Dating and relationships would be so much easier if we all were emotionally healthy when we started dating. The fact is too many people jump back into the dating pool long before they’re ready.
It takes time to heal from the loss of a relationship. It doesn’t make any difference whether you were married and your spouse died, you got a divorce, or you ended a long-term relationship.
While each of these situations is different, there is a common need to grieve the end of the marriage or relationship…and that takes time.
There is no magic potion or formula for getting past this process. We all have to go through it.
Many of you are in denial.
Yeah, I know this sounds harsh, but it’s a truth I see every day and have experienced myself.
Have you ever dated someone and spent most of your time talking about your Ex or worse yet, comparing your date to your EX?
Have you ever dated someone and come unglued for no apparent reason for something they said or did? Please note, I’m not talking about something they said or did that was totally inappropriate or offensive. This is based solely on your reaction to something that triggers your bad behavior.
Have you ever met someone online, talked to them on the phone, and then they decided it wasn’t a good fit? The next thing you know, you’re unloading on them and telling them what a great person you are and what they’re missing out on.
These are just a few examples of emotionally unhealthy situations that come to mind.
Take some time for reflection and self-reflection.
If you’ve never done this before, now is a great time to start.
Think back on your relationships, especially your most recent one.
What went right and what didn’t? What can you do better next time? What will you do differently? Where are your blind spots, you know, the things that you intentionally or unintentionally ignored?
Asking yourself questions like this is important to be able to understand mistakes that were made. Learn from your mistakes so you can make better relationship decisions in the future.
Guilt and shame usually play a huge role in keeping you stuck.
Shame researcher Berne’ Brown says, “Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.”
Change is exactly what needs to happen in you to become emotionally healthy.
Don’t date until you’ve put the past behind you. Not everyone you date is going to be like your Ex…or at least I hope not. If they are, you need to go back and read or watch my post from last week.
We all have our triggers, things that bring out negative responses and bad memories. Learn to recognize your triggers and share them with the person you’re dating.
How do you get to be emotionally healthy?
It’s usually a matter of working through all your past issues and past relationships. Many times those issues go as far back as childhood. Sometimes it takes professional counseling or therapy to move past your issues.
You must learn to let some things go. No matter how hard you might try, you can never change the past. You can’t change the bad things that may have happened to you. You can’t change the things you’ve said or done.
The longer you hang on to the bad things that have happened to you, the more toxic you become. And the more toxic you become, the harder it is for someone to date you.
Recognize it, accept it, don’t let shame hold you hostage, and know that you’re not the sum of your past mistakes.
How do you know you’re emotionally healthy and ready to date?
You know you’re ready when your conversations don’t revolve around your Ex or other problems from your past. It’s when you can take rejection without lashing out in retaliation.
It’s when you know that you can be happy alone and don’t need anyone in your life. This doesn’t mean that you don’t want someone in your life and it doesn’t mean that you’re never lonely.
It means that you’re able to deal with whatever life hands you. It means that you’re not dating out of desperation or need.
I hope you’ll think about what I’ve shared with you today and use this information to help you be more proactive and successful in your dating life.
Thank you for reading my blog, thank you for your connection. If there is any question you have or anything you would like to see more of, please let me know.