How to know if you’re ready for a relationship after a breakup

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Dating after a breakup can be nerve-wracking. 

You may be feeling emotionally all over the place — from confusion to panic, uncertainty, excitement, and a whole lot more.

You’re also wondering: “part of me wants a new relationship, but I’m not sure if it’s coming from the right place. How can I know when I’m ready?” 

Now, here’s the deal: we live in a society where it’s fairly common to move from one relationship to the next. 

But when it comes to matters of the heart, there’s nothing more ineffective than jumping into another relationship when you’re not emotionally ready. 

So how do you tell if it’s time to start dating again? Here are surefire signs that show you’re all set to fall in love with someone new.

Let’s jump in!

1) You no longer think or talk about your ex

Think about this: do you …

  • Still miss your ex?
  • Call your ex or send them a message once in a while to see if they’ll respond?
  • Silently hope that he or she will come back?
  • Consciously or unconsciously bring up your ex in conversations?
  • Still have intense feelings — positive and negative — for your ex?
  • Still feel angry about the breakup?
  • Constantly check their social media accounts to keep tabs on what they’re doing?
  • Still keep their number, photos, and things?
  • Still ask mutual friends about them?

If you answered “no” to all of these questions, good for you! It’s a sign that you’ve healed from your prior heartbreak

You’ve survived the pit of despair. The thoughts of your ex no longer consume you.

The wounds no longer run deep. You’re past the tears, sleepless nights, and the songs that bring back painful memories 

In other words: you’re over your ex.

When you’ve completely moved on from your past relationship, it’s a clear sign that you’re ready to start a new relationship. 

2) You’ve accepted the breakup and you’ve learned from it

Picture this: you’ve given yourself enough time to feel your feelings and grieve the loss of your previous relationship.

Little by little, you start to heal. You remember that you used to be in love with your ex, but you don’t hate him or her anymore.

You begin to understand the role you played in the breakup.

Your negative emotions no longer get the best of you. You’re waking up with a sense of optimism and hope. You know that the worst is behind you.

If this is you, it’s a sign that you might be ready to meet someone new.

You see, a big part of moving on from a breakup is being able to own up to your mistakes

What does that mean for you?

It means you’re no longer blaming your ex for everything that went wrong in the relationship.

It’s about taking some time to reflect on why the last relationship didn’t work out.

More importantly, it’s about using everything you’ve learned to move forward into a happier and healthier relationship. 

3) You feel comfortable in your skin 

The thing is, jumping into a new relationship right after a breakup because you don’t want to be alone or you’re feeling way too much pressure is a recipe for disaster.

That’s because it’s hard to maintain a healthy relationship if you’re still feeling broken, dependent, and incomplete. 

Plus, this new relationship could be unhappy and unfulfilling.

Consider this: embracing your alone time after a breakup can empower you to feel better about yourself. 

You get to rediscover and remind yourself of the things you enjoy — your likes, hobbies, interests, and passions.

You get to explore activities that nurture you like spending more time with family and friends, exercising, meditating, making art or music, and traveling to somewhere you’ve never been.

You get to set new goals and re-evaluate the direction you want your life to go in. 

When you give yourself enough time and breathing space, you discover your ability to mend your broken heart.

You’ll feel confident in finding your true identity, creating your own happiness, and doing things that build you up. 

It gets better: you’ll learn to love and appreciate yourself for who you are — flaws and all — and build an intimate relationship with yourself.

And when you look at yourself in the mirror, you love the person staring back at you.

This is a sign that you’re ready to move on to better things. 

You realize that dating will feel best if you’re looking to genuinely enhance your life, not just fill a void of loneliness.

4) You’re excited about dating and meeting someone new

Do you remember the first time someone asked you out on a date again after a few months or years of being alone?

What were your thoughts? Did you feel unworthy and unlovable? Were you anxious that this new person might also let you down?

Were you consumed by fear that you assumed the new relationship won’t work out before it even began?

Trust me, I know how you feel. It’s hard to trust that any other relationship will play out differently when you just came from a devastating breakup. 

But remember that these feelings will eventually fade as you go through your healing journey.

Soon, you’ll feel excited about the idea of dating again. You’ll notice that you’re beginning to look at others with attraction.

You’ll decide that feeling miserable is no longer an option. You’ll believe that you deserve to be happy.

Once you naturally begin to notice new people and have more fun, it’s a sign that you’re ready to get to know someone else.

You start to be more open to social gatherings and meeting new people. You may even find yourself using dating apps again. 

When you start to approach dating with a positive mindset, that’s a sign that you’re ready for a new relationship. 

5) You want to date for the right reasons

Ask yourself: why am I getting back into the dating scene?

Is it for fun or intimacy? Do you want to feel desired? 

Are you just tired of crying over your ex or is it because you truly want to let a new person into your life?

