Part 1: Signs That You Are Ready to Begin Dating Again
Carissa stood glaring at Jerry near the front door of his 2nd floor apartment. He was leaning against his kitchen counter looking at the floor, jaws tight, not saying a word. They had just finished yet another argument, more like, shouting match; and they were both drained. Carissa was fed up with Jerry’s sneaky behavior and nonchalant attitude, and Jerry, quite frankly, was tired of explaining away his antics. Jerry finally looks up, runs his fingers across his jagged hairline, and says, “We just need to end things.” With a disgusted look on her face, Carissa replied, “We definitely should. Goodbye.” Carissa usually would put up a fight, but not this time. She turns towards the door, and makes her way down the stairs without another word.
Carissa drove home thinking about all of the time she had invested in Jerry, and all of the things that they had planned to do together. She arrived home, put on some Toni Braxton, and drowned her sorrow in a glass, or three, of wine. Needless to say, she went through several emotions over the next few weeks: sadness, anger, resentment, disgust, and then came the calm after the storm.
One morning Carissa woke up feeling different. She no longer felt emotionally vexed, and didn’t really think about Jerry much anymore. She felt…normal. She was calm, and in the midst of all of those negative emotions she experienced, she had begun to do the things she loved and picked up a couple of new hobbies. She now accepted things as they were, not as she once imagined them to be. The relationship was no good and had run its course, and she was now more than ok with that fact.
Carissa was flourishing at her new job, she strengthened her relationship with God, and she was attending more social events. One particular event came with an unexpected meeting. There she locked eyes with Thomas. Thomas was a very clean-cut guy, gorgeous face accentuated with dimples and the perfect, pearly white smile. The guy looked as if he lived in the gym. After playing eye tag for about an hour, Thomas came over and introduced himself. They hit it off immediately, and spent the rest of the event talking about everything under the sun. They had a lot in common, and enjoyed the conversation so much, that they didn’t pay much attention to anything else that was going on. When the night was coming to a close, Thomas asked Carissa for her phone number, and said, “It was great meeting, and talking with you. I would love to take you out sometime.” Carissa smiled, and gave Thomas her number. She was excited about this new connection, but there were some things she needed to consider.
Although this is a potential suitor, is Carissa ready? How do you know when you are ready to test the waters, and start dating again? Well to give you more confidence about getting back out there and possibly having success, you should be able to say “yes” to the following questions.
Have you come to terms with and recovered from past losses?
Are you taking care of yourself?
Are you in a happy place by yourself?
Are you open to new possibilities?
Let’s be all the way 100, you cannot expect a successful dating situation if you haven’t adequately healed from a prior breakup. If you have not taken the time to work out the negative things you experienced in the past such as anger, insecurity, and pessimism, you’re likely to carry those things over into a new situation. If you have not recovered, you are more prone to looking to the next person to make up for the pain you experienced in the past or, at the very least, looking to someone else to distract you from your pain. Healing that pain is an inside job. Besides, why run the risk of potentially hurting someone because you used him or her as a rebound?
Self-care after a breakup is very important. That means taking care of you, both physically and mentally. Working out, eating healthier, taking a vacation, praying, or meditating are all examples of things that promote a healthier physical and mental state. Add in your hobbies or things you may have stopped doing because you were so consumed with your last relationship. You should be doing things you love, and discovering new things that you enjoy as well. No one wants to date a Debbie Downer or someone who doesn’t have his or her own things going on. Do things that are positive that places you in a happier space.
Before getting back out there to date, you should be a “happy single.” You should be able to enjoy your own company, and be happy alone. You shouldn’t be using another person as a crutch or depending on another for your happiness. Being content in your singleness and complete by yourself is a sure sign that you are ready to join the dating pool again.
Last, but not least, you have to be open to the possibilities. This means that you are open to starting fresh, optimistic about a new future with someone else, and, most importantly, you are emotionally available.
The important thing is to give yourself time to catch your breath, heal, and become a better you. You should want to put your best foot forward when starting to date again by bringing a wiser, more competent and confident person to the table. Remember, a better you attracts a better next.
N7, Candidly C