Taking a break from a relationship is natural. Knowing how much time you need away from having a close emotional connection with another person is a uniquely personal decision that will depend greatly on how you feel.
After a breakup, you are often coping with hurt feelings and your own reactions to the breakup. You may have negative emotions and concerns about yourself. You may be experiencing grief and need a period of mourning for the past.
People breakup for many reasons, and what we view as the reason for the breakup is often how our own needs were not being met in the relationship. In a survey of 157 people who had recently left a relationship, the following reasons were given for the relationship not working out:
- An obligation to give freedom beyond the relationship
- An expectation of similarity
- The obligations to be supportive, loyal and open
- The expectation of shared time
- An expectation of equity
- The expectation that a romantic relationship will be characterized by an inexplicable `magic’ quality.
In the survey, women were significantly more likely to mention autonomy, openness, and equity reasons in their break-up accounts than males were. Men more frequently mentioned the lack of the magical quality as a reason for the break-up. Women also tended to give more reasons for the break-up than did the men.
Have you grown and learned from the previous failed relationship? Do you have feelings of rejection and powerlessness? Have you taken accountability for your own behavior that contributed to the breakup? Processing the loss and healing from it takes time. When you’re wondering how much time is enough, this article might come in handy to tell you whether you’re ready to jump back into romance or not.
7 Signs You’re Ready for a Relationship Again
1. You’re not afraid to be alone.
Being single isn’t the worst thing that’s happened to you. You might even have enjoyed this alone time which has helped you to heal and grow as a person. If you never found another person to date, you can keep yourself company for the rest of your life and you’d have a great friend.
Fear of being single can lead people to settle for less in their romantic relationships, according to a study by the University of Toronto. Participants who agreed with statements like, ‘I feel it is close to being too late for me to find the love of my life,’ were less likely to end a relationship that was not satisfying due to fear of being alone.
2. You know what you want and what you don’t want.
You now know what you liked about your partner and what you didn’t like about their behavior. That’s because you know what behavior you can tolerate and what you are not okay with. You know your values and beliefs that you won’t compromise on. This is all valuable information that you can use to select a better match for yourself.
3. You’ve learned from the breakup.
You can admit that you may have made some mistakes that contributed to the breakup and you know you wouldn’t act that way again in the same situation. This new knowledge about what worked well in your previous relationship and what didn’t has helped to make you a better person.
4. You’ve forgiven yourself and your former partner.
Forgiveness is important for removing emotional baggage and it is a sign of strength. Mistakes were made by both of you, and you’ve been able to forgive your former partner, but more importantly you’ve forgiven yourself. You’re human, after all, but at least you’re able to start from a clean emotional slate. You can read more about the benefits of forgiveness here.
5. You’ve stopped looking for love.
You aren’t looking to date anyone right now and you definitely aren’t out searching for your next romantic partner, which ironically means that the time is probably right for you to be open to the next person. When you’re okay with the status quo of being single, you’re more positive about not having someone in your life. This positive outlook makes you more attractive to potential romantic partners and you might find someone even though you aren’t looking.
6. You know that you deserve love.
In the time that you’ve been single, you’ve come to accept yourself as you are, flaws and all. This self-love in your vulnerable state has uncovered a more real you who won’t accept less than a great love. You’re ready to take the risk of finding the right person because you know that you deserve to not settle for less.
7. You know how to compromise.
Once you know what you refuse to compromise on, like your morals, you can see that there is room for differing opinions on other areas. Different people will have different thoughts on topics from politics to how to prepare green beans, and you’re okay with someone who isn’t exactly like you.
Being able to compromise is key to living with another person who has different tastes and preferences. As long as you can handle a different viewpoint, allow and even embrace the differences that make each individual unique, you are ready to start a new relationship.