation?

While this article explores the main signs you’re ready for a relationship, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

With a professional relationship coach, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences…

Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations, like figuring out whether they’re ready for a relationship. They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.

How do I know?

Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my own relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.

I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.

In just a few minutes, you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

Click here to get started.

4. You’re excited to date

Usually, the thought of dating right after a breakup sends a shiver up your spine. You don’t want to go back out into the dating world. That’s scary, and not something you’re interested in.

So, when you find that you’re excited to date, things really change. While you might not want to download all the dating apps and go crazy, it is fun to think about the prospect of dating again.

Plus, you never know where it will lead.

5. You aren’t still mourning the last relationship

No matter how long the relationship was, it hurts when it ends. If you’re still mourning the relationship, it’s not the time to go out and date.

Whether you initiated the breakup or they did doesn’t matter. What matters is that you feel like you’ve properly mourned the relationship and the life change that it brought.

If you’re still mourning it and wishing you could be back with them, don’t date.

But, if you can look back at the relationship with bittersweet memories, it’s a good sign that you’re ready to see what else life has to offer.

RELATED: I was deeply unhappy…then I discovered this one Buddhist teaching

6. You’ve learned from your past

Maybe you dated someone toxic. Maybe you were in a draining marriage. Whatever it was, you need to learn from it.

We have a habit of falling back into familiar patterns, and if you don’t make it clear that you don’t want that again, you’ll probably fall right back in.

You have to learn from your past and the mistakes that you have made.

Don’t just recognize it and move on. Pick out the warning signs that come with the qualities that you don’t want and stick with it.

7. You believe people are good

Cynicism is a side-effect of breakups. We all go through the “I hate the world” phase and “everyone sucks” phase. It’s natural.

But, some of us can stay in that phase for a really long time. We see how bad everyone is around us, and we refuse to see the good.

Things change when you start getting ready to date again. You start believing that maybe people really are good. The majority of people want to be good people, right?

If you’re shaking your head at that statement, rethink dating. But if you truly believe that deep down people are trying to be good, it may just be time to try dating.

8. You know what men really want

If you’re hesitant to be in a relationship now, you’ve probably been burnt in the past. Maybe you’ve dated an emotionally unavailable man or he’s pulled away suddenly or unexpectedly.

Although relationship failure can be heartbreaking, it can also be a valuable learning experience.

Because it can teach you exactly what men want and don’t want from a relationship.

One thing that men want from a relationship (which few women actually know about) is to feel like a hero. Not an action hero like Thor, but a hero to you. As someone who provides you something no other man can.

He wants to be there for you, protect you, and to be appreciated for his efforts.

Just like women generally have the urge to nurture those they really care about, men have the urge to provide and protect.

There’s a biological basis to all this. Relationship expert James Bauer calls it the hero instinct. It’s something primal embedded in men.

Watch James’ free video here about it.

I don’t normally pay much attention to popular new concepts in psychology. Or recommend videos. But I think the hero instinct is a fascinating take on what men need from a relationship.

The best way to be ready for a relationship is to be armed with the right knowledge about what men want from one.

Learning about the hero instinct is one thing you can do right now.

Here’s a link to the video again.

9. You can see what you did wrong

The ex is always the person who was wrong. While I won’t dispute that, it’s a bit of a biased view. We always think that we’re right, and that’s a problem.

It can be hard to see what we did wrong in the relationship, but as time goes on, it does get a bit easier. The problem is that you may do that same thing again in your next relationship.

Repeating patterns can lead to problems that you don’t want.

So, don’t go into dating blindly. If it’s easy to see what you did wrong, keep it in mind while dating. If you’re not so sure, spend some time trying to figure it out.

10. You don’t think about them

Remember when you would start getting emotional about something silly? And it was because you couldn’t stop thinking about your ex for even a moment.

This happens to the best of us. They’re so ingrained into our lives that it’s difficult to separate from them.

Try to get to the point where you’re not thinking about them every single day. Maybe you just go a day or two.

Maybe it becomes a week or a month. Though it can seem impossible to go a day without thinking of them, it does happen after a while.

Soon enough, you won’t think about them so much. You’ll find you do go a day without thinking of them. And when it gets to the point when you realize it’s been a long time since you’ve thought of them, you can try dating.

11. You’re attracted to someone

One of the best predictors for moving on is if you become attracted to someone else. This usually kickstarts things and gets you back into the saddle. When you begin feeling those wants and desires again, don’t feel guilty.

This is a really good sign. It’s a sign that your body and your mind are moving on to create space for a new relationship that could be great.

12. You don’t feel like you need someone else

Though the most important sign you’re ready for a relationship is when you realize that you don’t need one. Many times, we rely on relationships when we feel down or insecure about our own abilities.

