This resonated with me because for years after my divorce I had spend doing at lease one of the third option above thinking that #2, 3 and maybe even 5 were needed to fully be completed BEFORE I even thought about getting involved with another person. The thing I was missing in that perception was that there is no 'finish point' with any of the three items I had been holding over my head to complete before declaring myself "ready" for a new relationship. The truth of it is that I will stop finding and healing myself when I pass from this earth, and getting fit is not a finite time bound activity. I was holding myself back from opening to another romantic relationship based on factors that were never going to be achievable.
You might be thinking "but you DO need to know yourself and you SHOULD be healed before looking for a romantic relationship", and to an extent I agree with you. However, my contention is that we as human beings are always in a state of finding ourselves, as we discover new things about ourselves all the time and healing is a perpetual thing for most people, because even when you think you are healed another trigger happens and you find out that's not the case. I think the real questions you have to ask yourself before moving forward in a new romantic relationship are:
- Have I addressed all the negative contributions I made to my last relationship that resulted the way it did?
- Have I forgiven myself for all the things I feel bad about during my last relationship? If not, why not?
- Have I recognized my wounds that were there before my last relationship and started to fact them? If not, why not?
- Have I forgiven my last partner for his/her negative contributions to the relationship that resulted the way it did?
- When I look in the mirror, do I like what I see? If not, why not?
- Can I tell someone who I am without using roles and labels?
- Have I learned more about what I could do differently in terms of communication and boundaries? Am I ready to practice what I've learned more?
- Does my smallest quietest voice say I'm ready to start something new?
I think if all of these items are really truly truthfully answered you will know whether you are ready for a new relationship or not. It's okay if one or more of these items are not completely 100% done. Addressing them in an honest way and not sideswiping them to the corner will help you choose your next partner that will help you address any/all/more of the above items and help you thrive in your life more than you possibly could imagine.