Are you newly single? You owe it to yourself to take a deep breath, process the situation and heal. Getting over a break-up after several years of dating can be tough because that person becomes integrated into your life. Chances are, you broke up due to many events that occurred in the relationship, it was most likely not caused by one thing. These events were signals that were telling you to exit the relationship. It takes courage to leave something comfortable, even though it did not bring you true happiness. Perhaps you stayed in too long and you bargained with yourself and tried to rationalize reasons why you should stay. Some common reasons we stay are:
• “I have invested so much time into this, I’ll just have to start over with someone else.”
• “My expectations are too high.”
• “He/she does this right and THIS right…so what if I am not happy in this area?”
• “The chemistry is so strong that it must be love.”
• “I will never find the perfect person for me. This is as close as I will get”
The reasons we prolong these relationships goes on and varies from person to person. The bottom line is that you most likely had an idea of what you wanted in an ideal partner/relationship, and this was not it. Commend yourself for having the courage to venture out and open yourself up to other opportunities!
So now you are on your own. Now what? You will most likely want to spend some productive time on your own growing from this experience and moving forward. This will involve 3 major steps: gaining closure, identifying past relationship patterns –if any, and determining what you really want in an ideal relationship.
By gaining closure, you start thinking about what went well, what did not go well and learning from the experience. Work towards closure to move past any grievances or bitterness. In the end, you want to have a healthy attitude about the time you invested with this person, free from anger and any negative feelings that will weigh you down. Get into a place where you can be thankful for what the relationship brought into your life. You were a willing partner in the relationship and now it’s your opportunity to empower yourself to move towards a healthy future.
Look at your relationship history and see if this relationship fits a pattern. Are you dating the same person, with a different name over and over again. If so, try to break this pattern by identifying a common theme among your past relationships. Maybe you were attracted to people that were emotionally unavailable, hurtful or not possessing the same long term goals as you. Ask yourself why such relationships would attract you, and address any issues. Next, set boundaries in place to assure you do not date people with the characteristics or values that were unhealthy for you.
Now is the time to reconnect with yourself and be a little selfish. Get back in touch with YOU! Put some thought into what you really want in life and in a relationship. Start out with a personal mission statement for your life. This is a rewarding first step in taking control of your destiny. Next, start thinking about what qualities an ideal partner would bring into the picture to be most compatable with you and suport your mission. Once you are crisp about where you are going in life and are certain about the qualities and values your ideal partner should have, you will see that the last relationship was not a fit and it will be easier to fully let go.
It takes an investment of your time and energy to be in a relationship. Yes, it is well worth it , but now, you are free to reinvest your time and energy into yourself. You will probably want to avoid getting into a relationship again until you move through these 3 steps. If you begin dating too soon, you may just be repeating the same pattern over again or not be able to view any potential partners with clear eyes. Give yourself the gift of time and become clear about what you really want in life and in an ideal partner.