So you’re single, but has it occurred to you that maybe you SHOULD be!
Now, put down the glass of wine and if you're hunched over like Quasi Modo, straighten up! We've got work to do!
Whether you are newly single or you’ve been in this…uh…”condition” for a while, take this time to assess who you were/are in a relationship, what happened, and how to prepare yourself to “soar” in love. Remember before Romeo and Juliet became the greatest romance of all time, he was deeply in love with Rosaline. His experience with Rosaline prepared him for the love he’d share with Juliet. (If you haven’t read Shakespeare since high school, its worth giving a second shot now that you’ve experienced more in life.)
Remember those teacher evaluations in college? This is like that. You cannot objectively assess the effectiveness of course until you’ve completed the class. It can be difficult, though not impossible, to evaluate if you’ve learned the lessons you were supposed to get from your relationships while you’re in it. That means the time you spend out of a relationship is a great opportunity for a mindful assessment of your dreams, your habits, your behavior, your goals, your nuances, your performance in pretty much every area of your life and ultimately it enables self-improvement. It allows you to expand your options in life and love.
Have you learned your lesson?
If you don’t conquer it now you will end up acting out all your issues on the next person. All the anger. All the guilt. All the disappointment. All the fears and habits you need to unlearn. If you don’t deal with them now you will eventually find it caving in on you and smothering your ability to love and be loved. Then someone will hurl at you the dreaded statement "no wonder you're single! You're crazy!" Hurry up! Confront yourself. Right now, while nobody is looking. While you are "single". Don't go trying to be somebody's other half when the half you're offering has unresolved issues! Its time to come clean and eliminate your false needs.
Everything has a beginning and an end, but the middle is the most significant part. When I was in undergrad I struggled writing a script for a theater production. I kept resubmitting it to my instructor and she loved it with every rewrite. I couldn’t understand how she could be so happy with every submission when I had come up with no less than five alternative endings! This lady must be pulling my leg! I finally said it, “Did you notice the ending is entirely different! Remember last time I burned the house down, this time they move to New York.” She handed my script back to me and said, “You haven’t changed the middle, and the middle is so intensely rich, who cares if it doesn’t end with a pretty little bow on top of it. Life doesn’t always work out like that. “ Then she pointed out some grammatical errors, some inconsistencies in the format and gave me a “C” and told me I was a beautiful writer with an unquestionable ability. What the Hades? A “C”?! This script is a friggin masterpiece, lady! She said it herself! That’s not the way it was supposed to go! I was so concerned about the ending I hadn’t taken care to look at the details throughout the entire script. (Remember this story if you ever find typos in this blog. M'kay?)
After a break up, no matter if you were the dumper, dumpee, or if it was mutually agreed, it is natural to want to judge the entire story on how it ended. Even if you caught him cheating or you caught her going through your text messages, no matter the event that finally catapulted one or both of you into action, give yourself and your past relationships some credit. It couldn't have been all bad. There had to be a time or two where you thought this relationship was heading somewhere. How was it in the middle, that time after the infactuation ended but before the relationship kicked the bucket. Would you judge your entire life based on how you died? Doesn’t seem accurate does it? This experience was exactly what you needed to bring you to this point in your life.
So how do you make an objective evaluation, without fooling yourself?
Evaluate the relationship, not your ex. That means you have to give thoughtful consideration to who you were in the relationship too. No other experience teaches us more about ourselves than our relationships. Don’t base your analysis on what your mate could have done better. Stop diagnosing his mental capacity. Stop pinpointing her “daddy issues”. No matter how tempting it may be to chop the entire relationship up to the fact that he doesn’t know how to communicate because he is an only child, don’t allow your thoughts to drift there. Mind your own business! How did you contirbute to the problems in the relationship? What conditions have you placed on love?
I don’t have an athletic bone in my body, however, there is one thing I love: a challenge. So lets prepare for take off by challenging ourselves. (Remember I’m doing this with you.) I challenge you to be grateful for the lessons your lover, partner, ex-husband, ex-wife, taught you about yourself and about what love is and what it isn't. There is always someone out there “better”. There will always be someone with better looks, more education, more physically fit, more money, someone more responsible, with more talents, someone more spontaneous, more romantic, more organized, etc. so don’t allow yourself (or your ex, or anybody else!) to start pointing out deficiencies by making comparisons to other people and what they do, or don't do. What another person has or doesn't have. This challenge requires that you dig deeper than an assessment of whether he wouldn't have cheated if you had simply lost weight. Or if you'd gotten a better job, you could have afforded to spoil her more. Evaluate where you went wrong so you can perhaps make better choices next time. Look at your reactions, your insecurities. Are you repeating the same mistakes? Consistently falling for the wrong guy/girl while claiming it was "love"? Sometimes the only way to change your relationship is to change your relationship.
Ask yourself what's love got to do with it? What is it I know or don’t know about love?
I want to hear from you! Leave a comment and tells us what you've learned about yourself from your past relationships.
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