So you’ve just gotten over a breakup, and you’re thinking about getting into a new relationship. Perhaps someone has already caught your eye, or you’re just considering putting yourself back out on the market. Before you jump back into the dating game, consider whether you’re truly ready to start a new relationship. There is nothing worse than starting a new relationship only to discover that you are not yet over your ex. Here are 9 signs that you really are ready for a new relationship.
1. Romantic movies don’t make you tear up and think about the “old days.” After your breakup, you might have experienced a bit of a choked-up feeling as you watched romantic movies (or saw romantic scenes in television shows), causing you to reminisce about your old relationship. That nostalgic feeling should cease before you start a new relationship. Instead, this sort of movie should have you excited about what your future love life could look like!
2. When you think about getting married in the future, you don’t imagine it being to your ex. If you were in a serious relationship, chances are you thought about having a future with that person, and perhaps getting married to him or her. Now that you are single, you likely haven’t given up on the idea of ever getting married, but when you think about your future, to whom do you imagine yourself being married? For a while, you might have continued to place your ex into that role out of habit. If you are at a point where you have replaced your ex with an “unknown someone,” you might be ready for a new relationship.
3. When your phone rings, you don’t get butterflies in your stomach hoping it’s your ex. After your breakup, it was probably a shock to your system not to have your ex calling or texting you all the time. Perhaps for a while you expected to see your ex’s name on the caller ID when your phone rang, and you got an excited feeling in the pit of your stomach. Maybe the butterflies every time your phone rang persisted for a while, even as you began to move on. If you find that you are no longer expecting or hoping to see your ex’s name when your phone rings, you might be ready for a new relationship.
4. You don’t feel like every sad song on the radio is referring to your failed relationship. A lot of people on the radio seem to be singing about lost love. I know for me, after a breakup, it always felt as if the DJ knew exactly what I was going through and was playing songs specifically written about my ex and me. If you still feel that way when you hear sad songs, you are probably not ready for a new relationship.
5. You are able to run into your ex without experiencing a relapse. Immediately after a breakup, it is often difficult to spend any time with your ex. You may find yourselves either continuing to interact as a couple because of your old habits, or still feeling so angry and upset over the breakup that you can’t help but fight. If you find that you’ve gotten to a point at which you can run into your ex, or perhaps even spent time with him or her in a social setting, without battling sadness, attraction, or anger, you might be ready for a new relationship.
6. The answer to your question, “Would you ever want to get back together with your ex?” is: “No.” The key to being over a relationship is not being over a relationship “for now.” If you are thinking about getting into a new relationship, you can’t hold out any sort of hope that you might one day get back together with your ex. Not to be cliché, but “it’s called a breakup because it’s broken.” You don’t want your new boyfriend or girlfriend to always be nervous that your ex might win you back. In your mind and heart, it has to be over for good.
7. If you are asked for your phone number, you don’t feel like you are cheating on your ex. If you have had anyone flirt with you since the breakup, especially soon after it, you may have had the strange feeling that you were cheating on your ex. If you have finally gotten over that nagging feeling and are free of guilt when other people flirt with you, you might be ready for a new relationship.
8. You don’t still compulsively check up on your ex’s Facebook profile. Breakups are so strange. Suddenly this person who used to be such an intimate part of your life is off living his or her own life without you. It’s natural to be curious about his or her relationship statuses and wall posts, and you may have been a little overzealous about checking up on your ex’s Facebook profile after the breakup. If you’re finally at the point that you can sign on Facebook without compulsively checking your ex’s Facebook profile, you might be ready for a new relationship.
9. You feel like your life is fulfilled without a relationship. Have you ever felt like you needed a relationship to be happy? Or like you would never feel fulfilled without a relationship? Your breakup provided you the opportunity to become self-sufficient, rediscover who you are, develop a vibrant social life, and realize that while a relationship would be nice, it is not necessary. If you are to that point, you are ready for a new relationship. Having a relationship should not be about completing your life. It should be about sharing your life.
If you feel as though you have made most of these leaps and bounds since your breakup, congratulations! You might not have completely let go of your old relationship, but that’s OK. It was an important part of your life, and it makes sense to hold onto the memory to some degree. The important thing is not that you have forgotten. It is that you have healed and let go enough that you can now share yourself completely with another person… the right person!