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How do you know you're ready for a new relationship? Four significant signs

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After a breakup, some people don’t need more than a couple of weeks to get ready for love. Others don’t feel like it at all for at least a year. But, if there’s no time schedule, how do you know you’re ready? 

Perhaps you’ve had an experience like this: your relationship had been over for a while now, and people were starting to ask ‘isn’t it time?’ Why not, you thought. You hooked up with someone a couple of times, it was nice, but after a few dates you knew: I’m just not ready yet, I’m still thinking about my ex. It was too early for you. 

You’re not looking for someone to fill a void 

Of course, it’s perfectly normal to miss having someone around to share your life with. But if you’re looking for a relationship because your life feels ‘empty’, you’re focusing too much on love. No matter how beautiful a relationship can be, a relationship can never bring fulfillment. It’s a valuable extra. 

You know what you’re looking for 

There’s nothing wrong with dating shortly after you broke up, but quickly getting in a new relationship can be too much. Especially if you don’t really know what you’re looking for. Is it someone who’s calm and thoughtful, or a lively person? Do you want to live together, do you want to have kids? Which elements in your past relationship were valuable to you, which one weren’t? The more you know about what you’re looking for, the higher the odds that you’ll find the right person for you. 

Your past relationship is really over 

Being friends with your ex is possible, especially if you guys broke up in a respectful manner. But pay close attention to your feelings: is it really friendship you’re looking for, or are you hoping to get together again? You can’t really be open to a new relationship unless you know you don’t want them back. 

You’re ready to share your life 

It may sound like an open door: of course you need to be willing to share your life with someone if you want to have a new relationship. But think about everything it entails: are you ready to share your history, your body, your home, and after a while your family and friends, to a new person? And are you open to all these things in this other person? The more ready you are, the better the start of this new love.   

Text: Dorien Vrieling - Photo: Julian Howard