#177 - Invest in yourself before you invest in a new relationship

I’m not talking about investing or spending money on yourself, although that could be part of the equation. What I mean is that you need to invest time in yourself to get yourself to a place where you are datable.

Way too many people just jump from relationship to relationship without giving themselves a chance to heal and grow from the last relationship. Let’s talk about each of those terms individually, Heal and Grow.

Take time to Heal
When you jump from one relationship to another, you’re not giving yourself time to heal from the emotional wounds that come from a breakup. I don’t care whether the end of a relationship comes from a divorce, the death of a spouse, or a couple breaking up after dating for several months or several years. It doesn’t make any difference if you broke the relationship off or your partner did. After each relationship ends, you need to take time to let your emotions heal.

If you don’t take this time for yourself, you will continually build up emotional wounds that never heal. The longer the wound remains unhealed or untended, the more it festers and causes emotional (and maybe even physical) distress. It’s no different than a physical wound to your skin. If it’s not cleaned up and cared for it will become infected.

Eventually, these emotional wounds can become so infected that you can no longer have a healthy relationship no matter how hard you try. Symptoms can present themselves in any number of ways from an inability to commit to a new relationship to physical health issues that appear to be completely unrelated to emotional causes.

Most people mistakenly think they are strong enough to handle emotional issues on their own. This can be far from the truth. Most times you may recognize and try to address a symptom, but completely miss the cause of the symptom. This is when it’s time to call on a counselor or therapist to help determine the cause and work through to a solution to heal the underlying problem.

Take time to Grow
After you have spent some time healing from your emotional wounds, it’s time to lean in and grow from this past relationship. Every relationship consists of two people. Each person has their own story about what happened and somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

Take an honest look at your past relationship! It’s very easy to point a finger at your mate for all the things he or she did wrong. But, they weren’t the only one in that relationship. You were there too. It’s time to step up and accept responsibility for your contribution to the problems of the relationship. Maybe you helped escalate arguments because you don’t know how to deal with conflict effectively. Maybe you’re an enabler by not holding your mate responsible and then get angry because they don’t live up to their promises.

Here are some questions for you to ask yourself to help you get started working through this process.

  • What did I do right?
  • What did I do wrong?
  • Where can I improve next time?
  • What signs or red flags did I miss and how can I learn to recognize those signs more quickly next time?

How do you know when you’re ready to date again?
That’s the key question. You should be in a place emotionally that you feel comfortable with your own company and are not feeling out of place by not being in a new relationship. Your conversations are healthy and well round and are not focused almost entirely on your past relationships. You have learned to differentiate a healthy relationship from a toxic relationship and are not willing to race back to an ex.

For additional resources to help you recognize toxic relationships, request a copy of The 5 Biggest Dating and Relationship Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. It’s free! Just click this link and it will be sent right to your email inbox.

Thank you for reading. Have a great and blessed weekend!