Are you 'date ready' or 'relationship ready'? 7 Questions to ask yourself

I've been having some really interesting discussions about what 'relationship ready' actually means, and whether there is a difference between being 'ready to date' and actually being 'ready to start a relationship' - or being in a long term, committed relationship.I believe there is.  This is very subjective - and an extremely personal decision that only you can make. I thought I'd share with you some questions you can use to check in with yourself.

I'd love to know a bit more about you - where would you say you're up to right now? Hit reply and let me know! 

- Staying single for a while longer?- Ready to start dating?- Carry on dating?- Actually relationship ready? Maybe your first relationship after a breakup or divorce?- Fully ready for perhaps marriage and lifelong commitment?

Here are 7 questions you can ask yourself to get started and work out whether you're 'date ready' or 'relationship ready': 

1. What is the length of time after your breakup or divorce? 

First - there are no rules here.  Many experts recommend waiting at least a year after a big breakup or divorce before you start dating again.  Everybody process their emotions, grief and pain differently, and at a different pace.  The important thing here is that you give yourself enough time - whatever that means to you.What would be the reason to rush into the next relationship just to find yourself pulling back because you know deep down you're not ready?  Maybe you've even been on the receiving end of that kind of situation and you may know that it can be incredibly confusing and painful.

2. What were the circumstances of your breakup or divorce? 

Again a really big topic that I will cover in much more detail in future.Some women I speak are dating again, but still struggling to come to terms with their breakup or divorce. Others say that their relationship or marriage have been over for a long time before the actual split.  Some are more ready than others, especially emotionally to meet new people and consider the possibility of a new relationship. Some are still carrying a lot of pain, anger, grief and blame. Others have made the decision to forgive and move on.Dating and looking for a new relationship from a place of loneliness or neediness is never a good starting point and it will come across eventually, we can't help it. Be honest about where you are and take your time to really resolve what is in your own heart to know what you're ready for.

3. Is this your very first step back into the dating scene?

If it is you may feel a little overwhelmed.  Some of my clients haven't dated in 10-20 years and find the whole online dating scene especially tricky to navigate. It's hard to get back out there if your confidence is not quite what it could be, amongst everything else you're dealing with.  If you're taking your first steps to get back out there so to speak, take it a little slow and focus more on getting to know people, create friendships and get to know yourself again in this new stage of your life.

4. Would this be your first relationship after your breakup or divorce? 

I'm the last person who will say that you shouldn't get serious about the first proper relationship after a breakup or divorce - but I would be incredible careful all the same. In my case I married my first serious partner after my divorce - and nearly 7 years later we're really happy. But it was also chaotic and messy and very difficult for the first 3-4 years or so while we were both still reeling from previous breakups and struggling to find our feet. It can be done, I have to be honest and say I wouldn't recommend getting too serious too soon.I've certainly seen that a rebound relationship has the potential to be as painful as a divorce if it ends, because it often exacerbates the pain and (delayed) grief of a divorce in ways you can't even imagine.

5. What kind of relationship are you looking for right now?

It is it something fun, casual and light? Is it just companionship? Or something deeper but probably not long term?  Or is it the full works - deep and lasting commitment?  Maybe even getting married again?Whatever it is - it is of course totally, 100% fine to be exactly where you are right now. The important thing is to be honest and patient with yourself, and the other party.

6. Taking your responses to your Relationship Readiness quiz in account - how are your lowest rated areas potentially impacting your capacity to attract the right person and create a new relationship? 

This is a very simple one.  I know the quiz is not the beginning and the end of everything we're talking about here, and it is certainly not any scientific indication of your personal readiness. It is, however, a good tool to help you pinpoint those (invisible) blocks and barriers that may get in your way - and it's an indication of the areas you personally need to pay attention to. So keep it close and take your answers seriously.

7. On the flipside. How are your highest rated areas from the quiz supporting you in taking your next steps to date confidently, attract the right person for you and create a new relationship? 

It's always important to recognise and focus on your strengths too - you certainly do have them!  What is it that would make you a really great partner right now?  If you're just setting out dating again - what are the interesting and fun things about yourself and your life that you'd like to share?It is always worth taking the time to think through what it is  that you really want - and what you'd willing to do to get there. You've got this. Love, Ané

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