We count on another person to lift us up and make us better. Not only is this unrealistic, but it’s also damaging to your psyche. It’s not healthy to hope someone else can fulfill you.

After a breakup, it may take some time before you’re feeling like yourself again. This is normal.

But the last thing you want to do is run into someone else’s arms to try and feel fulfilled. Take all the time you need.

Also read: 12 signs you secretly want to be single

13. You have a handle on your story

Breakups come with a lot of baggage. Before you can start dating someone new, you need to make sure that you have your wits about you and what happened.

If you are still reeling from being jilted at the altar or being left suddenly by your ex-partner and you are still blaming them for your unhappiness, you are not ready to move on.

14. You know what you want for yourself

In order to move on and find new love, you need to first figure out what you want from this life. Having a partner is not going to make you happy by itself.

You need to figure out what goals and aspirations you want for yourself and then set out to find someone who shares similar views and values.

RELATED: My life was going nowhere, until I had this one revelation

15. You can show up consistently for yourself and someone else

It’s important to remember that there are two people in every relationship.

If you are not yet ready to make time for someone else or if you can’t show up for them in a way that makes them feel loved and needed, it’s not a good time to get involved with someone new.

16. You are willing to be open and honest and engage in intimate communication

Every relationship has problems, but it’s important to work on yourself following the end of a relationship so that you don’t continue to experience those problems over and over again.

You need to be honest with yourself and your new partner about what you need and want.

17. You can accept people for who they are

Being in a relationship means considering the needs and desires of someone else.

If you aren’t yet in a place where you can put someone else’s needs above your own, it’s not yet time to get into another relationship. Successful relationships are about give and take.

18. You don’t need someone to make life more interesting

Before you get into another relationship, remember that adding someone to the mix is not going to make you happy.

If anything, it may cause more drama and upset in your life. Once you are happy being on your own, you’ll be ready to take someone into your life again.

19. You aren’t depending on someone to make you happy

It’s nobody’s fault how you feel right now, whether that is good or bad.

Until you realize that your partner is not responsible for your happiness and it is not their job to make you happy, despite what you might have been previously told and choose to believe, it’s not.

Find ways to make yourself happy first and then a relationship will be the icing on the cake.

20. You like your life the way it is right now

There’s nothing better than meeting someone who has their act together. It’s hard to imagine taking on a new relationship when you don’t have your life the way you want it.

Work on yourself for a while before you bring someone else into the picture. It just makes it harder for you to focus on what you need.

21. You aren’t bringing any baggage to the relationship

Before you commit to another relationship, make sure you are not going to blame this person for your previous missteps in other relationships.

Whether it was your fault or not that your last relationship ended, your new partner shouldn’t have to pay the price related to any of that.

Follow these rules and you’ll find that getting into a new relationship is not only exciting and fulfilling, but comes with a lot less drama than any relationship you’ve ever had before.

Make room for the new and good in your life and let the past go to live where it belongs: in the past.

On The Other Hand, You’re Not Ready for Another Relationship if You Are Still Doing These 9 Things

If you are reading this then you are toying with the idea of getting back in the saddle and dating again.

Perhaps you just left a horrible relationship, or perhaps you get ditched by your best guy for your best gal pal. Ouch. It happens.

And you are likely reeling from a lot of what has gone in the past.

So if you are thinking about getting into a new relationship, take your time and consider if you are really ready for that kind of commitment again.

If you are like most people, your wounds are still fresh as you think about what’s next.

Taking that extra time to decide if you are really ready will save you a lot of time and grief and ensure that when you do take a new partner, it will be for the right reasons.

If you are still doing these 9 things, you are not ready for a new relationship right now.

1. You’re not willing for him to step up for you

As I mentioned above, men have a biological drive to step up for women and to provide for and protect them.

Relationship expert James Bauer calls it the hero instinct.

If you’re staunchly independent and don’t like it when a guy wants to help you, or display protective instincts towards you, then you’re probably not ready for a relationship.

Because for a man, feeling essential to a woman is often what separates “like” from “love” and is an essential ingredient when it comes to romance.

Don’t get me wrong, no doubt your guy loves your strength and abilities to be independent. But he still wants to feel wanted and useful — not dispensable!

Men have a built-in desire for something “greater” that goes beyond love or sex. It’s why men who seemingly have the “perfect girlfriend” are still unhappy and find themselves constantly searching for something else —  or worst of all, someone else.

Simply put, men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel important, and to provide for the woman he cares about.

To learn more about the hero instinct, watch James Bauer’s excellent video here.

As James argues, male desires are not complicated, just misunderstood. Instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior and this is especially true for how men approach their relationships.

How do you trigger this instinct in him? And give him the sense of meaning and purpose he craves?

