Starting over is exciting.
Especially after finally breaking free of a sh*tty relationship—we see potential in our new love interest and are overtaken with hope and possibility that a fresh relationship is sure to hold.
Sometimes we find ourselves so excited about the prospect of a new relationship that we become what I refer to as “relationship jumpers”—jumping from relationship to relationship to avoid being alone. I am guilty of it and many of my friends are too.
This habit is not only unfair to the relationship jumpers themselves, but also to the person they are entering into a relationship with. Even though the jumper may truly like the person, subconsciously they may still be thinking about their ex.
Everyone heals from broken relationships at their own pace—but in my experience, these are the five things we must take time to do for ourselves before we begin a new relationship.
1. Know how to be alone and like it:
Leaving a relationship is scary for most people because they have been in a partnership for so long that it is all they know. I found myself struggling to leave a bad relationship—even after my heart knew that we had reached the demise. There was no coming back at this point, but I was terrified by the idea of starting over. I was used to sharing everything with this person, and afraid of spending too much time alone, without someone to text and hear from throughout the day. We have to learn to love ourselves and to be complete with being simply ourselves. Spending time alone isn’t boring—we just have to learn to love it again.
2. Realize what we did wrong in our past relationships:
As easy as it is to put all the blame on our “crazy exes,” we have to come to the point that we can say “yeah, I screwed up too.” We cannot continue to live in the delusion that everything we did was perfect, because then we will just find ourselves making the same mistakes again in our next relationship. And it takes time to get past the anger and hurt enough to be able to see ourselves and the failed relationship clearly.
3. Make peace with the ending of our last relationship:
Nothing is more annoying than starting a relationship with someone who is still not over their ex. I am a strong believer that “love is forever” but damn, if we haven’t come to grips with the ending of our last relationship or deep, down still want to get back together and work things out, then it is not time to drag another person into the emotional whirlpool.
4. Take time for ourselves:
I am bad about sacrificing myself and my interests in relationships. I will forgo going out with friends or writing time for date night instead. Take advantage of your time being single by getting back in touch with your hobbies and your friends. Don’t use this time to sulk or to search for something new—just relax and enjoy yourself. We only live one life—we might as well enjoy all the time we have, even the time in between relationships. Don’t worry; the right person will come along.
5. Ask why we can see ourselves being with this person:
It may sound silly and obvious, but some of us never want to be single because being single means being alone. And the thought of that freaks us the hell out. Don’t be in a rush—take time to get to know them and to build a mental list of all the reasons that you can see yourself with them and how they make you want to be a better you. If building a list of the things we like about this person is too hard, there is a possibility we are just desperate and lonely. Make sure to have reasons other than just their availability as a solid reason for pursuing a relationship with this person.
Author: Emily Cutshaw
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Image: Wikimedia Commons