Breaking up is rarely pleasant. Even when you part on mutual terms, it can be a long time before you feel confident enough to face going through the whole experience again. Some think the best way to counter the post-relationship blues is to go date site and get back into the saddle at the earliest opportunity.
But acting on the rebound is rarely a recipe for success. If you want to know you really are ready to start dating again, you need to ask yourself if you recognize any of these attributes.
You are definitely over them: Before you move on, you need to ensure there’s no emotional baggage. Are you still tempted to phone them? You might argue you’re just being friends with someone you’ve been close to. Or are you sending out feelers, secretly harboring delusions about rekindling something which has actually died out? Do you still check out their Facebook page now and again? If you can answer in the affirmative to any of these questions, then you haven’t let go. Getting involved with someone else would just be unfair on them.
You’ve drawn a line: If you want to be in a position to embark on a brand new relationship, looking to the future with optimism, while being able to consider your past with fond memories, but certainly no more than memories, then you require closure. You have to draw a line which asserts your intention to live for today rather than wallowing in all the happy times you might have experienced. Any keepsakes or mementos which remind you of your previous partner can get consigned to the bucket.
You are focused on the longer-term: When people are still holding on to the relationship that has recently concluded, they won’t be able to plan ahead. Perhaps part of them is hoping for a reconciliation, or they might be brooding and unwilling to commit to a new partner. But if you can think about the future, and especially about the type of person you can envisage accompanying you anywhere in the long-term, then you can approach dating again with an open mind.
Your self-esteem is intact: A lot of people who have been jilted or lost their loved one because a partnership has run its course will find their pride severely dented. This can manifest in various ways. They can become angry and bitter. Or they might wallow in self-pity, imagining there is something wrong with them that is making it hard for them to find success when it comes to relationships.
However, if you can hold your head high after a break-up, prepared to face whatever other adversities life is about to throw your way, then you have proved you are emotionally mature enough for a fresh partner. This isn’t to say you are cruel and heartless, and somehow able to switch off your emotions when your social life isn’t going your way. It’s just an acknowledgment of your ability to place things in perspective.
You have time to make things work: A big issue with relationships is the notion that as soon as one has run its course, the follow-up needs to begin sooner rather than later. But this is nonsense. Allow yourself the time to unwind after the whirlpool of emotions that inevitably accompany a break-up. Spend time with friends, doing things that take you well away from dwelling on your ex-partner. After a period of relaxation and reflection, you may well be in a far better frame of mind when it comes to entering the singles market again.