Your decision to start dating again should be motivated by a healthy attitude and not lingering feelings that could damage a new relationship.

It takes time to recover from a breakup or divorce. Don’t start something you’re not ready for just because someone else says it’s time to move on Instead, take the time you feel is necessary and look for these signs to recognize if you’re ready to start dating again.

1.  You’ve Let Go Of Negative Feelings.

If your previous relationship ended in divorce, then you may harbor feelings of anger, hurt and resentment. If you can’t rid yourself of those negative emotions, consider speaking with a trusted friend, a pastor or a counselor. Once you’re able to think of your ex without those negative feelings rising up, then you’re ready to look for a new relationship.

2. You’re Able To Trust.

It can be hard to open yourself up to a new partner if you’ve experienced cheating and lying in a previous relationship. However, don’t assume that your new partner will treat you the same way. Learn from your past relationship and give your new date a chance before jumping the gun.

3. You Don’t Need A Partner To Be Happy.

Don’t look for another person to make your life fulfilling. Focus on your own career, hobbies and friends and enjoy yourself in the process. Then, when you start dating, you won’t be trying to fill an empty void left by an ex. Instead, you’ll be adding a new component to your already enjoyable life.

4. You’re Dating For The Right Reason.

Seeking revenge, wanting financial security or needing an ego boost are not healthy motives to start dating. If you do date for an unhealthy reason, the new partner will be a short-term solution to whatever struggle you’re going through, and you’ll still have the face the problem sooner or later.

5. You Know What You Want.

If you were unhappy in your last relationship, consider why. Examine couples you’re friends with to determine what part of their relationship you would like to experience. Look at personality types and consider different qualities and characteristics that you may have dismissed before.

6. You’re Hopeful.

Many people can feel hopeless after a breakup, especially after divorce. You may feel like you’ll always be alone and you don’t have a match out there. When that feeling passes and you start to feel hopeful that you’re not a lost cause, then you’re ready to dip your toe in the dating pool.

If you respond positively to these tips, then it could be time to start looking for a new partner. Trust yourself, and your gut, to let you know how you really feel about dating, and don’t let another person talk to you into dating if you just don’t feel ready.

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