Hindsight is one hell of a teacher. I say that because whenever I stop and reflect on all of my past relationships — that were oftentimes more like glorified situationships — if there's one thing most of them had in common, it's that I wasn't clear about what I wanted before I got involved.
Of course, I knew abstract stuff like I'd prefer he be over 6' and on the darker side of chocolate, and I still prefer that. I also knew that I really liked smart and ambitious men who were super-witty, which is basically funny with an edge. But what I didn't pause to reflect on is what kind of relationship I wanted.
Not what I wanted with someone after I met them or had sex with them, but what I wanted in a man, in general, before the complexities of attraction or a connection were even on the table. Chances are, if I had been clear about what my objectives were out the gate, a lot of time wouldn't have been wasted and unnecessary drama wouldn't have ensued.
I can't do anything about my past, but what I can do is hopefully help us all to set some clear guidelines, in the form of self-made promises, that will help to guard our hearts and honor our time in the future.
Are you ready to make some vows to yourself before giving assurances to anyone else?
If so, repeat after me, please.
“I Will Make Sure I’m Healed From My Past Before Opening Myself Up To Something Serious.”
I know you've heard that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. Yeah, don't follow that foolishness. Sex produces oxytocin and oxytocin makes us bond to people we have sex with. That's why you can get down 'n dirty with someone you barely even know and all of a sudden think they are the one. "The 'one' what?!" is the question.
You might've also heard that you need half the amount of time you were with someone to get over them (so if you were with them for a year, you need about six months). Well, one study said that what you actually need is around three months. (That's three months with absolutely no contact, by the way).
My mindset is, when you're not using dating as a distraction, comparing others to your ex, semi-stalking him online, others can bring up him without you going a 20-minute rant, and you took some time to focus on tending to your needs as a single woman — after all these boxes are checked, you are probably ready to at least casually date.
This could take three months. It might take two years. For the sake of your next relationship, take however much time your heart needs.
Out of all the promises you should make to yourself before getting into a new relationship, promising to love yourself is most important. Because if you truly love you, you won't settle for less than someone who will do the same.
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