How The Hell To Know You’re Ready To Date Again

Sophia Sinclair
Sophia Sinclair

You have gone through the classic breakup stages.

You have bawled your eyes out, stormed around in anger, cried some more, felt really confident, taken down all the pictures of you two from your walls, done something stupid or completely random to get him off your mind, cried again, went through the things he gave you, been angry, and set those relationship gifts and photos aside.

You have experienced it all—anger, sadness, relief, bitterness, loneliness, regret, and pain—but now you are on the other side and free from that cycle.

You are no longer hiding behind vices.

You aren’t burying your feelings behind booze or work or non-stop activities. You have fully acknowledged the ways you were trying to get over your ex, or pretending to be over your ex, and you are now not only honest about your feelings, but no longer relying on things to pull you through. You are through.

You have sorted through your memories and put them behind you.

Your ex will always have a chunk of your heart and life in his hands. Your past will be interwoven with memories of the two of you, and you will always care about these significant moments. But to know you’ve truly moved on, is to take the time to go through these memories—whether pictures, scrapbooks, old messages, exchanged gifts, etc.—and let them go.

This is a process (that involves crying) but is a healthy step in moving on from the relationship. It is acknowledging the wonderful times you had, being thankful for them, then putting them away to make room for something new.

You feel indifferent and don’t react when you hear his name.

Remember this—the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.

You can officially say you’ve moved on when the mention of your SO’s name doesn’t give you a reaction—any type of reaction—anger, bitterness, sadness, butterflies, or anxiety. When you hear of him or something that he’s up to, you’re genuinely happy for him in a (healthy) way that acknowledges he is no longer a part of your life.

You have given yourself legitimate time to heal.

This means genuine time for yourself. Not only spending time alone, but not texting, talking to, going on dates with, or engaging in anything romantic and/or sexual with the opposite sex. You are ready to date when you’ve had time to focus on yourself with absolutely no intention of starting another romantic relationship.

You have stopped concerning yourself with what your ex is doing, or what he will think of what you’re doing.

You are ready to date again when you no longer consider your ex or what he will think before making a decision. You do things because they’re what you genuinely want, and you don’t worry about your decisions vs. your ex’s decisions. What he’s doing with his life is not your concern, and you’re too busy to worry or care.

You feel no desire to look through his social media or ‘check up’ on him.

You no longer open to his page and scroll through the recent comments, trying to figure out who he’s talking to or what he’s been up to. You don’t ask his friends, or your friends to see how he’s doing. You just focus on yourself.

You don’t try to make him jealous.

You don’t post pictures to try to show what an awesome time you’re having without him. You don’t try to say things that you know will get back to him about how happy (or how fake-happy) you are. You have genuine happiness now that is completely irrelevant to him and not spiteful towards him.

You have forgiven him.

Every relationship is different, but in the end of any love, both parties are at fault for something. Whatever your ex’s role in your breakup was, you are fully over him when you can forgive him and let any residual anger go.

You have started to notice other men and wondered about pursuing them.

You no longer have unrealistic expectations for your relationship, or hold onto the fact that things might work out, or hang onto regrets that things didn’t go as planned. Though ending a relationship will always be painful, you now see that what is done is done.

You are now noticing other men and considering whether or not they are dating material. You don’t see your ex as the only person for you, but have opened to the idea that there might be an undiscovered prince charming out there waiting.

You feel love in a different way.

You can never un-love someone. But you are fully moved on from your ex when you feel a completely different type of love for him—platonic, non-romantic love—loving them as a human being rather than an SO. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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