Every day a relationship is ended. And everyday, a new one begins (at least, I’d like to think so). Getting back in the “game” is all about how you perceive yourself…meehhh maybe it’s about 80/20. Do you feel confident enough to let others see you as confident too? Let’s find out…
Are you still wounded from a previous relationship? Is trust still an issue for you? Can you answer “No.” to these questions? Then maybe you are ready to date again! If you feel that you have “healed” from your previous relationship; if your answers were “Yes.” then maybe not. And hey, that’s okay too. Everyone takes their own time to heal – there’s not a clock that you should be watching or a reason that you have to get back in the “game” immediately.
Do you keep yourself “guarded”? Is there a figurative wall that you’re putting up to keep people away from you? A lot of the time people will do this after a particularly long and even an abusive relationship or one that they may have thought was destined to be “the one”. Trusting people is not easy – actually, it’s very easy, but once you’ve been duped you start using your bricks and mortar to build that wall around your heart, hoping no one will ever break it. You begin to speak less, listen more, observe people’s actions and be suspicious of almost everything. Depending of your personality, you can only keep this up for so long and that wall will come down for the right person.
Do you still feel too “insecure” about yourself to move on? Are you putting off dating because you haven’t lost your goal weight…yet? Insecurity is natural, even while in a relationship. There are ways to build confidence. Working out helps…but beauty fades with time. It is smarter to start and stick with the brain. Maybe try seeking professional help or self-help books. There is always more to be learned about yourself, even though you think you could never possibly learn anything else. Try it.
Still waiting for closure? Closure is a very important part of ending a relationship that couples often overlook. Avoiding it can leave an ex feeling lost for many months, or even years. Try to remedy this by confronting your ex. Depending on the state/terms the relationship was left in, it might be easy to sit down and just look at them and have a nice and honest “good-bye” to clear the air. Or if you were unlucky enough to have a messy break up, you might think “better off left alone”. But where’s the closure in that? It could be a phone call, a text message, or a public meeting (to be safe) – to say how you feel, and to say “good-bye” (hopefully all in a very nice way).
Are you comfortable enough in your own skin to show someone else your true self? Jason Vallotton of Moral Evolution, pitches, “ The more you know yourself, the more of yourself you are able to give to someone else “. Without knowing who you are, your ” ..identity, beliefs, passions, desires, talents, personality traits…” are simply nothing then you simply become a shell for someone else to throw an arm around and walk with. It often happens that when people break up with their significant other they feel so desperately heart broken because that other person became their whole life. This happens a lot to teenagers, which is why so many of us in our late twenties and middle age feel “jaded” or cynical about relationships. You are living your life and you get one chance. It is an amazing thing that you get to share it with another, but if you don’t find a healthy balance between supporting yourself and your life with your significant other – your foundation will crumble and everything will fall down.
Are you lost in the same pattern of choosing the same type of significant other, getting the same results of unhappiness, and blaming yourself for loss? You cannot blame yourself for errors being made – unless you continue to make them. Try taking a different approach. Try taking time for yourself…I know you hear people say that, and it sounds super kooky. But think about the alternative – you would continue to date people who you cross your fingers won’t be like the last, when really the only common denominator here is you. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, it may just mean you need some soul-searching time to heal your brain and your heart. Jumping from one mate to the next can be exhausting to you and your partners.
Do you believe in love after love? If you are a recently divorced or widowed individual, it is very important to remember that you are not guilty. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable emotion for someone to express or even grasp; “You’re entitled to your own happiness…if you choose it, that happiness can and should include another love by your side….” Huffington Post’s, Carole Brody Fleet, believes that there can definitely be more than one love of your life; however, some people may never be able to get over the loss of the love of their lives – date or even marry again.
Does baggage weigh you down? Physical, emotional, or mental? Guess what – everyone else does too. “Baggage” has a negative connotation in our Western society, from the day you’re born you will continue to pile it on. It is almost impossible to avoid. People often fear to seek a new relationship after going through hard times because they’re afraid others will judge them harshly and turn away. People may lie/lie by omission to others so they do not have to “put it all out on the table” because they don’t want to ruin the possibility of a good thing and just tell them later…believe me this is the wrong move. People hold honesty almost above all other attributes which they prefer others to have. Putting your baggage “on the table” is a great way to tell if this person is going to: #1. Waste your time, #2. Judge you harshly, or even #3. Be someone you should be willing to give a shot.
Are you happy on your own? As an individual do you have things of your own that fulfill you – a career/job, hobbies, passions, a purpose? Do you have friends of your own that you go out with? Do not try to fill a void, instead, live your life for a time as a strong happy individual before truly deciding that it is time to move on.
Do you know what you are looking for in a person? The typical “Tall, dark, and handsome” may not fall under your ideal significant other. The more you know about the boxes you desire to be checked, the easier it is for you to define the person you’re really looking for. Example: my boxes to be checked about a person who shares the same interests with me (in no particular order) are: music, honesty, intelligence, kindness, no bullshit (meaning they don’t take it), sense of fashion, love of food, compromise, humor, and sexual interests. I learned the hard way that check boxes are utterly important after ending my last relationship in a pretty messy way, realizing that the ex only checked 5 of my boxes. I was seeing a psychologist at my university and I told him I thought I was still in love with one of my other exes. To which he replied, why, and what was I gonna do about it? The psychologist and I both eventually came to understand that I really was no longer in love with this long lost ex, but instead with the things that I loved about him…his humor, his honesty, his love for similar food and music, wanting the same amount of sex in our relationship, and of course his no bullshit attitude. Mr. Psychologist suggested that I make a no-budge list (check boxes), using firm boundaries for my (then) relationship. Needless to say, that relationship failed – and now all of my boxes are currently checked. ;D
Can you make another person happy? You are no longer the same person you were before; your choices and life experiences have changed you. After spending the time to make yourself happy, it’s time to think about whether you’re really ready to make someone else happy too.
So, are you ready? This is a question only you can answer, and as I said before, there is no ticking clock.