When are you ready to date again?

Even if you swear, mid-breakup, that you are never dating again, it's almost certain that you'll start yearning for companionship once the dust is settled. How can you tell that you are ready? You'll know enough time has passed through these signs: 1. You're through arguing with your ex. Do you still find that every email to your ex about details like past power bills and whose blender it was anyway turns into another fight? This is a good sign that you need to give yourself more time before you get back into the dating scene. On the other hand, if you have cut off contact completely or have at least managed to keep talks civil, you may be ready to move on. You don't need to be completely over the relationship; just over the drama that could otherwise poison a budding romance. 2. You've developed an independent social life. A University of Michigan study found that only 25% of 32-year-olds went out once a week or more. Do your best to be part of that 25%. When we're part of a couple, a lot of our social-life becomes couple-based. And, when we're single again, we can find that we have a dearth of places to go and friends to see. Spend time developing a rich network of support, enriching interests and regular activities. It allows you to enter a new relationship from a healthier place, which means your chances of making it work and being happy are better. 3. You're not comparing every guy to your ex. It's been said that there are three people at the table at a bad first date: him, her, and the ghost of an ex. If you find that every time you go on a date with someone, you are trying to figure out whether you'll have the same issues with the new guy as you did with the old one, you're not doing yourself or your potential beau any favors. No guy wants to catch heat for something someone else did, and it can be uncomfortable to realize that you're being "tested" by someone you don't even know yet. You're ready to date when you can look at each new man on his own merits. There is no set period of time before you should date again. When you feel ready, you'll know that it is time to try romance again.

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