Single? 5 Things You Must Do Before Your Next Relationship
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Make sure you’ve got a clean slate.
You’ve faced heartbreak — we’ve all been there. Maybe it was recent, or maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve gotten back out there. Either way, one thing is for certain…
You’re wondering why the next time will be any different than the last, especially if you’ve faced a string of disappointments along the way.
Well, here’s the thing:
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
Making better decisions in relationships is about building a deeper sense of trust in yourself in order to make the right choices. Trust in yourself comes from consistency, confidence, and credibility. You can control all 3.
Here are five ways to start trusting yourself to make better choices in relationships again:
1: Develop a CLEAR vision for your future.
Be honest with yourself: Have you ever sat down and fully visualized what you want yourself and your future to look like?
I mean, painstaking clarity.
What time does the higher self version of you wake up in the morning? What do they have for breakfast? What is their workout routine like? What do they do for a living? Where do they live?
What do their relationships look like? Are they single, married, do they have children?
If so, what does their spouse or child(ren) look like? How do they walk, and talk, and dress?
Society tends to tell us what we should want, rather than encouraging us to explore for ourselves. There are no rules, no “good” or “bad” when it comes to your personal desires — the only good or bad is whether they’re actually yours, or simply a reflection of someone else’s.
This level of clarity is the first step towards understanding what (and who) to say yes to in your life. Where to invest your time and energy. How to know when to walk away, or keep going.
The clearer you are on your future, the quicker you’ll know who fits into it, and who doesn’t.
This empowers you to make better relationship choices over a foggy mindset of “this might work” or “let’s see where this goes” simply because you’re unsure about where you’re going in the first place.
2: Practice communicating boundaries in other areas of life.
One of the reasons people gradually slip into the wrong relationships is because they don’t have the confidence to speak up when something bothers them early on.
Naturally, this leads to the negative behavior continuing, and even more being piled on top of it.
Before you know it, you’re in a relationship that doesn’t look anything like what you wanted — because you never actually stood up for what you wanted.
The question then arises: Where else in life does this apply to you?
Many of us think that being nice and complacent is the path to acceptance. People will like us if we don’t make waves, or disagree, or cause conflict…
And while that may be true, we need to start asking what types of people like us because of this?
The answer is: People who can take advantage of us.
People who actually value you as a person also value your opinions, thoughts, and ideas. But, those who simply want to control you or act however they want without consequence, will LOVE that you never speak up.
How do we change this?
Think about other parts of life where you let things slide constantly. I’m not talking about being easy-going, that’s a whole different characteristic.
I’m talking about a blanket “people-pleaser” mindset where the default setting is to simply do what everyone else wants — even if it’s harmful to you.
If someone disrespects or talks over you at work, say something.
If someone makes an inappropriate joke you’re uncomfortable with, say something.
If someone gets your order wrong at the restaurant, say something.
If you’re overcharged on an incorrect bill, say something.
As a result, your self-respect will grow because you are setting boundaries and standards for the treatment you expect from those around you, and you’re refusing to stand by if those standards are disrespected.
Having boundaries is a sign of self-love. It shows that your mental wellbeing is more important than someone else’s toxic behavior.
3: Understand that you’re not the same person you were then.
Every day we are absorbing new life experiences that help us learn and grow. Past relationships can be some of the most emotionally impactful experiences during both the ups and the downs, which fundamentally change you over time.
This means that the version of you that exists today is not the same version of you that existed when you chose your previous partner(s).
THIS means, you’re capable of seeing things differently and making better decisions as a result.
Notice when you speak up about something (point #2) you wouldn’t have before. That’s a sign of growth.
Notice when you politely turn someone down because they’re not putting in proper effort. That’s a sign of growth.
Notice when your own self-love is reflected through discipline, a fitness routine, and healthier eating. That’s a sign of growth.
There are countless ways that you can measure your own personal development and therefore more deeply trust yourself to stop accepting sub-par treatment from a potential partner.
Everything here is all well and good IF you know where you went wrong in the first place.
A difficult but important task is to look back at the past relationship(s) and really uncover the red flags that you missed.
“Ah, I let that slide at first…but it’s the exact thing that ended the relationship in the long run.”
“I knew I didn’t like that behavior from the beginning…”
There are so many instances in life that, when we take the emotional blinders off, we are free to see clearly once again.
Recognizing what the bad behavior led to down the road is how we can nip that same bad behavior in the bud the next time, before it gets a chance to bloom into something harder to walk away from.
Reflection is a piece that most people avoid because it requires them to acknowledge their shortcomings. You may feel “dumb” or “stupid,” or “foolish.”
Assure yourself that none of these things are true, and you simply experienced a lapse in logical judgment due to an emotional overflow — something that every human on the planet can relate to.
It’s natural, but it doesn’t have to control you anymore.
5: Build a life that YOU LOVE while you’re single.
Perhaps the most important point of all.
Being single is not a problem, it’s an opportunity.
An opportunity to explore yourself, your passions, your desires, your driving forces in this life.
It’s a chance to decide what is important to YOU as an individual and then begin building a life around those things.
The more confident you are in the choices that you make, the less you care about what anyone else thinks of it.
And the more passionate you are about YOUR life, the less tolerance you’ll have from someone who takes the joy out of it.
You’ll ONLY accept people who enhance your life.
You’ll ONLY look for someone who also has their own act together.
You’ll ONLY seek out those who align with your deepest values and beliefs…
…because you’ve worked so hard to get clear on them and build a life that supports them every single day.
When you work to do everything listed here, you will morph yourself into a fulfilled, happy, passionate, INDIVIDUAL person who will be on such a strong upward trajectory that everyone who’s not will simply fade away.
That’s how you make better relationship decisions.
That’s how you create a life you love.
That’s how you win.
Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 38 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.
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