Maybe you’ve been out of the dating pool for a little while, either after a breakup or a different personal reason. You’re wondering if you’re ready to strap on those heels and head back in. Or maybe you’ve met someone and you’re trying to muddle through the mixed bag of emotions that dating can bring with it. Dating can be an incredibly positive experience, but if you’re not prepared for it, you can do yourself more harm than good jumping in too quickly. So when you’re considering whether you’re ready for a relationship, ask yourself these questions:
What is my current situation? Are you in a stable situation, both physically and emotionally? Life is full of transitional phases, whether you’re starting a new job, relocating your home or taking on a new responsibility.Entering one while going through heavy changes might unfairly place an emotional burden on the other person, or limit your ability to change and adapt to your new situation.
How am I feeling? Does the idea of a relationship fill you with excitement and anticipation? Or terror and uncertainty? That anxiety might be telling you something. Relationships can be fun and sexy, but also require you letting your guard down, becoming vulnerable, and introducing someone into your life and home. And if you’re not feeling particularly ready or level about dating, then you could end up hurting the other person, or creating unnecessary chaos. Listen to your feelings and respond to them.
Why am I doing this? Is it truly because you met someone interesting, someone you could see a future with or at least a fun “right now”, or is it because you’re lonely? Dating to not be alone seems like a good idea, but you may find yourself settling for the wrong type of person or rushing things before you’re comfortable. Desperately needing someone to fill the void in your heart is only going to fill you with feelings of frustration, and in the long run, leave you lonelier than you were to start with. Make sure you’re comfortable sleeping alone before you seek out someone to sleep next to you.
If you’re looking to enter a new relationship, be sure that you’ve changed and grown from your last one or you might find yourself in the same situation. There’s a reason that your last relationship didn’t work, and it’s very rarely one-sided. Examine what happened before and make sure you’ve truly matured before starting over with someone else.
If these questions are all positive, congratulations! You’re ready. If not, don’t worry. You’re not doomed to be alone forever, you just need some more time and self-reflection. If you’re still interested in dating someone, but want to take it slowly, read this article about the benefits of moving at a cautious pace. If you have any other questions about relationships, check out the Loveawake Dating blogs, or post in the comments.