Have you ever asked yourself the question: “Am I Dating Ready?”
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “I’m single, why wouldn’t I be dating ready? Furthermore, what does it mean to be dating ready?”
Glad you asked.
Being “dating ready” means that you’re mentally and emotionally prepared to put yourself out there to be judged, to get your heart broken, to break hearts and ultimately to be vulnerable with another person.
While you may feel like you’re ready to get out there and find “the one,” there may be several things you’re overlooking that can prevent you from being “dating ready.” Before you go another date, I want you to ask yourself the following 5 questions:
1) Do I like myself?
I know…I know…I’m not breaking new ground with this question. You probably already know that, “you can’t love someone else until you learn to love yourself first.”
While you may intellectually understand this concept, if you took a big step back and examined the way you speak to yourself, do you like yourself? The number one issue that all my clients struggle with is negative self-talk. We all have a little voice in our heads that can put us down and make us feel less than. Before you start dating again, ask yourself, “how strong is that voice?”
If that mean, nasty voice in your head is louder than all the other voices, you’ll want to first work on identifying, challenging and reframing the negative thoughts that are making you feel bad about yourself. If you want to learn an easy way to do this, click here.
2) Can I be alone?
Yes, if you’re currently single, then you’re technically alone. I’m talking about the kind of alone that’s a choice you made, not something that “happened” to you. Answer the following questions: Do you jump from relationship to relationship without as much as a weekend in between? When did your last relationship end? During the times when you’re single, does it feel like you’re just going through the motions until you meet someone new? Are you starting to see a pattern?
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be in a relationship and there’s nothing wrong with being alone. The goal is to be able to appreciate being alone and being in a relationship. If you struggle with being alone, challenge yourself by doing more things by yourself. If there’s a movie you want to see but have no one to go with, grab your coat and head to the theatre. What about that new art exhibit than you know none of your friends would ever check out? Go check it out this Saturday. Don’t put anything off for a relationship and you’ll start to understand and appreciate the value of solitude.
3) Am I mentally and emotionally in a place to handle rejection?
Love ain’t easy.
Why is love so much harder than career or health or money? It’s because love involves you and another person. Another person you have absolutely no control over.
Finding someone that you really like is not easy and it’ll probably involve you going out on a lot of “meh” dates. You need to ask yourself, “If I go through a rough patch and end up going on 10, maybe 20 bad dates in a row, will I be able to handle it?”
I’m not saying that you’re not strong enough to handle whatever comes your way but this goes back to question one and those nasty negative thoughts I mentioned. If you find yourself being deeply affected by the trials and tribulations of dating, do you have the tools to manage your disappointment? Do you have a plan for when you’re going to need to pick yourself up and push forward when things are rough?
4) Do I know what I’m looking for?
Have you thought about what you’re looking for in a partner? I’m not talking about choosing between the guys that swiped right on your profile or the woman that smiles at you from across the room. I’m talking about sitting down and really thinking about who you are and what kind of person you want to be in a relationship with. There are so many aspects of love and dating that are out of your control. Knowing what you want in a potential partner is something that you have complete control over.
Make a list of the characteristics and traits of your ideal partner. This is your list so don’t hold back. Once you have this list continue to refer back to it as you go on dates. This list will guide you to who you’re going to continue seeing vs. who you’re going to “swipe left.”
5) Do I know my deal breakers?
Now that you have your list, you have a clear idea of the kind of person you want to be with. The next step is to figure out what traits or characteristics on your list are your “deal breakers.” What are you unwilling to compromise on? For example, if you want to have children then if you meet someone who doesn’t want to have a family, you know that this is not a relationship or person you should date. On the other hand, there may be many other things that aren’t as important. Try to limit your deal-breakers to only 3-4.
Are you starting to feel ready to date? Remember, love and relationships are difficult because you have no control over the people you date. Just keep reminding yourself of the things that are in your control: how to speak to yourself, how you view relationships, how you react to disappointments, what’s on your list and adhering to your deal-breakers. Even when you’re feeling “prepared,” you may get your feelings hurt or your heart broken. Never forget that in the end it only takes one person to make all the bad dates worthwhile.
Your person is out there.
If you're interested in creating that ideal partner list and identifying your deal-breakers, I just launched a new easy to use, low-fee mini-course called, "4 Steps to Finding the Love You Deserve." You'll be able to do both those exercises as well as gain valuable tools and techniques to manage the world of dating. Go to the products page to learn more.