Is it that hard to date again after a break?

It’s important to remember that you need to do things at your own pace. If your friends and family are pushing you to get back into the dating game, listen to them but also remember that this is your decision.

You know you’re ready to start dating again when constant thoughts of your ex no longer hurt. Here are some other signs that it’s time:

1. You’re not ready

If you’re still stalking your ex on social media, frequently bringing up past arguments in conversation with friends, or mentally comparing every new person you meet to your ex, it may be time to put away the dating apps for a while. Getting to know yourself and finding personal passions and hobbies is a sure sign that you’re ready for the dating scene again, but a relationship should complement those things, not replace them.

However, you also need to be emotionally disconnected from your last relationship—you shouldn’t be using new people as a way to distract yourself from your problems or to avoid feeling lonely. If that’s the case, you have some work to do. It’s important to be truly ready before you jump back in the dating pool.

2. You’re hurting

If you’re hung up on your ex or still feeling hurt by their exit from your life, it isn’t healthy to jump back into dating. You should only start a new relationship when you’re over your ex completely, and are able to examine your role in the breakup without feeling guilty or angry. You’re also not ready to date again if you find yourself stalking your ex on social media or constantly comparing the person you’re dating with your former partner.

Rebound relationships are often painful and lead to even more heartache in the long run. Take the time to heal from your last relationship before dating again. You’ll thank yourself later! How long this takes is up to you. Everyone moves at their own pace.

3. You’re jealous

Whether it’s envying your friend’s promotion or hearing about your ex’s new romance, jealousy is an ugly green monster that can make you feel like there’s no room in your heart for anyone else. And that’s why it’s important to have honest conversations with your partner when you aren’t feeling so hot about something, rather than trying to navigate those murky emotions in secret.

Be sure to talk about how the jealousy feels for you both. Having open communication can help to calm down those resentment and jealous feelings that can lead to distrust. That way, you can work together to address the insecurities driving that green-eyed monster.

4. You’re resentful

Resentment is a slow-growing rot that can easily take root in your mind. It starts out innocently enough, when you feel wronged in some way (whether or not it’s justified).

As time goes by, these bitter feelings become part of your identity. It’s important to remember that it’s not just what happens to you, but how you interpret and react to those events that is crucial to your happiness.

If you find that you’re prone to anger and bitterness, it may be time to seek help. You can get matched with a therapist in your area at BetterHelp, who can provide you with the tools needed to let go of those damaging emotions and move on from them. They’ll help you discover the root of your resentment and teach you to recognize it when it arises so you can stop stewing in its presence.

5. You’re angry

It’s normal to feel a slew of emotions post-breakup, and one of those emotions is anger. Anger is a valid emotion, and it can be helpful to let it out in healthy ways. However, you don’t want to channel your anger into destructive behaviors. For example, you could end up badmouthing your ex to strangers or punching holes in your living room wall.

It’s important to know how to deal with your anger so you can move on. Anger can be directed into something productive, like a sport or hobby, or it can be channeled into healthier coping mechanisms, such as writing a letter to your ex or exercising. Using physical outlets to process your anger is also helpful because it releases endorphins that can help you feel calmer.