Suddenly, it’s clear to you now. The relationship is over! What are you going to do now?
Caution: Don’t complicate your life by beginning to date too soon after a break-up. How soon is “too soon?” That will depend upon the circumstances of the breakup. Rule of thumb: Six months or more.
“Or more?” you say. Yes! Six months or more!
When you cut your finger. It takes time for the wound to heal. If the sharp edge cuts to the bone, it may take longer. A thorough healing of a broken heart takes time too.
The biggest mistakes that newly singles can make are things that most singles refuse to believe and, as a result, they soon find themselves experiencing the same relationships as in the past. It is an even bigger mistake to not acknowledge that these colossal blunders really are mistakes. Some of you may have made these mistakes more than once.
I know from personal experience that if you will evade these avoidable errors in judgment, ALL of your relationships will work better.
The biggest mistake that newly singles make is getting involved with someone else before the hurts of the past have healed.
Two closely related mistakes include not taking full responsibility for their share of the problems that caused the breakup in the first place and making sure that those issues are complete before beginning again.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and over and expecting a different result. Knowing your heart needs healing and refusing to do anything about it doesn’t help prepare you for the next relationship. It only prolongs the agony.
How can you avoid these mistakes? By living solo for awhile.
Before you can successfully get involved with and have a “healthy” love relationship with someone else, you must first get involved with yourself!
When it comes to analyzing yourself, don’t be an ostrich. Get your head out of the sand and take a loooooong look at what you did that may have contributed to the break-up and promise yourself that you will make some changes “prior” to your next relationship.
The time of real personal growth is when you are alone. Singles should use this time to reflect on the behaviors they did and didn’t like in their former partner. Create a “romantic résumé” that lists their positive points and what you are looking for in your next mate.
It’s time to experience how it feels to stand on your own; taking care of you, paying special attention to who you need to become to attract a passionately monogamous, infidelity-free, fun in the bedroom relationship. You must learn to stand alone again before you can again stand together. . . side by side.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t date, it only means, that when you decide to date, you must resist the urge to become intimately involved with anyone else too soon. This is easier when you date lots of people. Don’t grab the first one that comes along. Play the field. Make “having FUN” your only priority.
It requires a lot of effort to be in a healthy love relationship with someone else. You don’t need to expend the additional energy it will take to do that AND work on fully recovering from your last relationship at the same time. That’s just not smart. When you strain a muscle, good doctors will insist that you give it a rest if you want it to heal. That’s smart. Give a monogamous, committed relationship with someone else a rest for now.
Broken relationships take time to heal. The relationship I am talking about is the broken relationship you have with yourself. Not only must you know this, you must acknowledge that there is a problem that needs repair before the healing can begin.
We seem to drift around, not knowing what to do, blaming our ex, our mother- in-law, the cat, everyone but the real culprit.
If you want to know what the problem is in your relationships, it’s very simple. Look into the mirror. There it is! You must muster the courage to look the problem straight in the eye and declare your independence from it. It’s time to take responsibility for who you are, what you do, how you think, who you date. . . everything.
The most important relationship to you right now is the one you have with you! Rebuilding a relationship with yourself must be your highest priority. This significant first step must occur before you can be who you need to be in another healthy love relationship with someone else. For the time being, spend lots of time working on preparing for love – the love that you will share with someone else in the future.
The problem with moving too quickly to the next relationship is that there needs to be a cooling off period; that time when you begin to look at the real problem and start making some new choices about shedding all of the baggage of the last relationship.
Reinvent a healthy relationship with you! Rediscover who you are! Take some time for yourself. Feel the pain. Acknowledge it. Feel it and know that it is only and always your choice to feel that way. Then do something different! In time, as you begin to acknowledge the mistakes you have made in the past and MOST important, accept responsibility for your share of the problem that caused the breakup, the hurts of the past will begin to heal.
If you also make a conscious decision to resolve not to allow those same problems to happen again, you will begin to feel better about yourself and the pain will ease. In time, you will look back and wonder how you could have let something like that happen to you. You will also wonder how you could have allowed yourself to feel the way you feel right now. You will look back in disappointment. You will be proud that you no longer will allow yourself to grovel in self pity and pain like you did in the past.
Part of the healing is acknowledging that there were indeed problems that you were responsible for. Knowing that is not enough. DOING something different is! For now, working on you is the first key to unlocking a future chock full of infinite possibilities. Whatever you want, wants you too.
It is now time to STOP blaming someone else for the misery you are creating for yourself. It’s time to forgive them so the hurt will heal. Nothing is unforgivable. That is only and always your choice too.
The hurts won’t heal until you will allow yourself to forgive.
I suppose the real question is: Just how long do you want to feel the way you feel right now?
If you think that he or she was solely responsible because of what they did or didn’t do, then you are missing the point. It’s time to let go of that and focus on taking full responsibility for the choices that are available to you right now. Blaming others will only and always keep you stuck right where you are.
It will take a new discipline to do this. Can you do it? You must understand that the pain you feel right now is only temporary. Medical science has yet to prove that anyone has ever died from a broken heart. Broken hearts can mend. It takes time and you must do the work. You can do it! And you will do it when the desire to feel better about yourself again becomes stronger than the benefits of holding on to a past that obviously didn’t work.
It takes no strength to let go, only courage.
Let the healing begin.
BONUS Article: “The Dating Daze!”
Copyright © 2009 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.
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