dating again

Dating Again

When a long-term romantic relationship ends, getting into another relationship is not typically, something we are remotely interested in doing right away.  Depending on how or why the relationship ended, it may be years before we feel strong enough to open ourselves up to the idea of dating.

In hindsight, I realize that I moved too quickly from one serious relationship to another.  But, that is how I learned my greatest lessons about myself and what not to do the next time.  Through my experiences and studies, I have identified some ideas that helped me and I would like to share them with you.  I hope they will be helpful for those who are beginning to think about looking for romance again.

For example, imagine an important dignitary is going to be staying at your home for a few days.  How would you prepare your home?  To prepare your home for an important guest, you would probably start with a thorough cleaning to remove dust, dirt and cobwebs.  You might redecorate the inside of your house, prepare a room for your guest to sleep, freshen up the exterior with fresh paint or hire a landscape designer to give the outside of your home a welcoming appearance.

If we take the house analogy and apply it to our search for a new romantic partner, it is easy to see the steps needed to achieve success in finding an extraordinary partner for ourselves.

Internal Housekeeping 

  • Am I carrying any resentment or bad feelings toward my former partner? 
  • Do I have a generalized belief regarding men or women? (e.g., all men/women are immature and self-centered)
  • Do I have a clear understanding and have I taken responsibility for the ways I contributed to the breakdown of the previous relationship? Do I know what I could have done differently?  (If you come up with the answer that you did everything right, then you’ve missed some cobwebs… go back and dust again.)
  • Am I looking for someone to rescue me?  In other words, are you looking for someone to come between you and a financial difficulty, make you happy (because you are miserable right now) or fill a void of some sort in your life?
  • Do I know what personal characteristics I am looking for in a partner?  Do I know what I do not want and will not      tolerate in a partner?  What do I want my life to look like?  Where do I want to live?
  • Am I open to getting out of my comfort zone and making new friends? 

External Housekeeping

  • Am I in good physical condition? (Please note, the question is NOT “Do I look like a supermodel?”  If you participate in some type of physical activity at least once a week, you can answer “yes” to this question.) 
  • Do I take time to care for myself by eating healthy foods and getting enough rest? (Again, you don’t have to eat healthy all the time, but making good food choices shows you care about yourself.)
  • When I leave my house on an average day, how do I look?  (Put together because I take time and put thought into my outfit, hair and makeup or I just wear something comfortable to cover up my nakedness.) 
  • If someone were to observe me in my day to day activities, what does my body language say about me?   

The Welcome Sign 

  • At social functions or when out in public, do I smile and make eye contact? 
  • Have I made space in my life to date?  (If you have something scheduled every night of the week, you do not have time to date.)
  • Is there room in my home for a partner to move in? (If all your closets are full or there is no room to park a second car in your driveway or garage, the message you are sending is that “there is no room at the inn”.

These are only a few of the questions that we can use to help prepare ourselves for success in a new relationship.  If like me, your past relationship was with a partner who was toxic, needy or emotionally absent, it’s critical that you take time to answer these questions for yourself before you begin to actively look for a new partner.  A better understanding of yourself and what you want will make it less likely that you’ll hook up with Mr. or Ms. Wrong in the next relationship.

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