Here’s the deal: if you want to date for the sole reason that you want to make your ex jealous, you’re definitely not yet ready for a new partner. 

You won’t be able to invest your time and efforts into someone new if you still have lingering thoughts about your past relationship.

You may be wondering: what are the right reasons for dating or entering a new relationship?

This can be tricky because only you know the importance you put on dating or finding a partner.

Plus, what you want out of a relationship is likely to be different from a lot of people.

But if you truly want to deeply care for a person and be in a relationship with them, it’s a good sign that you’re setting yourself up for relationship success. 

It shows that you’re looking at dating with an open mind and focusing on meeting someone new. 

And if you’ve noticed that you’re starting to create an image in your head of a potential partner, that’s also a sign that you’re ready to dive into dating again.

When you have a clear sense of self, you know what you’re looking for in a partner and what you expect in a relationship.

You decide on your non-negotiables and deal-breakers. You won’t waste time on the wrong people and focus more on those with greater potential. 

And it doesn’t stop there: you won’t rush things. 

You’ll understand that finding the right person takes time and patience. 

Instead of choosing to settle, you’ll be okay with taking your time to find someone you truly connect with and who meets your needs. 

6) You’re willing to open up and compromise

Communication and compromise are two of the most essential ingredients in relationships.

The thing is, the other person won’t get to know you if you won’t open yourself up and be vulnerable.

When you meet someone new, do you …

  • Hide things about yourself?
  • Think twice about communicating your needs and wants?
  • Shut down or run away when conversations get a little too heavy?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, then you’re not yet ready to commit to someone new.

But if you can be forthright and honest with the person you’re dating, it’s a sign that you’re ready to start a new relationship.

Another thing to consider is if you’re willing to compromise on your boundaries.

For example, after several years of being alone, you learned to enjoy your newfound freedom. 

You’ve become more independent and you want to take responsibility for your happiness.

When a new person comes in, you hesitate and ask yourself: am I ready to give up some of my independence to meet my new partner halfway?

The truth is: relationships are a two-way street. You and your partner will have different demands and needs, and you must know how to give and take. 

If you decide that being with the other person is worth it and you feel that you can compromise on even your most rigid boundaries, then you’re ready to dive into a new relationship. 

7) You’re ready to take risks

So, here’s the kicker: there are no guarantees when it comes to relationships. 

And just because you’re ready for one, it doesn’t mean the other person is. 

From being friend-zoned and ghosted to experiencing disappointing dates, conversations that fizzle out, behavior that you find annoying, and more — there’s a possibility that your new relationship might not work out the way you want it to.

Simply put: you have to face the fact that you may end up getting hurt. 

If you’re 100% sure that you want to take the risk even though you might get hurt, then it’s a sign that you’re ready to take that leap into a new relationship.

When you’re sure of yourself, the possibility of emotional pain won’t scare you off. You already know how to use healthy coping strategies when you’re upset.

In other words: you’re strong enough to bounce back from any setback that this new relationship might bring. 

Let’s recap:

Here are 7 signs that show you’re ready to enter a new relationship after a breakup:

  • You no longer think or talk about your ex — You’ve completely moved on from your past relationship. Your ex’s memories don’t haunt you anymore. You no longer feel the urge to get back with your ex. 
  • You’ve accepted the breakup and you’ve learned from it —Your heart is healed and you’re free from any emotional baggage from your previous relationship. You’ve owned up to the role you played in the breakup.
  • You feel comfortable in your skin — You love yourself enough to know your worth. You’ve regained a sense of self, and you’re all about creating your own happiness.
  • You’re excited about dating and meeting someone new — You approach dating with a positive mindset. The idea of dating makes you feel happy, and you’re having more fun meeting other people.
  • You want to date for the right reasons — You know what you’re looking for in a partner and what you expect in a relationship. Your goal is to find someone you truly connect with and want as a partner. 
  • You’re willing to open up and compromise —You can speak openly and honestly with the other person. You’re 100% ready to meet your partner halfway. You’re all about the give and take.
  • You’re ready to take risks — You’re okay with knowing that you might end up getting hurt (again). You’re strong enough to bounce back from any setback.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, it’s about trusting your gut. You’ll know it in your heart when you’re ready to jump into a new relationship after a breakup.

Remember: there’s no need to hurry. In life and love, you’re running your own race.

Take all the time you need to embrace your independence and heal.

When you’re truly ready for a new relationship, you’ll know that you don’t need another person to complete you. Instead, you’ll want someone to share your dreams and joys with.

You’ll trust in the magic of new beginnings again, and you’ll trust love to find you. 

Maria Fatima Reyes

Fat Niebres is a freelance writer who loves to chase stories that matter. She finds meaning and inspiration in the mundane. When she's not writing, she's probably reading, eating, traveling, or having deep conversations with her husband. She brings her experience in broadcast, print, and NGO communications, and has been published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Inquirer.net.

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