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You’re hot, single, and ready to mingle! But are you truly ready for a new relationship?
Getting through a breakup can be really tough. As you heal and move forward, however, the idea of meeting someone new becomes more and more appealing. But you want to be sure that you’re really ready for a relationship; ready to bring your best foot forward and find love and happiness for all the right reasons.
If you’re asking yourself, “am I ready for a relationship?” chances are good that you’re there. But if you are still not sure, here are 5 signs you can consider.
You’ve really done “the work” of getting over your ex
You know you’re ready for a new relationship because you’ve actually spent significant time processing your previous relationship. It’s so important to give ourselves time and space to truly heal. While some people would rather not re-hash all of the ups and downs of a painful breakup, at least some of this inner work is necessary. Especially when it comes to getting over a partner.
When you don’t take the time to process a loss, you can find yourself falling too quickly into a rebound relationship. (There’s a great read on that here). This is when we so crave the closeness of a romantic partnership that we jump in too fast, often with someone who is not right for us. Even if a rebound relationship is with a good partner, ideally you should take space to grieve your loss or deal with any feelings of anger or resentment toward your ex. Otherwise, you’ll find these problems resurfacing later on.
You know what happened in your last relationship
I’m a huge believer in processing after the end of a relationship, no matter how short-lived it may have been. Relationships teach us so much, not only about ourselves but about what we want from a partner, how to be a better partner, and even what not to do.
Processing an ended relationship should be not just about understanding what “went wrong,” but also about appreciating what went right. A deep and honest look at your partnership, including the role you played in it, is essential. And when you’ve done this, it really signals a healthy growth edge in your life. In other words, a clear sign you are ready for a new relationship.
Meaningful time has passed since your last relationship
There’s no hard and fast rule for how long you have to wait before starting a new relationship. That said, I do think that some time is definitely necessary—especially following the end of a long-term relationship. Again, it’s that time you need to grieve a loss, process the transition in your life, and reflect on the relationship as a whole.
So if you’re wondering if it’s too soon to start a new relationship, chances are it might be. So take it slow. Or make sure you’re good to go with all the other signs!
You feel (mostly) comfortable with yourself and with being on your own
One super important sign that you’re ready to be in a relationship is that you feel pretty darn awesome on your own.
The healthiest relationships are those in which each partner is an independent, secure person. You shouldn’t need a partner to complete you; you want to feel fully whole on your own. (And really, the idea of needing another person to complete you is an unfortunate, prevalent relationship myth).
Now, this isn’t to say that you’re going to enter a relationship being a perfect, stable, mature, wise woman who does everything right without any hesitation. Nope! We’re all imperfect people, and despite our best efforts, we’re going to bring some baggage to any relationship. And we’re definitely going to bring our own flaws and foibles. That’s ok. Those are what make us human. But we do want to be in the best place to begin a relationship with another person. That gets us started off on the best footing.
Plus, when this happens, you feel that you’re entering a relationship deliberately, with wisdom and without desperation. When starting a new relationship, one of the best signs that you’re ready is that you actually feel comfortable and okay with being single, and you’re pursuing the new relationship because you have a genuine, healthy interest in the person.
Are you ok being alone? Have you experienced it? Being on your own can be hard, but it is tremendously rewarding, too. If you’ve spent your whole adult life in relationships, with barely a pause in between, maybe you need to spend some time building that most important of relationships: the one you have with yourself.
You feel hopeful and open to new possibilities
Finally, one of the clearest signs you’re ready for a relationship is this: you feel full of hope about the possibilities of the future. This is a great mindset to be in when dating, and if you feel this with ease, chances are high that you’re fully ready to pursue love and romance with an open heart.
Read these next:
- What is Real Love? A Guide for Humans With Hearts
- 12 Essential Pieces of Relationship Advice for Couples
- How to Deal With Anxiety in Relationships
- 10 Relationship Red Flags to Watch Out For, According to Therapists
- Top 10 Relationship Green Flags for a Healthy Relationship
Amy Hartle is the author of Do You Love Me? How To Stop Seeking Reassurance in Relationships, a book on reassurance seeking and relationship anxiety. Both her book and this blog are born of personal experience; Amy shares expert relationship advice from the lessons learned during her own 10+ years with her husband, as well as couples travel tips and romantic getaway recommendations, all gleaned while traveling the world together.