When the flame of love burns too hot you can get burned.
To say it hurts would be an understatement.
Opening your heart to someone makes you uniquely vulnerable to being hurt by them: that’s the paradox of love.
When you care the most is when you can be hurt the most. There’s a lot of risk involved when you give your heart away.
But if you’ve been hesitant to love after heartbreak and it’s been a long road to recovery, you’ll eventually start feeling like maybe you’re ready to love again.
Or at least try…
Let’s take a look…
1) You’re excited to go on a date
Instead of filling you with dread, the prospect of going on a date thrills you.
You actually want to go.
You’re looking forward to the small talk. You’re open to those hints of chemistry, maybe even a few laughs or a kiss.
The world is your oyster.
You feel genuinely interested in meeting someone new. While your expectations aren’t that high, you do feel like there’s always that chance of hitting it off.
And if not, a few drinks or a dinner date couldn’t hurt, right?
2) You feel good in your own body
How do you feel physically?
When you’re ready to love again you have a bit of a spring in your step.
Even though the scars from the past will always be there, you can feel a new energy in your bones.
You’re ready to get moving, to talk to people, to take a chance.
You wake up and stretch and it feels good.
You go for a run and take a cool sip of water and you feel euphoric. You’re ready for what life’s going to throw at you: even love.
3) You rarely think about pain from the past anymore
As I mentioned, past scars don’t go away.
But that fixation you have on the past and the pain you experienced is now fading.
You don’t think of it that often, and you rarely find yourself thinking back or caught in the trauma.
You’re ready to move on and feel like what happened to you in love is something you now accept, even if it was unfair or hurtful.
4) You feel emotionally stable and able to handle ups and downs in a new relationship
Relationships are work: you hear it all the time because it’s true.
But that’s why they have to be worth it.
You don’t want to settle or end up with the wrong person by any means.
But if there’s chemistry and a potential future together, you’re thinking realistically.
You’re ready to deal with the ups and downs that come. You’re ready to sometimes be right and your partner wrong but still not fight about it.
You’re ready to give of your time and affection without demanding or expecting something back.
You’re ready to love again.
5) You’re ready to take a chance and aren’t idealizing or catastrophizing
As per the last point, you feel emotionally ready to be with someone new.
You’re no longer thinking of relationships as something very awful or very good.
You’re facing the reality that there will be many ups and downs and that anybody you fall for is still going to require energy and understanding on your part.
Instead of scaring you or triggering trauma from the past, the challenge and work involved in this fills you with enthusiasm.
You’re ready to experience the work of being in love, and it doesn’t scare you the way it once did.
6) You want to be with someone new but you don’t feel reliant on it for your wellbeing
This is a crucial point because far too many people aren’t ready to fall in love again but feel lonely.
They then transmute this feeling of being unfulfilled or frustrated and assume it’s just because they’re single, or primarily because they’re single.
The problem is that this feeds into a cycle of being with people they don’t truly love, and ending up in codependency.
Seeking your well-being in somebody else always ends in disaster, and that’s why you’re only truly ready for love when you have a sense of well-being without falling in love.
You’d love to be in love. But you don’t need it. And you aren’t holding it up as a golden idol.
This ties into the next point…
7) You’re focused on your mission and goals in life
When you’re ready to fall in love again, you’re also finding your way in life more generally.
Love sounds great, and you’re meeting people or at least open to it.
But you’re not putting all your chips down on the table for it by any means. Not without forethought and getting to know somebody first.
You’ve found a purpose in life that truly motivates you, and you have goals you’re working towards that are part of that purpose.
You feel that you are using your talents and that your energy isn’t wasted.
You’d be open to sharing that sense of well-being with somebody you meet, but you’re not depending on such a thing to happen.
You have your mission and your passion either way, and if more comes from that all the better as a bonus.
8) You feel strongly attracted to somebody new
The final point may seem obvious but it’s important to mention:
If you’re ready to fall in love again, that doesn’t mean you will. It requires somebody to fall in love with.
If you do have a person you’re developing feelings for, remain open to the possibility. See how things go. Take it day by day.
If you’ve met someone you’re attracted to mentally, emotionally, and physically, then there’s a good chance it could become more.
Even if you’re scared of rejection, take a chance if you feel ready.
You can give your heart, but keep your head.
Dipping a toe in the water…
If you resonate with many of the points above, then you’re ready to take a chance on love again.
Don’t pressure yourself and take it slow.
Love moves on its own schedule and rarely shows up on time.
The key is to maintain that internal state of well-being and secure readiness. You don’t need love to feel well, but you’re open to it.
You’re ready to dip a toe in the water. If that leads to falling in, so be it. If it just leads to getting a feel for the temperature and jumping in later, that’s fine, too!