Getting back into the dating game after a long-term relationship can be scary. Because you got used to being in the company of the ex-boyfriend, it's understandably hard to open yourself up to new people, to leave your comfort zone, and to entrust and invest your feelings again. Sooner or later, however, you'll have to get with the program—the chase, the high, the happiness, or even the sad ending (there's a reason why #WalangForever and #MayForever are trending).

The question is, has that moment arrived? To help you decipher if you can officially declare yourself on the market once again, evaluate yourself using the signs below.


1. You’re clear of emotional baggage.
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You no longer cringe when your hear his name or resort to violence when you spot him at your favorite restaurant. You've forgiven your ex, and you don’t have ill feelings toward him anymore. More importantly, you've forgiven yourself for taking yourself for granted or maybe for hurting the other person—the man has feelings, too!

2. Your past has passed.
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Enough of "Jules was like this when we would go out" or "He would never react to this situation in that manner," because your ex-boyfriend is a former flame—he's history. He's exactly who Gotye's famous breakup song "Somebody That I Used to Know" is referring to. If you keep reminding others how much of a douche your ex was, it only shows that you still think of him. A LOT. While we're on the subject, you might want to stop making the ex your benchmark for every guy that comes along. Each one has his own set of good qualities and quirks. Give them a chance.

3. You're not in a rush to be with anyone.
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You can very well have fun even when you’re by yourself. You don’t need anyone to bring you happiness because being alone doesn’t equate to loneliness. When you’re sad and you date, you have the tendency to set the bar low and misread signals. You also get attached to the person quickly, which may only lead to a painful, regrettable experience.

4. You already know what you want.
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No, this isn’t about having a checklist. It’s about valuing yourself and having standards. When you stop settling for the first guy in line just because you want to be in the arms of anyone, that's when you know you can handle yourself. That being said...

5. You also know what you can give.
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After healing from a breakup, enjoying the single life, and familiarizing yourself with the new you, you are more mature and more whole. You are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, so you have an idea of what the other person can get from you. At this stage, you have also learned to love yourself.


6. You have future plans for yourself. 
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Whether you aim to work abroad or make your career flourish here, you have dreams and an action plan to go with them. If life were a movie and you were the lead star, you are confident that there will still be a happy ending even without a male co-star. You are secure of your own potential.

7. You’re done with expectations, but you still hope for the best.
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Okay, let's be real. D**kheads are everywhere, and happy endings don't grow on trees. You're still optimistic, though, that you'll meet a great guy. Although the two of you may not end up together, you're ready to experience heartache again. Dating, after all, is a continuous trial and error process. Everything will turn out okay!

PHOTO: Pinterest; GIFS: Giphy 

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