There are periods in our lives when we try to remove ourselves from the social atmosphere of dating. Some of us are looking for love, and we do not feel we have found anyone who provides that for us. Some of us are looking for something casual, but feel others are looking for something serious or are just purely uninterested. Some of us are still dealing with the side effects of a break-up, and need more closure before exposing ourselves again. Still some of us are still trying to figure out who we are and what we want before we dive into anything remotely romantic. All of these reasons hold us back at some point, but how do we know when we are ready to date? Here are five signals that may demonstrate you are ready.

​1. You Want To

If you want to be dating, you should. Some of us tell ourselves that we want to, but are not ready. However, that thought is a bit contradictory. The mere willingness to date shows that, to some degree, you are ready. It may be the case that you think you are mentally ready, but do not feel physically or emotionally ready yet. That is understandable, but there is not much risk with dating a little and getting your feet wet. Some people dip their feet in the pool before they submerge themselves in it.

2. You Have The Time

Time is finally on your side. Some of us told ourselves that we did not have the time to date, but it is important to know that we make time for the things that are important to us. So, it is less that you have time, and instead that you are prioritizing dating. Whether school, work, or family was holding you back, you realize the importance of your own happiness and well-being. Online dating could also be a friend to you.

3. You Have The Opportunity

Just because we may not be actively looking for someone to date, does not mean others may not be wanting to date us. Someone may flirt with you unexpectedly at a venue or event, and though you may be toying with the idea of whether you are ready or not, that inner conflict may show you that you are ready, but you are a bit scared or anxious. Deciding whether we should or we shouldn't, mostly leans more towards one side. And in cases like these, the should is likely more of what we would pursue. If this is a person we would attempt to date at a later time, then it may be worth the chance to engage with that person for they may not always wait for us.

4. You Like What You See

Some of us need examples of what a good relationship looks like before we start dating. Though no relationship is perfect, some of us like the idea of a healthy companionship that a relationship may bring. You may see a strangers infatuated with each other, or you may see a friends genuinely enjoying the company of one another, and you may want to have that. Ultimately, you should have that. It is important to not try to emulate a relationship you see, but to use what you see as a motivation to develop a relationship that works for you. Hence, dating. Seeing can be believing.

5. Your Needs Are Not Being Met

Some of us are comfortable with our friends, family, and self so much that we may think that we do not necessarily need to date anyone. But famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow, states that we have a constant need for belongingness and love that derives from intimate relationships. There are aspects of your life that may feel vacant if you do not consistently engage with others in an intimate and interpersonal way. The truth is that we need people, especially if want to obtain some form of self-actualization.

So, are you ready to date?