I hear from so many people about how dumb they feel for getting involved with this person or that one.
“I’m so stupid! I can’t believe I wasted so much time with him (or her).” That’s a line I hear so often.
But let’s think about this. Are you really stupid? Probably not.
Did you waste time? Well, that depends. It depends on whether you stuck around long after you recognized there was a problem with the person you were dating of not.
When a bad relationship ends, don’t get sucked into the sympathy of friends!
A lot of your friends mean well. Conversations can often turn into a game of one-ups-manship.
When you share your stories of bad dates or a relationship gone wrong, your friends will surround you with sympathy and stories of their own.
Don’t get sucked into the negativity that surrounds their harrowing tales of woe.
While your friends may mean well, they want someone to commiserate with and you’ve become the perfect candidate.
Even though your experience wasn’t what you had hoped for, look for the lessons you can learn from it.
Was it really a waste of time?
It’s so easy to beat yourself up for your decisions to date certain people. As they say, hindsight is always 20/20.
You enjoyed getting to know someone, at least for a while. Maybe you even did some fun things together.
Hopefully, you learned some things about yourself such as recognizing new traits you can add to your Must Have list. Hopefully, you’re discovering you can trust your own judgement.
If you left shortly after you started identifying problems, recognize you made a great decision to end it sooner rather than later instead of getting sucked into a toxic relationship.
Even if you did get sucked in, you eventually made the decision to leave. You just needed more time to convince yourself it was the right thing to do.
Next time you’ll know better.
You should be proud of yourself for being emotionally healthy enough to make good decisions.
Sometimes it takes longer to spot problems with a potential relationship. It can take a while for people to show their true self.
When they do show you who they really are, believe them the first time.
Here are some questions to ask yourself.
Did we have any good times together?
Did I see qualities in him or her that I liked and would want in an extraordinary relationship?
Did I discover any new Deal Breakers?
Am I better able to recognize signs of a poor match and end it more quickly next time?
If you can answer Yes to any or all of these questions, you should be proud of yourself. You learned that this bad relationship wasn’t a total waste of time.
We all make mistakes.
That’s just a fact of life. No one can guarantee you that you won’t date the wrong person again.
Don’t let the fear of making a mistake keep you from dating. You’ll never find your soul mate if you stop looking.
Accept the fact that you’ll screw up again somewhere, sometime, but remember the lessons you’ve learned already. Use these lessons to quickly recognize relationships that aren’t healthy for you and act more quickly next time.
Continue to learn with each person you date.
Tear down the walls that fear has built up around you.
Your fear of choosing badly, being hurt again, or wasting precious time with the wrong person will build up emotional walls around you.
These walls are there to protect your heart. They are there to keep you from getting hurt again.
It’s these same walls that you’ve built to protect yourself that will also serve to prevent you from finding the love of your life.
When you build walls that are so high and so thick, you make it nearly impossible for anyone to get close enough to really know you. Eventually they will get frustrated and quit trying if you haven’t already chased them away.
It can be exceedingly difficult to tear these walls down especially if they’ve been in place for a long time.
It’s important to remember that the walls you’ve built to protect your heart are the same walls that will keep out the love that you’re looking for.
Start chipping away at the walls you’ve built. Understand that you have to be fully emotionally available for your soul mate to enter your life.
That means you have to be vulnerable and accept the fact that you could be hurt again. No one sets out to be hurt. The journey to finding your soul mate is a long one. It takes time. It takes effort. It means that you may get battered and bruised along the way.
Ultimately though, when you discover your soul mate, you’ll realize that all of the trials you went through have prepared you for this extraordinary relationship.
I hope I’ve given you another perspective about past bad relationships to help you make better dating and relationships in the future.
If you’ve been reckless with your heart in the past and you’re ready to stop the heartache from bad relationships, order your copy of Dating Backward: A practical guide to dating and finding your soul mate today. You can order from my website RickSoetebier.com or on Amazon.com.
For more personal guidance tailored to your specific needs, send me an email at Rick@RickSoetebier.com to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.
Have a great and blessed day.