Are You ‘Date Ready’ or ‘Relationship Ready’? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

There is a difference between being ‘ready to date’ and actually being ‘ready to start a relationship’ – or being in a long term, committed relationship.

And while this is subjective, and a very personal decision that only you can make, it’s worth checking in with yourself to know where you’re up to right now. 

Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to get started and work out whether you’re ‘Date Ready’ or ‘Relationship Ready’: 

1. How long has it been since your break-up or divorce? 

First – there are no rules here.  Many experts recommend waiting at least a year after a big break-up or divorce before you start dating again.  Everybody processes their emotions, grief and pain differently, and at a different pace.  The important thing here is that you give yourself enough time – whatever that means to you.

What would be the point of rushing into the next relationship just to find yourself pulling back because you know deep down you’re not ready?  Maybe you’ve even been on the receiving end of that kind of situation and you may know that it can be incredibly confusing and painful.

2. What were the circumstances of your break-up or divorce? 

Maybe you’re dating again, but still struggling to come to terms with your break-up. Maybe your relationship or marriage was actually over for a long time before the actual split.  Maybe you’re still carrying a lot of pain, anger, grief and blame, or maybe you’ve made the decision to forgive and move on.

Dating and looking for a new relationship from a place of loneliness or neediness is never a good starting point and it will come across eventually, we can’t help it. Be honest about where you are and take your time to really resolve what is in your own heart to know what you’re ready for.

3. Is this your first step back onto the dating scene?

If it is you may feel a little overwhelmed.  It’s hard to get back out there if your confidence is not quite what it could be, amongst everything else you’re dealing with.  If you’re taking your first steps to get back out there so to speak, take it a little slow and focus more on getting to know people, create friendships and get to know yourself again in this new stage of your life.

4. Would this be your first relationship after your break-up? 

It’s worth taking your time.  Rebound relationships has the potential to be as painful as a divorce if it ends, because it often exacerbates the pain and (delayed) grief of a divorce in ways you can’t even imagine.

5. What kind of relationship are you looking for right now?

It is it something fun, casual and light? Is it just companionship? Or something deeper but probably not long term?  Or is it the full works – deep and lasting commitment?  Maybe even getting married again?

Whatever it is – it is of course totally, 100% fine to be exactly where you are right now. The important thing is to be honest and patient with yourself, and the other party.

It’s always important to recognise and focus on your strengths too – you certainly do have them!  What is it that would make you a really great partner right now?  If you’re just setting out dating again – what are the interesting and fun things about yourself and your life that you’d like to share?

It is always worth taking the time to think through what it is that you really want – and what you’d be willing to do to get there.

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