You may not even notice it, but after a while, we get a little jaded. We put faith in someone, it feels right, it looks right, it lasts for a time, and then – almost out of nowhere – it begins to fade. Or it implodes or it breaks somehow. Then we pick ourselves back up and eventually find someone new, only to experience the same cycle again. By the time we reach our 30’s, most of us have experienced the build up and break down of love more than once and at some point we begin to anticipate it.
But just because you’ve been through it before, and may go through it again doesn’t mean the person sitting in front of you can’t be seen through fresh eyes. Before you throw away the idea of love entirely, it’s important to heal.
Everyone Is Dealing With Something
That guy who asked you out and is now over-explaining what he does for work, making your eyes glaze over and wonder where the waiter is with the check? That guy is nervous. He’s had his heart broken too. He’s got mom-issues or dad-issues and a best friend that gives weird advice. He’s probably got a million flaws and knows it. Instead of picking him apart mentally and filing him in the “lost cause” folder, take a moment and pretend that he’s just human. He may not be “The One” but you’ll never know until you get past the initial fear of wasting your time.
Stop looking for the waiter and start looking at the man who’s in front of you. Now, give him a shot.
Remember Why Past Relationships Ended
Instead of recalling the last few moments of your past relationships – the crying, the fighting the loneliness – try thinking further back. Trace the roots of the breakup without placing blame on either party. If he cheated, were there signs? Did you stop having sex? Why? Did you know from the beginning that he was prone to cheat, and just ignored it? If you disagreed over money, was there a moment in which the issues were blown out of proportion? It’ll feel hard to sort through these details but there’s one very important reason to do so. We often get so caught up in the emotional details of a relationship that we ignore the logical ones. The logical reasons help us move on.
What actually ended your past relationships? These are the things to avoid.
Focus On Your Now
It may be something of a cliche sentiment, but real love tends to come once we stop looking for it. When we’re in “dating mode” everything feels harder, disappointments seem overwhelming. Instead of actively dating, focus on things that propel you forward. Take a class, start a new routine, fill your time with something else. Embrace celibacy and solitude and allow yourself to renew.
Stop Looking For Mr. Forever
A lot of people have a problem with the concept of “Situationships” because they offer no real permanence. It’s two people enjoying each other without the “so what is this?” conversation lingering in the back of their throats. But even though you may not be headed in the direction of life partnership, situationships have their purpose. It’s all the fun of dating someone consistently without the pressure of maintaining a relationship. Situationships also force you to practice something that is vital when it comes to love – detachment.
Be strong enough to experience something without attaching your emotions to its outcome. If you’re not strong enough for that, maybe you shouldn’t be dating at all.
At the end of the day, unresolved emotions can hold you back from more than the success of your future relationships. It can also eat away at your self-esteem and change the makeup of your very personality. It can hold you back in your career, hinder your health and wellness and affect the way you interact with friends and family. There’s enough heaviness associated with day to day life – put your emotional bags to rest and lighten your load.