Going through a breakup can be a super difficult time. Even when neither party is directly at fault for the split, learning to readjust to live as a single person definitely takes some time. Depending on how long since you and your partner called it quits, eventually you will find yourself wondering — what are the signs you're ready to start dating again?
Breakups can be uncomfortable at best and gut-wrenchingly traumatizing at worst. In the wake of a failed relationship, the idea of jumping back into the dating pool can seem like the perfect distraction to take your mind off of the trauma. But the truth is, there's no quick fix for mending a broken heart. And although a case for the argument for rebound relationships may still be going strong, not rushing into a new relationship is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Of course, everyone is different when it comes to how they cope with stress, and deciding how much time to take after a breakup is a deeply personal decision that likely will have a lot to do with the details of your past relationship and how it ended.
Elite Daily spoke with relationship expert and matchmaker for Three Day Rule, Nora DeKeyser, to get a better idea of the signs you should keep an eye out for that signal you're ready to put yourself back out there.
1. You've Taken Some Time To Reconnect With Yourself
Relationships, like just about everything else, comes with pros and cons. In exchange for all of the awesome benefits, it's likely you also had to make some compromises, too.
Before hopping back on the dating scene, spending some quality time with yourself is key. After spending so much of your time with another person, you inevitably start to change — which is not necessarily a bad thing — but once you're no longer with them, it's always a good idea to reconnect with yourself as an individual.
“I always recommend taking some time to yourself after ending a relationship,” suggests DeKeyser. “Date yourself! Remember who you are as a separate person than who you were with your partner. This break helps you build confidence back in yourself, which in turn causes you to become more attractive to a potential new partner."
2. Your Past Wounds Have Healed
Anyone who's experienced a breakup knows that there is usually a recovery period. DeKeyser recommends considering the details of your last relationship and what promoted the split when trying to figure out how much time to spend flying-solo. If things ended mutually and amicably, then chances are you'll be able to process the split faster than if it was a high-drama breakup involving a breach in trust or infidelity.
There really is no rush — every person and relationship is different. But ultimately, in order to be you best self and attract the right partners in the future, taking the time to practice some self-care is never a bad idea.
3. You're Completely Over Your Ex
Moving on and accepting the fact that a relationship with a particular person didn't work out is a process — meaning it's likely not going to happen over night. Especially if they were your first love, or someone you saw yourself ending up with. It's completely normal to spend weeks and even months regularly thinking about them.
But if you want to close that chapter, it's important that they aren't a constant fixation. DeKeyser recommends taking note of if your train of thought in the morning, when you're still a bit groggy. “The mind is honest when you are in a tired state, so it is a good check in with yourself to realize what you're thinking about right when you wake up,” says DeKeyser. If your ex is the first thing on your mind, then you might need more time, but if not then you could indeed be ready.
Unfortunately, there is no perfect amount of time that suits every individual. And even though the pain of separating with someone you used to (and potentially still) love can feel gut-wrenching, there is no doubt that there are a bunch of awesome people out there that could make you just as happy — if not happier — than your ex did.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!