It's not exactly a hot take to say that breakups can be really hard and painful. However, there's one silver lining about ending a relationship (although it may take awhile for you to see it). Now that you're single, you're free to fall in love again, and this next one might just be the greatest love of your life. Honestly, that's a pretty freaking exciting prospect. But in order to be ready for new love, your heart has to be open and willing to recognize the signs you’re ready to date again after a breakup.
But how do you know when you're ready to get back out there and start dating again after a breakup? According to Diana Dorell, intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, it's all about how you're feeling instead of how long it's been since the breakup. "Many experts say it takes half the time you were with someone to get over them, but in my experience, it's less about the amount of time and more about the depth of the connection. If it's someone you knew you were lukewarm about and just stayed in it because of convenience, it will feel much easier to date another person, even if you were together a 'long' time,” Dorell tells Elite Daily. But here's the tricky part: The signs that you're healed and ready to date again can be really subtle. Unless, of course, you know what you're looking for. Here are what the experts say are good indications that you're ready to get your flirt on and start dating again.
1. Thoughts Of Your Ex No Longer Trigger Painful Emotions
Social media, specifically your ex’s social media, can be a good barometer for how over them (or not) you are, as Connell Barrett, Dating Transformation founder and executive dating coach, tells Elite Daily. “When it no longer hurts to think about your ex or to see them on social media, it’s a sign that your heart has healed and you’re ready to find someone else to give it to,” he explains.
Dorell agrees, saying that if you're still checking your ex’s Insta regularly and the experience is bittersweet, you might still have some healing to do.
2. Your General Mood Has Improved
“A sure-fire sign you’re ready to date again is consistently being in a good mood,” says Barrett. “There’s a spring in your step. It’s like the world has gone from black-and-white to color again. That means the fog of the breakup has lifted. You’ve let go of all that sadness, anger and insecurity. You feel good about yourself and your worth, and you're ready to get back in the game,” he explains.
3. Your Life Feels Full As A Single Person
It's all about being comfortable in your own single skin, explains Dorell. “You are looking to add value to another person's life, versus trying to get an ego trip or validation from dating because you are not yet healed from the breakup,” she says. "You have a full life — friends, work, health, self-care, and are again looking to share that with another person. You aren't using dating as a tool to escape from yourself.”
4. You Can Reflect On Your Past Relationship Positively
After a breakup, it can feel like the whole relationship was bad news because the way it ended has become a source of pain for you. “[However,] when you can find more good than bad in your past relationship, it means you’ve risen above the negativity and grown into a better person,” explains Barrett. “This is part of the healing process and a big clue that you’re emotionally preparing for the next chapter."
5. You're Open To A New Relationship
Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast, tells Elite Daily that "[when] you no longer feel like they're the only person for you, and that you can’t live without them, and the thought of meeting someone new excites you,” that's a really good sign that you’re ready to get back out there.
Are any of these signs resonating? Well then, it's quite possible you're either ready, or on the road to being ready, to date again. If so, the experts say you have two options to ease into the world of romance. As Dorrell suggests, "Don't just go with the 'popular' dating app. Check them out and see how your body feels when you use it. If it contracts, that may be a sign that it's not the best avenue for you right now.” Or, if you're feeling confident, follow Barrett's advice: “When you’re ready to date, take immediate action — any action! What you do is not as important as doing something, to get momentum. Tell your friends you’re ready to date, and ask them to be on the look-out for great, high-quality people to introduce you to. Try a fun, new dating app that you’ve never used before. Hit the town with your crew and talk to an attractive stranger or two. New actions propel you forward, giving you a big boost of confidence and excitement about meeting your next significant other.”
Whichever path you chose, Leckie says attitude is everything. “Maintain a positive mindset and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Know that someone will come along at the right time," she says. "Like attracts like, so be who you want to attract."
If you’re still not sure where your heart is, Dorell says the best sign you're ready for a new love is that you’re comfortable being single. “You don't 'need' to date — you are choosing to because you have something to offer. You're not looking to ‘get,’ and that is very attractive. Sounds weird, I know, but if you're starting to date from a place of filling a hole that you need to fill yourself, you'll find yourself repeating old patterns and attracting short-term connections,” she concludes.
Ultimately, it's just about taking your time, checking in with yourself and what you really desire, and, when you’re ready, getting back out there. You got this.