Recently, you have been noticing a deeper pull to reenter the dating pool. But you feel conflict on how to begin or if you are truly prepared for the various emotions that arise during a courtship and relationship. You know in your gut that you will enjoy the affection, partnership and joy that goes into a romance, but are you ready for the work that goes into fostering healthy compromises and communication? The hard truth is listening to what your inner voice is telling you and what areas you might need to address before installing that dating app.
These are eight key points you will need to address before you can enjoy a healthy and lasting romance:
- What type of person are you attracting?
Look at your love patterns and the type of partner with whom you most often have affairs. If you are attracting toxic love, you may be subconsciously hinder your chances at a meaningful relationship! Focus on selecting only potential mates that demonstrate a sincere interest in long term love.
Listen to what warning signs your friends and family might be sending you about a particular individual. These people have a vested interest in your happiness and anyone you love will be involved in their lives as well. By heeding their cautionary messages, you might be able to overcome any blind spots that could otherwise have led to future heartache.
- Can you be happy on your own?
If you need a mate to feel happy and whole, then you are not ready to date! When you feel secure in yourself and abilities you can avoid the drama that codependency causes. It is okay, if you need to step back from dating to focus on yourself for a while. By discovering what matters in your live and what brings you joy, you will be better equipped to handle the stressful moments and creating significant memories with your future partner.
- Savior complexes
You can’t “save” anyone, except yourself. Women often view mates as projects so they can transfer anxieties that might have about life onto something that can be “fixed.” Think about the last time you said “if only he…” and then moved heaven and earth to make him change his ways. Were you successful? Did it bring you joy or pain? Look for a partner that is able to recognize problems within themselves and then take decisive action to get and implement professional help. You are meant to be their partner, not their mother or therapist.
- Victim Mindset
Only you have the ability to rescue yourself from a situation. If you find yourself frequent speaking negative phrases about yourself or look for others to “save” you, get yourself a therapist. This is time you need to focus on your needs and heal yourself. If you rush into dating before you do the necessary self-healing you risk becoming codependent or seen as a project. No one is happy in a relationship when both partners are weak-willed and miserable. You will truly know you are ready for love when you can view commitment as a natural step towards sharing genuine emotional interactions with a special and worthy individual.
- Do you need a partner to “complete” you?
You are worthy of love and you are enough without having romantic love in your life. If you promote the mindset that you are broken or need someone to be “whole” then you are destined for a dysfunctional relationship. It is important that you feel free to explore love on your terms because the journey together with a partner is more important than any obstacle or outcome. All relationships are transitory and when you understand the only one that will last your lifetime is with yourself, you will find true peace and freedom.
- Does dating rule your world?
Be honest with yourself. How much time last week did you spend searching for love versus spending it with people or causes that bring you joy? If you can’t remember the last time you enjoyed a hobby or had brunch with your bestie, then you may not be in a healthy mindset to date. The best way to meet the love of your life is through happenstance. When you don’t focus on “dating,” but on enjoying life then you will feel like pressure and be more likely to present the authentic you to the world. Also, when you pursue your passions, hobbies and social circles you will create more genuinely fascinating stories to share during dates. This will ultimately lead to you both being able to find shared interested, people and hopefully, shared values.
- Own your baggage
Of course, failed relationships will leave scars, but it’s up to you to learn important lessons and grow as a person. Never date if you are still resentful with how a past lover treated you. It will only prevent you from seeing this new person as they truly are and create unnecessary walls that will block you from receiving sincere affection.
When you own your baggage, you create a special type of freedom and promote a wellspring of positivity. You may find that you begin to view obstacles as potential life lessons that are sent to you to for self-growth and to inspire others.
- Never change your values for anyone, except yourself
It’s a major warning sign, as well as a major turnoff, if you have a tendency to alter yourself to fit another person’s expectations. When you try to fit yourself into a box, you send the signal that you lack self-esteem, confidence and aren’t particularly interesting person. If you feel like you have to “change” so a person will like you then that person isn’t truly worthy of your time or affection. Spend the time with people who embrace and celebrating your quirks and vivacious essence. You will find that by being you, you are able to relax and enjoy people’s company more fully. In time, this might mean that love will find YOU rather than the other way around.