Are you ready to date?

There is no scientific formula for meeting the perfect person.

It happens at the strangest times in the strangest places, often to people you would never have expected. However, if you are serious about going out and finding someone, it’s helpful to consider whether now is the best time in your life to do that. Don’t pay attention to what other people say. If you’re not ready to date, don’t do it. Of course, you don’t want to put it off forever if you really do want to have a long-term partner. But it’s ok to not date for periods of time, particularly if you are going through major life changes.

Did you just get out of a relationship? People tell their recently bereft friends to get over their past partner by meeting someone new. It’s understandable. They care about you and they don’t like to see you sad. But in most situations, people need time to grieve a relationship. If you just broke up with your boyfriend of three years, you need time to adjust to being yourself again, time to figure out what went wrong and why, time to get over them. If you jump right into a new relationship, chances are you might make the same mistakes you did in the past or you might find yourself six months later suddenly heartbroken about your last partner. If you really cared about someone, regardless of who did the breaking up, you need time and space to move on. If you are going through a divorce but are still married, it’s probably too soon. Be kind to yourself and to any potential partners and don’t date until you’re really over your relationship.

Are you angry? It’s ok to be angry. Relationships can be ugly and sometimes you have no control over the way your wife or you girlfriend hurt you. But it’s probably best to wait on dating until you’re over the wrath. If you compose an online dating profile and you find that it contains of a lot of “I don’t want a cheater/liar/workaholic” statements, maybe take a step back and recover before you try to move on with someone else. If you are still dwelling on what wrongs have been done to you, it’s too easy to look for the bad in any new date. If you’re still categorizing “all men” or “all women” it’s probably too son for you to date. It’s unfair to them because you are projecting and it’s unfair to you because you’re hurting yourself again when you haven’t healed from the last time.

Do you enjoy being by yourself? I would say the “right answer” is yes if you want to date. Lots of us ping from one relationship to the next without ever getting comfortable with ourselves. If you can spend a few nights alone reading or actually enjoy a meal by yourself in a restaurant, you are probably pretty comfortable with who you are. Some people never want to date or be with anyone but for those who do, try to find peace in solitary pursuits before you add someone to the mix. You will come to appreciate and understand yourself through time spent with just you.

Can you trust someone? Maybe you have never trusted anyone. Maybe you had a bad relationship that took away your trust in other human beings. There are good reasons to be mistrustful, but to have a good relationship, you need to learn to trust again or to trust, generally. We have no control over our partners and we cannot guarantee they will always do what we would like. But in order to find a long-lasting love, we need to be able to believe in the other person. If a half-hour delay replying to a text makes you think they’re cheating on you? You need to delve more deeply into why you think this. There are very valid reasons people stop trusting – you will get hurt in relationships as long as you have them. But there is no way to truly move forward unless you believe things can be good.

Are you employed? There is nothing wrong with being unemployed, especially if you have enough money to get through that time period. But a lot of emphasis is put on jobs in this country, so you want to be sure you feel secure with your job or lack thereof before you date. This is not because you need to be able to pay your own way (though that might be important to you) or in order to impress a date. It is because it affects your mental state. If you are frantic to find a new job or dissatisfied in your current position, you’re likely to be distracted from whomever you are trying to date or you may find yourself putting too much emphasis on finding someone. It’s easy to get fixated on dating and relationships if you aren’t comfortable with another major part of your life like your job.

And lastly … are you making excuses? This entire post has been about waiting until you feel ready to date, but it has to be said – don’t wait too long! If you tell yourself you can’t date until you lose that last ten pounds or it’s been two years and you’re still using your ex as a reason not to date or you’re not totally sure you want to stay in this area, you should probably give yourself a good mental kick and just get out there. Things are never going to align perfectly. If we all waited for a flawless psyche, no one would ever date. So give yourself time, but don’t put it off forever. Someone is waiting for you.



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Posted 08-19-2013 8:08 pm by