It’s been a while since your relationship ended, but are you ready to start dating again? Friends and family are telling you about someone they know but you’re hesitant to meet them. Knowing when you’re ready to begin dating after a break-up isn’t always easy. Here are some signs you may be ready.

1. You’ve taken ample time to grieve the loss of your past relationship. This means you’ve worked through the emotional aspects of the loss as well as understanding that putting yourself into circulation is opening yourself up to be hurt again.

2. You’re no longer in contact with your ex unless you share children. There’s no wishful thinking that the relationship can still work, and you’re ready to move on.

3. You’ve looked at the circumstances of your break-up, realize you both made mistakes, and own responsibility for yours. Since you know what you did wrong, you’re able to avoid those mistakes in any future relationships.

4. You’re not looking for a rebound relationship or someone to replace your old partner. You’ve given being on your own some serious thought but aren’t ready to get tied down to one person again very soon.

5. Even though you’re lonely without a partner, you’re comfortable being on your own again. You’ve learned about new strengths, developed new habits, and are growing as a person. You like who you’ve become and don’t “need” a relationship to make you whole.

6. If you haven’t dated in quite a while, you’ve learned about what’s now considered appropriate or not. You’ve heard about speed dating, online dating, and other forms enough to know what to expect. You also remember what old-fashioned dating was like and think you can go through with it.

7. You have a support group whom you can call on to go out on a group date to meet new people rather than jumping right into the one-on-one dating scene again with both feet and eyes closed. Having people you trust around you when you first start dating again can be a great comfort and a way to avoid bad situations.

8. You’re comfortable with getting to know several people at a time instead of going right for the “relationship” again. It’s alright to play the field for a while when you first start dating again. There’s no hurry to rush into another long-term relationship.

Going through a break-up isn’t fun for anyone but it does happen, unfortunately. Knowing if you are ready to start dating again isn’t always an easy thing to determine. You can use some of the ideas above; ultimately you’ll know deep in your heart that you’ve moved on and are willing to take another chance. Sure, you may be hurt again, but in the game of love, that’s one of the chances you take.