You don’t need to pretend to be anyone you’re not or play the “damsel in distress”. You don’t have to dilute your strength or independence in any way, shape, or form.

In an authentic way, you simply have to show your man what you need and allow him to step up to fulfill it.

In his video, James Bauer outlines several things you can do. He reveals phrases, texts, and little requests that you can use right now to make him feel more essential to you.

Here’s a link to his video again.

2. You keep picking the wrong guys

If you have a history of picking the losers of the bunch, it’s time for a break. You’re not ready for a new relationship as long as you keep telling yourself you date bad guys.

Saying those things will only continue to push you in the direction of what you believe. Start working on saying new things to yourself, such as “I date men who are strong and kind to me.” See where that gets you.

3. You think you need a relationship to make you happy

You are not ready for another relationship if you think that being in a relationship is what is going to make you happy. You need to learn to be happy on your own.

It’s difficult for a lot of people, especially people who are serial daters, but it’s possible to find happiness on your own and take that burden off your partner.

4. You think a new relationship will fix all your problems

If you feel broke and think that a new relationship is going to be the glue that puts you back together, think again.

You’ll find that a relationship will only amplify your issues and cause someone else the grief that you are already feeling.

5. You think he’s fixable

One thing women often do is look for a project when they are feeling bad about themselves.

Unfortunately, sometimes that project is a new relationship with a guy who is as big a mess as they are. Until you feel stable and secure in your own life, don’t try to fix someone else’s.

As you see, relationships can be downright confusing and frustrating. Sometimes you’ve hit a wall and you really don’t know what to do next. 

I too felt the same, until I tried Relationship Hero.

For me, it’s the best site for love coaches who aren’t just talk. They have seen it all, and they know all about how to tackle difficult situations like this one. 

They managed to break through the noise and gave me real solutions – apart from many other things. 

In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.

Click here to check them out.

6. You need someone to make life worth living

If you think you’ll die without a partner, you are wrong (fortunately!) and you are not ready for another relationship (unfortunately!).

You need to take time to figure out what makes you tick and what makes your life interesting all on your own. A guy isn’t going to improve any of that for you.

7. You spend all your time thinking about when you’ll be in a relationship

Instead of living in the here and now and being with your friends and family, you are fantasizing about what life will be like once you find Prince Charming.

You might be waiting a long time so you better settle in and find peace in what you are doing right now.

8. You aren’t over your ex yet

Still have feelings for your ex? Stop thinking about finding someone new.

Divorced couples often jump into new relationships because they want to go back to feeling normal as quickly as possible, but if there are unresolved feelings or you feel like things might not be quite over, don’t rush into anything.

9. You are willing to do just about anything for a partner

If you feel desperate and needy, you will look desperate and needy. Don’t rush into any relationship just for the sake of having a relationship.

You’ll make poor choices and find yourself right back where you are right now.

It’s worth taking some time to consider what you want from a new relationship before you go trying to fit yourself into someone else’s life just so you won’t be alone.

RELATED: He doesn’t REALLY want the perfect girlfriend. He wants these 3 things from you instead…

Still not sure if you’re reading to date again? Here are 7 questions to ask yourself

It can be hard to get back in the saddle after you’ve had your heartbroken, but how can you know when is the right time?

If you make the leap too soon, you’ll probably end up sabotaging your new relationship unfairly.

If you wait too long, you’ll spend more time than is necessary in despair and loneliness.

The truth is that everyone comes to this conclusion on their own time and you are entitled to take as much time as you need to recover from a bad break-up.

Rather than wonder if you’re ready to get back out there, try asking yourself some of these questions to have a better sense of yourself, confidence, and new relationship goals.

You might find them really helpful and you might get some clarity about how to move forward.

1. Do you already have someone in mind or are you just going to wing it?

One of the hardest parts about dating again is finding the next person to date. If you’ve been burned and feel jaded by your last partner, you might be associating that person with your experience of finding new love.

For example, if you met him in a bar, you might be avoiding bars for fear of meeting a similar type of person.

Are you seeing a friend through new eyes after this break-up and think you might be falling for them?

Or are you going to hop on the latest dating app and find someone to be with?

There are no right answers, but consider how you’ll approach dating and let that help you decide if it’s time to go back or wait some more.

2. Do you think it’s possible to be in love again?

Is your heart so broken you don’t see how you could ever trust someone ever again?

If so, it’s probably not the right time to get back to dating. If you feel like you are ready to let someone into your life and see where it takes you – with no strings attached – then go for it.

The hardest part about all of this is always the trust factor: you have to be willing to be hurt to find love and some people are not willing to go through that risk again for the chance of finding love.

3. Are there things about yourself you need to work on before getting into a relationship again?

Even if it was 100% your exes fault that your relationship ended, there are, without a doubt, things you need to work on for yourself to be ready to get back into a relationship or even start dating again.

