After experiencing heartache, the decision to date again is anything but casual. Not only are you opening yourself up to the potential for hurt, but you're also saying yes to vulnerability and, in turn, the fear that can come with letting your true self be seen. But in the words of best-selling author and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown, "vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness."
On that note, there are certain steps you can take to gauge whether or not you're ready to take that next step into the dating world. Clinical psychologist and marriage counselor Randi Gunther has outlined the 15 questions to ask yourself before dating again, with five different results ranging from "You're not ready to date yet," to "It's time to get back out there." Here's her system:
Answer each question using this scale:
1 = Rarely
2 = Some of the time
3 = Pretty often
4 = A lot of the time
5 = Most of the time
- I think about the next person I’m going to fall in love with. ____
- I think that I will eventually find the person I want. ____
- I believe that I was a worthwhile partner. ____
- I trust that the future holds some great new relationship adventures. ____
- People get over the pain from their lost relationships. ____
- I believe that losing that important relationship has made me a stronger person. ____
- My friends tell me that I’m healed from my loss. ____
- I think of the good things I did in the relationship. ____
- I believe that my partner did truly care for me. ____
- I still trust that people are basically good. ____
- I treasure the positives in intimate relationships. ____
- I believe that I’ve learned what I need to know to try dating again. ____
- I feel renewed confidence in knowing what to do differently the next time around. ____
- I trust that most people “ghost” other people because they don’t want to hurt them. ____
- Things work out the way they’re supposed to. ____
Now add up your total score:
1-15: You're not ready to date yet.
16-30: You should probably wait a bit, and focus on hanging out with good people who love you.
31-45: You’re beginning to heal.
46-60: You're very close.
61-75: It's time to get back out there.
What do you think of Gunther's method? Share your thoughts below.