Breakups and dating were a large part of my growing up and I suspect many of you reading this share a similar experience. Luckily, I don’t have to deal with dating or breaking up now that I am married but some of my friends are still single and in the dating department.
I feel as though I have learned a lot as I grew up and gained more wisdom revolving around relationships. However, when I was young and naive, I had a lot of trouble dealing with anxiety, self-worth, and loneliness after breakups.
So, I wanted to share some observations that I have made over the many years I was dating and in relationships that I feel could help others that are dealing with the same issues.
1.Know your worth. This one is soooooo important. I see so many people (women especially) that even after the breakup still dwell on the relationship. They still see the other person as some perfect God-like person that they should still be with. They fail to see the red flags, the major conflicts in the relationship, and the differences in values that they had with the other person.
I get it…. After a breakup sometimes we have on these rose colored glasses and tunnel vision that keeps us from seeing the relationship as it really was. I urge you to take a step back from the relationship and make an objective list about the person you were with and the relationship. Write down the red flags. Write down why the relationship wouldn’t have worked out long term. Write down your opposing values. Write down your non-negotiables.
THEN take a moment to write down the things you brought to the relationship. If there is a huge mis-match, then you aren’t recognizing your self-worth.
My first boyfriend cheated on me and I got back together with him. I blame it on being very young and not having experience. Cheating is a huge red flag… bigger than a red flag, it’s a huge glaring character defect. Why would anyone want to get back with a cheater? Because they didn’t recognize their self-worth!
This is why it is important to recognize what you bring to the table of a relationship and if the other person cannot do so, move on! And move on quickly! They were not right for you.
Maybe the other person drank too much and became angry and hot-headed. Maybe the other person lied about their finances. Maybe it’s as simple as the other person isn’t into working out, being active, or eating healthy and those are super important to you. Realize that there are people out there that will be a better match for you and stop settling. This brings me to the second point.
2.Leave the person and the relationship in the past. Grieve for the relationship all you want. But, if you do realize this person wasn’t right for you, and that the relationship wasn’t a good match, then stop dwelling on it. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s good for your well-being if you cut out all connections with your ex. This includes unfriending them on social media, deleting their phone number so you can’t keep contacting them, and getting rid of any memorabilia you have left over from the relationship. I’ve learned to do this immediately after breakups in the past. Not because I was trying to hurt my ex, but to protect myself. I didn’t want reminders of my ex, I didn’t want to see pictures of them dating someone new, and I wanted to mentally move on from our past.
Not only do these things allow you to heal, but they open up your life and mind to date someone new when the time is right. This ties right in with my third piece of advice.
3.Don’t force yourself to date after the breakup. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen friends rush into dating new people shortly after a really tough breakup. They are so afraid of being alone that they force themselves to get back on a dating website or trying to get set up on a blind date from a friend. You will never allow yourself to fully heal from your past relationship when you rush into a new one. Moreover, you will most likely end up dragging that baggage into a new relationship and dooming it from the start.
Take time to heal. Take time to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe you slacked on going to the gym, get back to that. Try a new hobby that you’ve been interested in. This “finding yourself” process is key. Why? Because when you learn more about yourself, you know what you want and need in a partner and it allows you to weed out the people that aren’t right for you!
When i was younger, my criteria for finding a boyfriend was that they had to listen to the same music as me, love dancing, and they had to go to church all the time. Over the years I’ve learned that none of these things made a quality life partner! My now husband dislikes country music (I love it – but it’s actually growing on him because I listen to it a lot), he never went dancing (neither of us even go to the bars/clubs), and he’s not religious. However, he’s open to trying new things, will come to church with me if/when I want him to, is generous, kind, funny, loving, and caring. My point is that when you get to know yourself, you’ll figure out what qualities are important to look for in someone you’ll be with long-term.
I would love to hear your thoughts on breakups and dating! Shoot me a comment and I’ll respond!