I have recently been asked how you know that you are ready for a serious relationship? When you have been through so much and have had to rebuild yourself, taking time to just focus in on yourself, how do you know when you are ready? My answer was and is follows:
I have been through a lot, a lot of pain a lot of loss. But I’ve also been through all of that alone, something I don’t want anymore. The work that I had to do on myself was necessary to heal so that I could be a whole person when I offered myself and my heart to someone else. I don’t believe in half-assing it, or only being a broken version of yourself. You need to be whole. And I don’t just want to be in a relationship because I don’t want to be alone. I’m fine alone, I do alone very well. So I don’t need to be in a relationship, but I want to be. Because I want to enjoy life with another person, I want to build something larger than myself, I want to see the world with someone else. I’ve served my family well, I took care of my parents to the very end. And now I want to take care of my partner, and have them take care of me. I’ve given myself the lives of others, and it’s time that I give myself to building my life with another person, so that we can build our lives.
The fact is that after a hard emotional experience, including the end of a long term relationship and you have to take time to heal. If you don’t you be toxic for anyone who is around you because will bring your issues into the next relationship. And that is not fair to the other person
No one signs up to be a rebound relationship, so why put someone else through it? It is not kind. You will also attract the wrong kind of partner and be willing to accept mistreatment if you are not healed first. That is because many times our self-esteem takes a hit after the demise of a relationship.
When our self-esteem is low, we end up making decisions out of fear, not love – fear of being alone, fear of being hurt, fear of being abandoned. Decisions made out of fear are never the right ones and will usually end in disaster.
In this day and age, it seems like many ex couples are almost in a race to see who can get the best, hottest replacement the fastest. Don’t do it. Sit a few dances out if you must, but make sure that you are healthy before getting back in the game. The one who gets another the fastest often is the one who ends up in an unhealthy, co-dependent relationship that is harmful to all involved. It solves nothing but rather perpetuates the issues of both individuals in the new relationship. And relationships are hard enough without dooming them to failure.
My most recent ex rushed out and now has a 19 year old; he is 50. A 50 year old essentially dating a child and taking advantage of her issues for his own nefarious benefit is not healthy nor does it show any honor. Don’t be like him. Take time to heal; spend time alone and get to know yourself, go to therapy, get a hobby, do whatever you need to do to make sure that you are emotionally stable enough to benefit another human being.
Healing is hard work though, because you must not only face, but conquer your demons. You must take an honest look at yourself in the mirror and take stock of what you do and don’t see. You work on yourself and your shortcomings. That takes courage. It also takes patience.
So how do I know that I am ready and that I am whole? I guess when you are ready, you feel it. And I feel good. I feel happy and excited about the future again. I do not feel like I need someone around, but I do want to enjoy life with another. There is nothing to prove to anyone. I am not worried about who is or is not impressed. There is not rush either. I have faith in the process that slow and steady is the best way, and I have faith in God that what is meant to be will be. I want love, I want to give love, and I want to build a life with a partner. I am not perfect, but flawed and complicated. And that is OK. No one is perfect, so maybe the key is to make sure that you are whole, as imperfect as you are, and find a whole person whose imperfections compliment your own. Then be honest and enjoy the adventure with an open heart and sound mind. So hang on, because this promises to be quite a ride.