Even if the final vote in your breakup was not yours, you will live to see the day you can thank your ex for dumping you – but only if you can do what you need to do to recover and heal.

The process of a break up can be painful and filled with anger and grief, but it is also an opportunity for an upgrade – not a sentence to lifelong loneliness.

Dating is a healthy component of a single lifestyle whether or not you intend to marry. But knocking your head against your own wall of resistance to commitment before you are ready practically insures failure. Answer these questions to determine whether to start spouse shopping, or to take time to just enjoy recreational dating:


1. How single are you?

A. Still “married” to my job, children, parents, or ex.

B. Encumbered: less than truly free and available, but I do have space and time to meet my own needs

C. Marriage ready: my life is manageable and enjoyable and I have time, willingness, and the ability to give and take, and love and be loved.


2. What happens when you think of your ex?

A. I would happily slaughter or soundly beat my jerk of an ex.

B. Sometimes I dwell on the emotional pain, but am trying to figure out what life by my own definition means.

C. I am on track to neutrality and forgiveness, and am relatively uninvolved in what my former love is doing now.


3. Do you date well?

A. I make potential dates jump through hoops to get a piece of my time!

B. I am wary about new dates, but making an effort to be at least 50% responsible for a good time!

C. I put effort in when it comes to my appearance and friendliness level to draw a larger pool for my dating selection.


4. When you think of a new love in your life, what comes to mind?

A. I am repelled, sickened, and terrified at the very thought of it.

B. I am cautious, but curious, and can joke about it, but feel some turn on at the same time.

C. This is a truly exciting concept that I can feel as well as visualize!


5. What is your current level of loving feelings?

A. I wish the world would go away and an attack team would nullify my enemies.

B. A happier self seems to be emerging within me and a few more people seem to actually be drawn to me.

C. Wellbeing and well-wishing of my fellow women and men have returned.


6. Do you believe you are lovable?

A. I am not willing to give anyone the chance — risk adverse,  staying that way, and I’m not crazy about me.

B. I am feeling that way more and more.

C. Yes, definitely (and even easy to love)!


7. What is your attitude toward the gender you claim you want to date?

A. Low: I am first to warn friends about the pitfalls of a relationship and join in absolutely every bashing opportunity.

B. I realize my situation was not reflective of all relationships.

C. I have an appreciation and trust towards them. I believe I can select a great partner!


Count your answers:

If you chose A’s and B’s, you are not ready yet. Take some time to heal and self-educate. You can date. Dating regularly helps produce a higher happiness level in any single person’s world. But date “light.” Learn more about who is and isn’t a good fit. Moving into a new relationship without emptying your baggage means your new love will be carrying the bags, or that you will attract a man with his own matching set of baggage. Don’t go there.

B’s with some C’s means you are ready to roll. Don’t wait for perfect. If you think you can achieve it, you’re delusional and if you were able to be perfect, you would be boring. Date with intent and a shopping list. You are ready to meet your mate, so don’t continue dating if your basic requirements are not met.

Follow these steps to finding a keeper (and being one!) and being a great date:

  • Don’t compete with your ex’s timetable. He or she who is quickest to be in a new relationship is not necessarily the winner.
  • Don’t bring a jury on your dates. Good friends, family, and children may have valuable opinions, but no one knows what goes on between two people. You retain the right to choose, and to choose based on what feels good to you, not looks good to others.
  • Be constantly expanding your level of acceptance. You need a shopping list of requirements as your safety net before you re-marry, but the love of your life may not be like anyone you can currently imagine.
  • Expect to be treated well from the minute you meet a date. If you aren’t, you aren’t their idea of dreamy and they aren’t your idea of courtesy. Move rapidly on to someone with better eyesight and more appealing manners.
  • Lighten up! Finding new love is not like attending a funeral. Don’t play ball with ineligibles, but if, by your definition, they are eligible, don’t over think it — have a ball.
Click here for a complete list of all Dr. Janet Blair Page’s articles.
Dr. Janet Page is a psychotherapist in private practice for 30 years in NYC and Atlanta, and taught for 22 years at Emory University. As the author of “Get Married This Year,” she speaks to audiences around the country about keeping love alive and finding your mate. Click here for more information on her “Get Married This Year” seminars.
One Comment
  1. Dr. Page –

    Strange questionnaire. It appears from your standpoint, people want to get married and that’s why they date. Perhaps if your a 20-something. But for those of us more than twice that age, dating is, and can be, an end in and of itself.

    Equally obvious is that no one dies in your survey. They all have ex-spouses. None are widows or widowers.

    Perhaps a new survey that is a bit more encompassing would be in order.

    Dru Richman
    Mac Help Desk, Inc

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