How Does Your Ex Stack Up Against Others?
Unless it’s only been a few weeks since you’ve dated anyone but your ex, you’ve probably forgotten the thrill of the chase – and the agony of comparing your new dates to your ex.
In order for you to evaluate yours and your ex’s relationship, you’ve got to go out, meet others and gather data to use in the final evaluation.
After this exercise, you’ll know if it makes sense to reunite – or keep dating until you find exactly what you need and want in a love relationship.
If you’ve taken the time to heal from your last relationship, you’re now calm enough to take a step back and look at what made it begin – and what made it end.
Being physically and mentally ready will help you think more clearly and solutions will come more readily.
First, think about what attracted you to your ex in the first place. Was it an emotional connection (you could empathize with your ex’s past or it may be similar to yours) – physical (you really liked his looks) -- or did you meet on a higher plane.
For example, your ex may be extremely brilliant or have a powerful position. Many of us are seriously attracted to power and intelligence over anything else.
Another scenario of your mutual attraction may be that you were attracted to each other physically and later, developed an emotional or mental connection. Whatever it was, think about it and how it worked – or didn’t work – for you in the long run.
How to Take That First Step Back into the Dating Game
The last thing on your mind after a breakup may be dating someone else. Just the thought of making another relationship work makes you sick at your stomach. But there doesn’t have to be a “relationship” if you merely date someone else that you’re somewhat attracted to.
Getting back out into the world of dating is extremely important at this time of your life. It will give you a more panoramic view of what your life can be and let you know that you can be happy again.
If you’ve been out of commission for quite a while, you may have lost contact with other single friends who could lead you back to the places where you can meet new people and have a life outside of home and work. You may have friends who know singles or you may decide to go to one of the online dating sites to meet someone.
When you do meet another that you’re attracted to, ask yourself if you could grow, emotionally, spiritually and every other way with this person. You’ve already asked yourself what you really want from a relationship. Is he or she able to provide that? If not, don’t waste your time. There are too many fishes in the ocean for you to waste your time on one you’d have to throw back anyway.
It’s normal to compare the new person in your life to your ex. In fact, you should make a comparison. You should be able to find out how your ex stacks up in no time at all if you’ve done your groundwork and know why yours and your ex’s relationship failed and what you’re really looking for in one that will last.
When you compare and find something you don’t like about the other person, don’t think you can change the behavior or personality – it just doesn’t work without causing resentment.
Eventually, you’ll meet someone that you believe you could care about and make a life with. Don’t rush in to a live-in relationship or marriage. As time goes by, you’ll find out more details and will be able to picture your life together.
Dating sites on the Internet let people get to know each other before a physical relationship begins – if both are honest in their communication. It’s a good way to meet lots of people in your area and pick and choose which ones you think there might be a connection with.
You can be a little more confident and daring when you’re talking to someone over the Internet and may find out more about the other person than you could if you were physically together.
Other ways to meet new people are in your church or synagogue, friends who know you and may know another who would fit in your life, work (be sure to check out the rules your company has for dating in the workplace), play (do you like to participate in a sport or perhaps a community theater?), or simply getting involved in things you like to do. Many successful relationships have begun by meeting while walking dogs!
Keep a positive attitude about dating – and keep in mind your absolute requirements for another person to enter your life. Don’t settle for less – you don’t have to.
What Traits Do You Want in a Companion?
This is the part of evaluating your last relationship where you can get a clear view on why you and your ex didn’t work out. In your journal or workbook, begin writing down what traits that you think are important in a long-term relationship. Be honest. You may choose some of the following subjects to think about:
· Trust – It’s the number one trait that most people want in life-partner. Did you trust your ex only to suffer a major betrayal? As Oprah likes to say, “When a person shows you who they really are – believe him!” Remember that when you evaluate your ex.
· Dependability – Have you been disappointed in the past by your ex’s dependability? Maybe he didn’t remember your birthday or anniversary – or was late or didn’t show up to an important event.
· Success – If you’re successful, you probably want your partner to be successful. If not, you may build up resentments because you’re providing more.
· Loves kids (or animals) – You may have children from another relationship, and if so, it’s an absolute deal-breaker if your ex doesn’t like kids. It’s also a deal-breaker if you have a pet that you love dearly and your ex hates it.
· Liking the same leisure activities – You may enjoy hiking or sailing and your ex wants nothing else but to lay on the couch and watch sports. Having to find someone else to enjoy off-time with can get old – fast.
· Financial security – Does your ex make an attempt to spend money wisely and save for the future? If that’s important to you, but not to your ex (or vise-versa) – think twice before you get back together.
There are dozens more “must have” traits that you may find appealing in someone you want to build a relationship with. Write them all down as you think of them – then go back over them again and try to discover where your ex stacked up.
Ask yourself if you’re happy right now? You may still be reeling from the relationship breakup, but would taking him back really bring happiness – or simply more heartache. You’ve got to know what makes you happy before you’re ready to find someone who can fulfill your needs and wants.
A deep soul-searching venture is required for you to know what traits the other person in a love relationship must have to make you happy. Consider the following:
· Do you get stressed out about everything? If so, you probably need a person who can calm you and help de-stress a situation.
· Do you spend time on yourself when you’re in a relationship? If you don’t take care of yourself on a daily basis, you’ll begin to resent the time that the relationship takes away from you.
· Are you basically a happy and ebullient person? If you’ve got a smile on your face when you first get up in the morning, you don’t need someone who drags down your happiness and zest for life.
· Do you have trouble stating your needs? No one can read your mind, but having a relationship with a person who’s in tune to your needs can be a big plus.
· Are you spontaneous or like to plan everything meticulously? There could be a conflict if you’re with someone opposite of you. Compromise is always a solution, but you have to be open to it.
· How well do you communicate? If you feel there’s a problem in the relationship, how well do you communicate it to the other person? Anger and rage over a situation can cause further rifts down the line.
In this exercise, you may want to ask trusted friends and family what they think about how you relate in a relationship. Be prepared to listen and not get angry. If you ask the question, be ready for the answer.
Get to the Crux of the Problem
Deep within, you know why your previous relationship failed. There may have been a climactic occasion, such as discovering that your ex was cheating, but there were most likely problems that led up to it. As you carefully go through the exercises in this book, you’ll become more clear about what the root of the real problem was and how you played a part in it.
Beware that relationships are in constant evolution. If you’re in a relationship for five years, you won’t feel the same as you did during the blooming stages, but those feelings can be even better if you see them for what they are – knowledge of and a deeper love for the other person.
Eventually, you’ll know if you and your ex were just not meant to be – or if the problem(s) that caused you to separate were minor in the scheme of your relationship, and you both deserve another chance.
If you decide that the relationship was toxic and could only lead to an unpleasant end, keep working on yourself and discovering what makes you happy. Life only comes around once, and you deserve to be in a contented relationship – with or without your ex.