Dating can temporarily relieve the pain and emotional distress we all feel when a relationship ends.

But, when we start dating to relieve sadness, loss, and rejection instead of to share the happy life we’re living, we end up participating in a cycle of emotional dependence that does not lead to happiness or a lasting relationship. (I know you know this but I’m reminding you because a broken or lonely heart makes us do strange and irrational things sometimes.)

The difficult emotions that accompany the end of a relationship are an opportunity to build our inner strength, for personal growth, and to develop our ability to self-soothe and practice emotional independence that few people chose to fully explore.

If you’re experiencing the signs below you’re definitely not ready to start dating again. Consider this a friendly sanity check just in case you were thinking about launching yourself out there before you’re really ready.

10 Signs You’re NOT Ready to Start Dating Again:

  1. You haven’t yet let yourself really feel all you are feeling because you are afraid of your emotions.
  2. You can’t imagine anything other than being in a relationship feeling normal or desirable.
  3. When you go to bed at night it still feels like the empty space beside you might roll over and crush you.
  4. You haven’t gone out socially with old friends or attempted to make new ones.
  5. You’re worried no one will ever really love you or want to be with you.
  6. You feel disconnected from the things that once brought you joy.
  7. You wonder if your single status is some kind of karmic punishment.
  8. You’re willing to have sex with someone who says they are not looking for a relationship in hopes that sex will change their mind.
  9. You swipe through dating apps not really sure what you are looking for.
  10. Happiness feels like something only someone else can bring to your life.

It’s tempting to jump back into dating as soon as a relationship ends, but there is so much wisdom and inner strength to be gained from waiting until you’ve had the chance to grow from that experience before starting to date again. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Being single isn’t always easy, but the feelings of confidence and self-love you will experience when you first succeed at finding happiness without depending on anyone else to make you happy are massive personal achievements. Trust me, these not only feel great but are sexy as hell, too!

Take the time to make yourself happy before you start dating again.

When you’ve done that, you’ll be ready to meet someone who is as wonderful to be in a relationship with as you are. I promise you will LOVE how that feels.