While it might seem like a fine idea to get over your broken heart by jumping into a new relationship, it’s really not so wise. From a distraction standpoint of course it can be fun to dabble in those feelings of attraction and potential love. But if you’ve recently had your heart broken, there are some things you should do before diving right back into dating. Otherwise, you are doomed to repeat the past.
Because I don’t want you to do that, here are five things to do before your next relationship.
1.) Take care of #1
One of the most important things that will make you a great partner is knowing how to take care of yourself. Take care of your emotional self by being aware of what drains you, stresses you out and also what energizes and inspires you. Take care of your physical self and make sure that you’re eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising. Make time for things that you enjoy. Carve out time to do the things that keep your life positive and moving forward, schedule time if you have to.
It’s going to be much easier to maintain a balance of your needs vs. the needs of a new relationship, if you have a good sense of what makes your emotional and physical systems run efficiently. That way, the next time a potential relationship comes around, you’ll allow it in because it adds to your life rather than distracting you from it. Remember, even when you’re in a relationship your individuality is still important.
2.) Be OK with me, myself and I
Being alone seems to be one of the hardest things for people to come to terms with. For many of us, being alone for extended periods of time in our life can sound like a terrifying prospect. And society certainly doesn’t help matters by making it seem like there is something wrong with you if you’re not paired up.
Why is being alone so scary? Maybe it’s because we fear being alone with our thoughts. Or that we might have to actually deal with some of our own issues, rather than distracting ourselves with a relationship or other people’s problems. Whatever the reason, it’s hard to convince some people that it’s OK to be alone for awhile.
In actuality it’s important that that were able to be alone. It allows us to think our own thoughts, have our own opinions and not hold them up against someone else’s worldview. As important as it is to have relationships and interact with people, it’s just as important to have a strong relationship with yourself.
Don’t jump into a new relationship simply because you’re afraid to be alone. Be okay with seeing a movie by yourself, going for a walk alone are just sitting with your own thoughts. The better you get at being alone and strengthening who you are, the more likely you are to bring your best into a new relationship.
3.) Clear out your baggage
Breakups tend to come with some baggage. The more painful and anxiety producing your last relationship was, the more baggage you tend take away. Baggage shows up in the form of feelings of sadness, rejection and the fear of letting any of those messy feelings ever happen again. It’s a natural tendency for us as humans to want to protect ourselves from hurt and damage. But if your protective tendencies are overshadowing your ability to move on…you’ve got some baggage.
The other baggage is stuff that you were carrying around long before you met your last partner. This is the stuff that informs your ideas of love and relationships. If you have unrealistic expectations about love and are finding your relationships are continually not working out, you may have some baggage to deal with there as well.
If you don’t want to repeat your past patterns, be willing to sort through some of your love baggage. Keep what works, toss what doesn’t and learn from the rest. Otherwise you’re just going to bring it with you into your next relationship.
4.) Know what you want
Once you go through that aforementioned baggage and know what you’re dealing with, get clear about what it is you’re actually looking for in a relationship. Consider what kind of person is going to enhance who you are and where you want your life to go. When you know what you want out of a relationship it’s a whole lot easier to spot it when it comes your way. It also keeps you from accepting just any old warm body. When you know what you want, you’re much likelier to get it.
5.) Dating should not feel like another job.
If the very thought of dating fills you with dread, you may need to take some more time for self reflection and an attitude adjustment. Dating should be fun, exciting and full of potential. Don’t approach every date like you’re meeting “the one”. Keep your dates casual and relaxed. Make it an opportunity to get to know a new person regardless of the outcome and don’t take it personally if it doesn’t work. Date when you are in the right state of mind for it and don’t treat it like another to-do to check off your list.
Take some time to get your life together before you date again. Don’t use dating as a distraction to avoid working through your baggage. I guarantee that if you do, that stuff that didn’t work in your last couple of relationships is not going to magically resolve itself with someone new. If you want success in your next relationship take the time and put in the effort.
Cija Black is a love expert, author, blogger, online educator and host of the “Love Bombs” podcast. For more information about Cija, the books, class or podcast, visit modernloveguide.com