- You know that you won’t attach yourself to the first human who talks to you & force them to commit
Part of learning to date again is understanding that the behaviors that you do in a long term “comfortable” relationship is…odd to be doing with someone who you just met. A lot of the times, we “idealize” a person, who we think sounds great on paper. In real life, we fail to genuinely connect with them, heart to heart, because we think we connected with them in our minds. That is extremely toxic and detrimental to ANY relationship, whether it is platonic or romantic. The funny thing, is though, we do not have a habit of doing these things in platonic relationships. So why do we do it in romantic relationships?
- You are genuinely ready to share your life with others & let others into your life
After being so intimately involved with someone for a length of time (it can be 1 year, 2 years, 6 years), there may be a period right after the breakup where you need to recharge yourself. For X amount of months you were dating someone, you were devoting your time and energy to support someone else. You may not have treated yourself with the utmost priority. It is during the time, right after a breakup, where we must spend time doing the things that nurture us as individuals. Everybody moves on at their own pace. Some people begin picking up the pieces before the relationship is truly over, some people like to do the whole get shit-faced for 2 months, mope, skip work, be alone thing before they are ready to move on, and even then, they never truly get over the break up until months down the road.
When you feel that you have established a routine, that you are trying new things, and creating an interesting life for YOURSELF, the irony is that other people want to hang out with you! When you try to make your life interesting because you think other people will be into that, people will be able to see through you as a fake person who is doing all these interesting activities because s/he wants to appear interesting, not because s/he is.
We all should take the time to invest in ourselves to create a genuine person: who is warm, kind, gentle, caring, optimistic, and open. When we reach a place for that ourselves, then that is when other people want to be with us, and want to be a part of our lives.
- You are ready to meet new people for the sake of solely meeting & getting to know them
Not date them.
- You do not feel pressured to connect with them at the expense of losing who you are as a person
I know whenever I think I’m ready to meet someone (when I’m not), my desire to please him is great. I want to show him I am interested in all the things he is interested in (rather than simply showing him I’m open to trying new things), to prove that we are a “match” or good fit for each other. There is nothing wrong with being open to hiking every week or cooking, but there is something flawed about trying to force yourself to say, “Hey, I’m already this type of person,” even though we know we are not. For example, I’m open to practicing my cooking skills, but if I were to say I love spending all my free time in the kitchen, that is B.S… I am the type of person who rather spend my time eating than cooking, and I actually rather clean & wash dishes than prepare a meal.
- When you’re not looking for a relationship, but searching for the right person
The idea of labels or no labels, at its core, really shouldn’t matter. What should matter is that we are trying to find the right person for US. The right person should:
- WANT to be with you
- WANT to spend their time with you
- WON’T be flakey
- WANT to text and call you – you shouldn’t have to pin them down!!
There will always be people who may be great on paper: smart, handsome, educated, kind, shares the same religious and political beliefs as you, want the same end goals in life. BUT if they don’t want to spend their time with you, THEY ARE NOT THE RIGHT PERSON FOR YOU!! It’s useless trying to pin after them and try to change their mind. You will be UNSUCCESSFUL in convincing them to be with you in the long term!
They may want to be with you in the short term because it’s “easy” – after all, you’re already chasing after them – but the truth is that, they are ambivalent about you and you WON’T change their mind! They’ve already decided that they don’t want to be with you or they don’t see a future with you. Be with somebody who WANTS to be with you!
- When you can relinquish control
When you’re interested in someone, you have to relinquish control. You have to understand that whether or not they would be interested in you, whether or not they would text or call you back, whether or not they want to see you again…. You have NO control over any of that!
When you’re ready to admit that, and when you can relinquish control over these matters, then you may be ready (emotionally) to start dating again. If you’re still trying to FORCE them to call you, FORCE them to ask you out, FORCE them to text you back, FORCE them to even talk to you or to even remember you exist – you’re not ready, girlfriend. Why should you have to FORCE anybody to do anything??! See point #5 above. Dating should be fun, light-hearted, not too serious. It should be about TAKING the time to discover if you both want something more (or not, which is fine too).
Find peace with control.
We cannot control what other people do, we can only control our own actions. Practice treating everybody we come across with kindness, compassion, and empathy.
- But know that you know that YOU hold the key to your own future
You are responsible for your own happiness. There will be guys who want to play you, who will guilt you to seeing them again even though you know you don’t want to be with them, who omit information they know as important, but will write it off as “oh, didn’t know you would care.” There will be guys who are hot and cold, who text you whenever they are bored, who couldn’t care less whether they see again, but will see you if YOU do all the work and chasing.
The thing about these boys is that they will drive you crazy. They will make you question your sanity and neediness. They will make you feel guilty and upset, they will make you feel sad and insecure. There will always be boys and girls like that. BUT the key difference is that YOU are YOU. Even if you can’t control their actions (point #6), you can control YOURS. You can choose to not let these types of people into your life who bring with them their negative vibes. You can do whatever YOU want. You are responsible for YOUR OWN HAPPINESS! Your own sense of self-worth and happiness will not come from anyone other than YOU! So make yourself happy.