People often wonder how they will know when they are ready for dating. There are several things to keep in mind, and in this post, I will outline some of the most important areas to consider.

Are you Happy and Successful being Single?

Being single is an excellent opportunity to really get to know yourself. If you turn to dating immediately after a breakup or after a distressing event in your life and think this is a good strategy, I invite you to reconsider! If you jump into dating, it will be a distraction, yes, but have you given yourself the opportunity to examine who you are and what you want? After a breakup, it might be tempting to focus on the other person and how they “caused it,” but you, too, have an opportunity to look at the part you may have played in this.

Recently, the marriage of a neighbor of mine ended less than a year ago, and he is already back on dating sites and feels ready to get into another relationship. He is still legally married and has focused on how it’s his wife’s fault that they split. He attributes it to her mid-life crisis and has not taken any time to contemplate the part that he played in the breakdown of the marriage. 

It is a humbling experience to take responsibility for our own part because it’s never one-sided. As long as we jump into new relationships without growing and learning, we are much more likely to repeat old patterns.

When you are single, you have the opportunity for self-reflection and more time to get professional help, take courses, make new friends, and create a rich life that isn’t dependent on another person to “make you happy” because I believe that it’s not someone else’s job.

Are you Healthy in Mind, Body, and Spirit?

What do you do to be healthy in these areas? If you are healthy in mind, body, and spirit, you are much more likely to attract a partner who is healthy, too. If you have issues that you need to work on, like unhealthy coping mechanisms or self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, or other addictions, I encourage you to seek professional help. You don’t have to be “perfect” to start dating, but if you are unhealthy in any of these areas, it’s a great idea to deal with them before going out into the dating world.

Dating can be very tough. Sometimes married couples can feel envious of what they see as the benefits of dating have a lot of attractive, interesting, and functional people, but if you ask most singles, they will say that it’s like swimming in shark-infested waters a lot of the time! To be able to navigate the ups and downs of dating, the disappointments, and the setbacks, I think it’s crucial to be as healthy in mind, body, and spirit as possible.

Maybe now is the time to start that exercise program you’ve been thinking of, whether it’s going to the gym, doing yoga, or going for walks. Maybe it’s time to start a meditation or mindfulness practice so your mind is settled and clear. If you belong to a faith community, maybe it’s time to reach out to be with others so you have a good support system before you start dating.

Is Your Financial and Legal Business Handled?

I can’t tell you the number of times that I have met on dating sites who are still legally married. Usually, they try to reassure me by saying that their marriage was over emotionally years ago or that a divorce is imminent and it will be an easy and amicable process. It hasn’t been, trust me! If you have financial or legal issues that will likely interfere with the life and relationship you want, you may want to put dating on hold until everything is resolved. Keep in mind that a prospective partner may not be interested unless you are legally available. Is there anything you need to do to resolve any financial issues? Ultimately, it’s up to you, but I highly recommend that you take care of any unfinished financial or legal business before you embark on dating. 

Do You Know What You Want?

Many people aren’t clear on what they want in their lives or in their relationships. Taking some time to create a vision for your life is important. Do you want children? Do you want one romantic partner, or are you drawn to polyamory? What are your values? What are your non-negotiables in a partner, and what are your “must haves”?  

People date for different reasons. It’s important to be clear on why YOU want to date to ensure that your prospects are aligned with your goals. Do you want to date as activity partners? Are you interested in dating but nothing serious? Does this include being sexual? Are you dating because you want a serious long-term relationship? Is marriage your end goal?

One size doesn’t fit all, and you can decide what you want and what will work for you. Many people these days want to get married, but many don’t. Some people want to maintain separate homes and get together for activities and sleepovers. How would a relationship fit into your career plans? Are you willing to relocate? If you had children, would one or both of you stay home, or would you hire a nanny or look at daycare? When you have clarity about what you want, you will be able to screen potential partners much more easily to ensure that your values and vision are aligned.

It takes time to gain clarity on what you really want, and that’s why having a systematic approach like Conscious Dating can be so valuable. You can find out more here:

The Bottom line

Knowing that you are ready to date shouldn’t be wishful thinking. If you want healthier and happier dating and relationship experiences, it’s important to be single for a while and to build a happy and successful life. It’s important to assess your health both in terms of your mind, body, and spirit and also regarding your finances. Clarity on what is important to you in your life and a partner will serve you well in preparation for dating. When you are truly ready to date, you will come from a strong place that will allow you to make better decisions about prospective partners.

Want more help with getting ready to date? I invite you to book a free 30-minute Discovery Session to explore how I can help you to get ready! 

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