Maybe you just got divorced, or maybe you just went through recovery from an accident or an addiction, and you now feel like maybe you’re ready to date again. First, it’s important to make sure that you are actually ready, because dating too soon in any of these scenarios can spell disaster. And the last thing you need to deal with is a broken heart.

If you are recently out of a long relationship, marriage or not, you need some time to let your baggage go, because taking that into another relationship is going to cause that one to be doomed from the start. Take some time to find out who you are again before you drag someone else into your life. Everyone has a little baggage, it’s part of life, but you don’t want your baggage to control your life.

As far as dating after addiction, one of the first steps is to talk to your therapist, or at least your sponsor. If you are still in recovery, or even still just doing the 12 step program, dating is a no-no. That stress can quickly lead to relapse. Wait a while, get your life under control first.

Get Out Of The House

You’re not going to go on any dates sitting in your pajamas behind a computer screen. You have to get yourself up, cleaned up, dressed, and out of the house if you want to find a date. Yes, you can find someone online, but it’s still important that you don’t hide away and forget what it’s like to communicate with real live human beings in person.

Try Online Dating

Do sign up for online dating. Some people have found their perfect matches this way. You really just never know unless you actually try it out. Plus, it gives you time to get to know someone a little more before you actually see them in person.

Talk To You Friends

Your friends could be your best allies in the dating world. If they know you’re a good person that’s just been through some rough patches it’s pretty likely they’ll be happy to try to set you up with some other single people in their lives. And, since they know you best, they might find a perfect match.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket

In this case, this means a couple things. First of all, don’t fall in love too fast. You need to realize that this could just be a rebound relationship, someone to help you get your sea legs back in the dating world before you find the next right person that could be something more. Take time to get to know the people you date, before you start anything exclusive.

It also means that you should realize that recovery, from relationships and drugs, takes a while and just because you think you’re OK to start dating, you might realize you really weren’t once you get out there, That’s another reason not to dive into something too serious. You don’t want to hurt someone else because you realized you weren’t ready.