Well, look at you. You've been doing the inner work necessary to heal. You've stopped checking their social media. You don't cringe every time you hear their name. And you've forgiven yourself for the mistakes you made or anything you accepted that was beneath you. You've journaled, meditated, and let it all bare in with your therapist. You've come a long way, and now, you're finally feeling open to the possibility of meeting someone new. I'm proud of you. However, even with all that work done, there are still some pitfalls to avoid as you get ready to decide whether or not you're actually ready to step back into the dating world. The last thing you want is to end up back on the wheel you've worked so hard to remove yourself from. So, before you swipe left, here are three things to consider. 

Are You Ready To Date Or Are You Just Craving Intimacy?

This can be a hard thing to answer. Being ready to let someone in again, trust them, and learn what makes them tick can be exciting, but it can also take work that a healing person just can't do. When you're coming out of a relationship, missing the intimate moments you get to share with a person you're close to can be the hardest part of the journey, but searching for that feeling can be a trap. Often, when we are at our most vulnerable, our desire to feel safe in the presence of someone who cares for us can bring us into new situations that we aren't truly ready for, and before we know it, we're having to untie new knots formed by premature attachment. Take the time to explore your intentions for dating again and make sure it's about more than having a person to belong to. 

Do You Think It's 'Time' To Get Out There Again?

When we come out of a situation that caused us great pain and required real-time to get past, we can put a limit on how long we're "allowed" to feel bad about it. We rush to the finish line because we know that on the other side is freedom from the hurt we feel. Unfortunately, that's not a reason to bring someone else into your life. Actually, it's the worst reason. The pain will still be there when your date ends. It'll be there when you roll over in the morning after a night spent with a new partner. It'll be there when you're trying to push down the triggered fears that arise at the first sign of a person misunderstanding you or taking you for granted. Time is relative. Everyone has a different path to being whole again, so don't rush the process. 

Are You Moving On Just Because Your Ex Has?

Social media makes it nearly impossible to sever ties with someone entirely. Even if you unfollow or block, there's still a chance that you'll see what they're doing and who they're doing it with. The truth is, it hurts. It can be like rubbing alcohol in the wound to see your ex moving on and seemingly happy without you. Although not everything is as it looks most of the time, it can still light a fire in you to put yourself out there and prove that you, too, have moved on. You may think, 'why am I doing all this work on myself while they get to just jump into something new?' Well, sis, that's honestly none of your business. Every step you take at this crucial time in your life has to be about yourself. Chances are, you gave more than enough to your past partner. So much so that you've had to spend real time filling up the voids they left behind; therefore, using them as a measuring stick of where you should be will do more harm than good. And you deserve nothing but good things from now on. Remember that. 

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