One day, you wake up and realize you can’t even remember how long it’s been since you last got all gussied up and let a stranger whisk you away for the evening. The “end of time” is approaching quickly, but you’re just not sure if you’re ready to start dating again.
Sometimes people get too caught up in living their “single” life, or put so much effort into work, they don’t have time for anything else. And then there are other people who are still so in love with their ex that they can’t imagine dating someone else.
While the transition from living the ultimate single life can be difficult, there are some signs that indicate that it really is time for you to jump head-first into the dating world. Aside from your friends pushing you to find that special someone, and get out of your comfort zone already, here are some other signs that it might be time for you to start dating.
#1 You can’t remember your last date. If it’s been so long that you can’t even remember the last date you were on, it might mean it’s time to go on another one. It’s great to take some time for yourself and forget about relationship junk for a while, but if it’s been THAT long, you might want to take a leap and try to date again.
#2 You don’t think about your ex anymore. This is one of the biggest signs that it’s time to start dating again. When you no longer think about your ex, obsess over their social media, or hold any anger toward them, you are truly ready to start dating someone else, without the fear that your ex will somehow influence a budding relationship.
#3 You don’t cringe at the idea of someone taking you out to dinner. In the midst of your “single power” phase, you may have wrinkled your nose at the notion of someone taking you out to dinner—or may have even been repulsed by the idea. But if you’re suddenly thinking that it would be nice to take someone out, or let someone take you out, it’s a subtle sign you may be ready.
#4 You no longer resent your friends in relationships. A lot of times, people aren’t ready to date when they turn their nose up at all their friends in relationships, and even resent them for being in a relationship—though this can also be caused by a “single power” phase. When you’re happy for your friends who are going out, dating people, or even in relationships, then you are getting to the point where you can begin dating, too.
#5 Sometimes, you think about how nice it would be to curl up with someone and watch movies all day. When binging on Netflix and random movies, you may start to miss having someone to cuddle up to and enjoy the show or movie with. This could be a powerful sign that you’re ready to start dating again, because you miss human contact.
#6 You find yourself wondering if attractive people are single. This was one of the biggest signs for me. When I was happy being single and never wanted to date, I didn’t even think twice about a hot guy I walked by on the street. Now, I see that attractive man and just want to know if he’s single or taken… because if he’s single, I might like a date with him. If this sounds like you, then it’s a sign it’s time to start dating!
#7 Romantic comedies don’t make you angry. A lot of single people might scoff at the plot line of most romantic comedies, claiming they’re “unrealistic” and “would never happen in real life.” But if you’ve started taking a liking to them, and can picture yourself as one of the main characters, you are ready to get back out there and find your special someone!
#8 You’re happy without a relationship. I know this sounds strange; being happy while single means you’re ready to date? Yes, it does. When you know you can be happy out of a relationship, but you want to try and get into one anyway, it’s a surefire sign that you’re ready to get out there.
#9 You know the type of person you would want to date. A lot of people have no idea what kind of person they want to be with. Those people should not be in the dating world. If you’re certain of the type of person you want to date, it’s a sign that you’re thinking beyond the superficial details, and are ready to start dating for real.
#10 You want to start dating for the right reasons. That means you’re not just trying to date people for the free food, movies, and their comfy clothes *ladies, I’m talking to you*. I’ve definitely found myself guilty of this from time to time. The only reason I wanted to have a boyfriend and go on a date was because I was eager to steal t-shirts and sweatpants.
If you want to date for the relationship, or for the purpose of finding your life partner, then you really are beyond most people who are already dating. This is the surest sign you’re ready to start again.
#11 You know you’re able to trust someone again. Your ex may have left you scorned and unable to trust anyone else. It takes time to heal those wounds, and jumping into the dating world too early can be fatal for your love life. However, if you know you can fully trust someone again, you’re ready to go.
#12 You recognize that your past relationships will have nothing to do with any new ones. Although there may have been some permanent damage done in past relationships, you realize that those issues are in the past and that a new relationship means a fresh start.
#13 You truly feel ready. If you don’t have any hesitation about saying “yes” to someone who has recently asked you out, you’re ready. Only you can be the one to tell you if you’re truly ready to start dating again. If you know in your own mind that you’re 100% ready to get out there, that’s the only sign you need.
Getting back into the dating world is a lot to handle. Can you manage—with your dignity intact? These 13 signs will determine if you’re ready to start fresh.