Q. After many failed relationships, I started questioning my choices in men. I recently learned that I am codependent and that most of my challanges lead back to the childhood trauma, abuse and emotional neglect. I am currently focusing on self growth and therapy to help me deal with the trauma I experienced. When will I know that I’m ready to pursue and have a healthy romantic relationship? Right now the thought of dating brings on a lot of anxiety and fear. Will that change and when. Thanks! T.S.

A. Thanks for your question, T.S. It’s a very good one that I’m sure a lot of us can relate to.

I can only really speak to my personal experience on this one. For me, I knew I was ready when I met the right person. Until that time, I used online dating to get comfortable talking to people again. I was upfront about my expectations, as well as what I was using the site for. While I had a couple of interesting conversations, nothing really inspired me to share myself or take romantic risks until I met a very specific person.

Once he asked me to spend time with him, I was a lot more comfortable (with the usual pre-date jitters) thanks to the social flirting I had already done online. About an hour into the date I knew I was ready to try being in love again. I was more comfortable than I had ever been with anyone before.

We know when we know. That’s the thing miraculous thing about our subconscious. It has all the answers we need, we just have to learn to how to tune into it.

Keep pursuing your healing and keep putting in the work. Inch yourself out into the dating pool slowly (when you feel emotionally strong enough to walk away at any point) and don’t go out on a limb until you meet someone who really excites your mind and your spirit.

Best of luck to you!

Author | NLP-MP | I write about relationships, psychology, and growth. Founder @ The Dragr App. My new book — Relationship Renovator — is available now.

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