Moving on post-break-up: QUICK tips to be sure you’re ready!
Your relationship ended through breakup or divorce. You put the past behind you and you’re eager to date again. But are you really sure you’re ready? Play it safe and see if you are truly dating material yet!
You are ready to date again if:
1) You take some responsibility for the past breakup no matter what the circumstances. You say, “But you don’t know my ex and what he/she put me through!” I say “My divorce could be scripted for a blockbuster horror film”, but the fact is, it takes two to make or break a relationship. If you are able to take some responsibility, you will be less likely to exhibit a bitter attitude about the past relationship, and that’s a huge plus to the potential new relationship. And to be honest, true healing from any break up comes when both parties exercise forgiveness.
2) You can find things about the past relationship that made you a better person. All relationships teach us lessons in one way or another. What lessons did you receive and how did you grow? Consider these questions: How did the past make you a better person for the next partner? What did you learn about yourself? What new behavior will you adopt that you didn’t have in the past? What healthy behavior do you possess that benefitted the past relationship, and would benefit future relationships? What counterproductive behavior will you put an end to moving forward? Do you need someone to hold you accountable to (start, continue, stop) a certain behavior? Self assessments are very helpful, but if you really want to change, ask those who know you best what traits they see in you that may help or hurt the changes of a solid future relationship.
3) You can communicate with friends, co-workers and family without rehashing your past breakup. Can you make it through a day without referring to your ex-partner? Or is the breakup always on your mind? Have you gotten past the affair, the wrong-doing, the emptiness, to the point that it doesn’t cross your mind for weeks at a time? Even poking fun at a past relationship or molding the brunt of every joke around your ex, gets on the nerves of those who love you. When their name has genuinely faded from your vocabulary, you will be more inclined to leave your past pain out of the new relationship.
4) You can be honest about your past without the need to overpower your date. While honesty is important, there is no need to exhume all the gory details. That’s just bad energy that doesn’t belong in a new relationship. No one likes a victim and even if you are truly healed, you may appear the martyr if you go into detail. A love interest may feel the right to ask certain questions so they can best determine your character. An appropriate response to any inquiry about your past breakup/divorce could be “My (divorce/breakup) really helped me to look at myself a little closer and make necessary changes. I’d be glad to answer more questions as we get to know each other, but right now I’m interested in learning more about you”.
5) You can be alone. That’s right; if you feel okay by yourself and you are content doing things solo, you are ready to date. If on the other hand, you are uneasy being alone, especially on a Saturday night, you may need to look at the reasons. Do you need the approval of someone else to make you feel loved or valued? Do you feel inadequate and run away instead of working on yourself? The fact is, you may be able to hide a lack of confidence temporarily, but it won’t be long before a potential partner senses it and runs for the hills.
Above all else, remember this fundamental fact before you go on the dating market. You will attract the type of person that most matches your current state of mind. If you are stuck in a quagmire of resentment over a past relationship, you may find yourself sitting across the restaurant table from a potential mate that experiences the same thing in his/her life. And who wants that? Or if you are desperate to find a partner to relieve your anxiety of being alone, you may eventually find the date sitting by your side has as low a level of self-esteem as you. And a relationship like that will most surely cause more heartache down the road.
Make sure you feel whole, confident and happy just the way you are, and then you’ll know you are truly ready to date!
(Repost with this link please: Reposted from Bare Naked Talk)
*Originally written in 2007. Revised 2014. Lynette Landing – Bare Naked Talk