1.) LEARN TO HOW TO BE ALONE AND ENJOY YOUR OWN COMPANY
We know the feeling, the fear of being alone or that we will always be alone and never find the right person. And perhaps it’s been a long time since you have been in a relationship, building the evidence of a single life with no partner to share it with.
It’s understandable to have moments of doubt or worry. However, by letting these fears take over and dictate what you do in relationships, you could end up in a less than desirable partnership or stay in one that isn’t healthy for you.
By learning to be alone and enjoy your own company, relationships become more of a choice. You are more free to be with the right kind of partner when you can decide whether you want to be in one or not.
How do you go about this? Perhaps it starts with an exploration of the things that bring you joy and fulfillment. What did you love to do as a kid or teenager growing up that you have long since forgotten? What ways can you begin to do things you once loved before being in a relationship took over?
You can also do solitary things that are enjoyable to you: Set up a date for yourself that includes your favorite movie and some take-out, lose yourself in a novel or spend the day in the park or local garden. The important thing to remember is, you are a whole and lovable person whether you are in a relationship or not and can do things that feel good, even when we are alone.
2.) FIND THE QUALITIES YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP/PARTNER AND THOSE THAT YOU DON’T
I remember something a girlfriend of mine told me when I starting to date again after my last relationship had ended: “The good stuff is easy, we can find something good in any relationship. It’s the not-so-good that you need to look at.”
Each relationship we have is an opportunity to discover what we want and what we don’t want in a relationship. And, it’s important to know what our relationship deal-breakers are, the things that we know we can or cannot tolerate in a relationship. You need to ask yourself the question “If ______ didn’t change or he/she stayed exactly as they are now, would I be okay with it?”
When we discover the things that are not working (and the things that do) try to apply what you have learned with each new person you meet. Do you see things in this person you would want in a partner/relationship? Do you see anything that would be a deal breaker for you? Do you see yourself with someone like this person? Ask these questions before embarking on a romantic path, this will set you on the course for finding the right partner for you and eliminate those who are not.
3.) KNOW IF YOU ARE NOT READY TO BE IN A RELATIONSHIP YET
Sometimes we are recovering from heartbreak and haven’t fully gotten over a past relationship. There is no judgment in being where you are and it’s important to work through the feelings you may be having and not try to push ahead. Know if you are ready to be in a relationship, let others know honestly where we are rather than lead them on and process your feelings before launching into dating or your next relationship.
Sometimes we find the idea of finding that person we want to commit to is overwhelming or a little scary. Exploring the reasons for the fear, sometimes with a licensed professional, can be helpful. Sometimes we find that we prefer being alone. Sometimes we find we do want a relationship but are afraid of risking our hearts and putting ourselves out there again. If you do want a relationship, it is possible to break the cycle of dating people you don’t consider “marriage material” or the person for the long haul. Slowly open yourself up to people who actively demonstrate genuine caring and interest in you, start to see them or identify those in your current circle who meet this criteria and notice how you feel on the inside when you are around them. You may find yourself feeling safe, calm and at peace and that feeling you may not to want to let go of, breaking down those fears and worries about commitment.
4.) KNOW YOU ARE DESERVING OF A LOVING AND SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIP (AND IT’S NOT WORTH BEING IN ONE UNTIL YOU DO)
Sometimes we may feel we don’t deserve a loving and supportive relationship. We may carry narratives that if someone were to really know us, they wouldn’t like us, let alone love us for who we are (and dare we say it, commit to being in a long-term relationship with us!).
Sometimes it’s wise to take a look at where these narratives come from and to begin a practice of self-love. You have a right, by virtue of you being on this planet, to love and be loved. You also have value. Further, you have tremendous gifts to give the world and potentially a partner and it’s important to know and recognize who you are and what you have to give.
By beginning a practice of self-love, we not only demonstrate to others that we are deserving of what we want, we also become our own biggest ally and, quite frankly, if we have ourselves we are never alone.
With care and support,