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Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

Dating Readiness

If you’ve been out of the dating scene for a while, but now find yourself confronting the quagmire that can be “dating,” it may be a good idea to assess whether you are actually “ready” to begin dating again. In fact, even if you’ve been in the dating scene for a while, it could facilitate matters, if some time is taken to address the whole “readiness” issue. You may actually have spent some time developing a plan of action, even if it is only in your own head.

So, what is “dating readiness?” “Dating readiness,” could be defined as first, being in the right state of mind to accept new relationships, which includes a positive outlook, having developed your self esteem to a point where you believe you deserve to have the kind of relationship you are looking for, and, lastly, being willing to spend the time, and do the work necessary, to do so. In addition, once you find an individual that you believe may be a good candidate to get to know in this regard, it’s important to also realize, that if you do decide to focus on one certain individual, it will be necessary to devote resources, time and energy to getting to know this person, and then, to maintain the relationship that develops. It’s easy enough to say “I want a relationship,” however, as with most things, “the proof is in the pudding.” In other words, part of the process, before even beginning, is determining your “readiness” in this regard.   


 Below is a list of items that may be used to help determine “dating readiness.”

1. Establish a support network.
This includes friends, family, and even business associates who help sustain you, through caring involvement and support. With regard to those individuals who may be in your life that aren’t always the most encouraging or positive, it’s a good idea to limit your involvement with them as much as possible, by establishing proper boundaries, and discourage negative energy and unkindness, in general. Just this action alone, can help you focus on all of your goals, and facilitate reaching them.

2. Have a career, and outside interests that matter to you, with a future.
More time is spent in a job or occupation, usually than any other social activity, so it is important to at least like what you do for a living. If not, the alternative is to have a plan of action, or connections in some fashion to the type of work that you’d rather be doing. Just as with number 1 above, not having a satisfying career, can amount to negativity in your life, that amounts to wasted energy. Therefore, it is important to address and handle any situation in that regard.

3. Be healthy in mind, body, and spirit.
By ensuring that you get proper nutrition and exercise, you can more easily have a good viewpoint on life, which feeds your spirit. If there are areas to work on in this regard, as long as you are actively addressing them, you can ensure that they do not impose enough of a distraction to matter.

4. Establish a comfortable financial situation.
While this can be a tricky goal to grasp and accomplish, if you are at least on a certain track, or have arranged your living conditions such that you do not have undue attention on income, then unnecessary energy will not be misplaced.

5. Develop a social network, aside from dating.
By having activities, hobbies, and interests that matter to you, you can better seek out those types of individuals that may fit into your life the way that you want them to. Dating and relationships should be an enhancement, not a replacement, for elements that are missing in your life.

6. Ensure that past relationships are dealt with.
Before embarking on finding new friends to establish relationships with, it is best to make sure that any past romantic involvements are dealt with in such a way that they are not a distraction or can serve to “haunt” a good possible situation that may be on the horizon. Divorces need to be completed, and any other situation that may cause a disruption on establishing a new one, should be handled, before aligning with anyone else. Any relationship that no longer serves you in a positive light, should be brought to closure.

7. Contribute positively to someone, or a worthy cause.
Giving back can actually serve as a launching pad to new and exciting developments in your social life, as well as establishing good karma.

8. Be open and flexible, to positive new adventures.
As establishing a dating life can be a huge adventure, in and of itself, being open to new experiences will enhance the process of growing your social network.

9. Determine what it is that you want.
Past relationships and experiences usually help to establish some very definite requirements for present and future involvements, for most people. Compromising those requirements, can cause a distraction from goals, and your life in general. Knowing what your goals, requirements, values, and visions are, not only serves to provide a track to stay focused on, but could serve to assist in ensuring that negative situations are kept at bay. The bottom line, is that until you are clear about what it is that you desire in a relationship, and what it is that you truly have to offer, as well as being attractive to yourself, first, it will be difficult to interest the type of person you’re interested in developing a relationship with.

The points above, can help you focus on what it is that you can bring to a dating relationship, which is essential, even before establishing what you desire. Chances are, you would like to attract the types of people who at least share your viewpoints on various aspects, and having those basic elements in place in 1-9 above, may serve to attract like-minded individuals.

No matter how long you’ve been on the dating scene, whether revisiting it, or just beginning, once you have established that you are, in fact, ready to begin to expand your social circle to include romance, embark upon the journey to find suitable individuals to begin dating, or even find a lifelong companion, then you can begin to develop a plan of action of some kind, if even only informally, to assist in your quest. But before jumping ahead to that step, ensuring that you are truly “ready,” will make the process more pleasant, and a lot more productive.

Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.

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