There are parts of that relationship that you contributed to and it’s important that you reflect on your hand in the demise of that relationship.

This is a difficult process, but worthwhile to find out where you stand and how you show up in relationships.

4. Have you fully let go of the pain you felt?

There’s no point in going into a new relationship if you haven’t fully healed from the last one.

All you’re doing is bringing drama where it doesn’t belong and that’s not fair to you or your new partner.

If you find yourself complaining about your ex on a date, take a step back and remember that you might need to give yourself some more breathing room before you start dating again.

Nobody wants to hear about all the crap your ex-boyfriend did…no matter how nice and supportive they are.

5. Are you still blaming your ex for how you feel?

If you feel like you’re life is ruined or you got off track because of this person, you might want to delay dating until you’ve resolved those feelings and taken some responsibility for your own part in the relationship.

If you feel apathetic toward this work and just want to bury it and move on, remember that it might rear its ugly head when you least expect it on some poor, unexpecting date.

Figure out how to resolve those feeling so you can get back to enjoying your life and dating.

6. Do you believe you are worth of love from someone else?

You’ll have to let someone love you again if you are going to go out on the dating scene.

You can’t keep your heart locked up forever, so even if you are just casually dating with no intention of being in a long-term relationship right now, allow yourself to be adored.

If you deny people the opportunity to get to know you and appreciate you, you’ll never find what you’re looking for.

7. Are you caught in a negative thought loop about what might happen if you go for it again?

If all you can think is that you’ll find someone, be happy for a while, and then they’ll just cheat on you like the lying bastard who just left you, you’ll need a minute before dating again.

You need to clean up all your thoughts around that to make sure that you don’t bring any anamostosy to your next relationship.

If you think the worst in people, you’ll see the worst in people.

Take some time to consider what you want to get out of your next relationship or if now is even the right time to go looking for love.

It’s okay to be single, despite what social media would have you believe.

Find your own life and build your own strength and do the things you always wanted to do but couldn’t when you were attached.

Single life isn’t so bad. And neither is being in a relationship.

So give it a chance when you feel ready, and if you find out you’re not, it’s okay to keep waiting and working on you.

How long should you wait before seeing someone new?

Everyone is different, and no one can tell you if you’re right or wrong for waiting as long as you did before getting into a new relationship. The important thing is if you’re doing it with a clear mind.

Depending on the relationship, it can take a long time to get over them. Some studies say that it takes about six months, on average, to get over a breakup. Other studies say that if the relationship was a marriage, it takes over 17 months.

So, relationships are different. You may take three months and feel better. You may take over a year. It doesn’t matter what anyone else does. Just focus on you.

How to know when you’re ready to date again after divorce

Like I mentioned earlier, divorce can be another hard thing. You may feel overwhelmed. There may have been kids involved. The divorce may have ended very badly.

So, how will you know you’re ready to date again after a divorce?

If you aren’t seeing the signs above, it’s a good sign itself that you probably need some more time. Once you are ready for a relationship again, you’ll know.

It’s a hard-to-describe feeling. There are times you may feel lost, but soon, things change. You’ll be ready to date again one day, don’t worry. Just don’t try and force it to happen quicker than it needs to.

Ready to date again quotes

“Why don’t you date again? And what to date with? A half soul? A half heart? A half me? Let me heal and become whole again. Maybe then, I will be ready to risk it all again.” – Rahul Kaushik

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paulo Coelho

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” – Marilyn Monroe

“Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

“We have the power to manifest whatever our hearts’ desire, we just have to believe that we can.” – Jennifer Twardowski

“In its purest form, dating is auditioning for mating (and auditioning means we may or may not get the part).” – Joy Brown

Dating is different when you get older. You’re not as trusting, or as eager to get back out there and expose yourself to someone.” – Toni Braxton

“A person’s readiness to date is largely a matter of maturity and environment.” – Dr. Myles Munroe

“Time heals griefs and quarrels, for we change and are no longer the same persons. Neither the offender nor the offended are any more themselves.” – Blaise Pascal

“Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.” – Leo Buscaglia

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” – Denis Waitley

“Only the broken-hearted know the truth about love.” – Mason Cooley

In Conclusion

Only you know whether or not you’re ready for a relationship after a breakup. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret…

Questioning if you’re ready for one is another good sign. Because even though you may not fully be there, that means you are getting somewhere.

It’s not an all-or-nothing process. You can gradually dip your toes in the dating pond without having to jump right into a relationship.

The truth is, there will come a time when you just know. You’re going to sit and say, “It’s time.”

And when that time comes, embrace it. It’s going to be a different type of experience dating after a bad breakup, but it’s going to be a beautiful one too.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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