The Things You Need To Do Before Starting a New Relationship

How To Know You’re Ready to Date…The Healthy Way.

If You Are Reading This, You’ve Probably Been Hurt.

We can’t just erase the past, and we shouldn’t be trying to — while we can and should leave our hurtful past behind, this doesn’t make it any less important to who we are. Inevitably, it is part of our story, and part of us.

Sometimes things in our present, and our future, are strongly impacted and interwoven to things and people from the past. This may be especially true for those who have children with a previous partner, or perhaps someone who has had to leave behind an abusive family.

Who wants to have their heart broken? And worse, who wants to break someone else’s? If you’ve been hurt, you’ll want to make sure you are ready to enter a relationship the next time around to mitigate damages.

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Not only have you made the decision to leave the past where it belongs, but you’ve taken important actions to make this happen…and it shows. You know you’ve accomplished this, and you’ve proven to yourself that it has worked. You aren’t ruminating. You aren’t engaging in self-destructive behaviors to deal with stress, regret, or grief. You aren’t still avoiding what has happened, you’ve accepted it and reestablished your life beyond how things once were to a functional extent.

Despite being connected to things that have been influenced by your past, you no longer let it define you. You’ve come up with creative ways to integrate this into your life without creating too many waves. Hey, life happens, we know. But you’ve got it under control and don’t feel constantly overwhelmed by it.

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There are going to be bumps because everyone has them. The real question is, are you adequately prepared to handle them? Do you know what your go-to strategies are, and how you intend to deal with spontaneous disasters we all are too familiar with happening? You have a plan A, B, and C, and you know activities and ways that you can cope with pain and anger without taking it out on the other person.

You are educated on how to handle conflict, you know what is and is not appropriate when it comes to expressing anger and managing problems. This will be one of the most useful tools in determining compatibility with someone. When problems arise, if they are being met with explosive rage or you aren’t able to resolve conflict peacefully or in a way that makes you feel safe, this pattern will continue. So, make sure you are first good on your end before taking the plunge into the unknown.

This could be your career, or it could be something outside of it. It is something that you have spent a significant amount of dedicated time to and has become a part of who you are as a person. It doesn’t have to be something “extravagant” like ultramarathon running or being a renowned artist, but could be as simple as enjoying watching animated films or sitting on the patio and listening to the birds.

You aren’t looking to involve every single second of your life around and with your partner. You know what you enjoy, and what you don’t enjoy. You are okay with your partner having their own independent interests and hobbies, too. You know how important these things are to your own mental well-being and that of your potential partner’s.

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Okay, you might be thinking… ‘but I’m a total loner.’ Are you sure? Because likely you’ve got some type of social circle that you don’t even realize you have. It could even be an organization central to your identity. The point is, you have something that you draw a source of energy and power from, and have someone to talk to when things aren’t going well as often as when they are.

Do you have traditions or things you do on the regular that are important to you? These things are key to making up who you are as a person, and serves as a support system that provide stability and overall contentment in your life — because having someone to share experiences with is an important part of it.

We’ve all at some point heard the old excuse, “I’m just too busy,” or “I don’t have time.” Do you believe it is true that people make time for what is important to them?

This can be a real reason why some people will end up not having much time for other people, it could be an excuse or the person may not understand how to communicate their real needs effectively. Sometimes, it may seem that this isn’t an optional decision, that outside circumstances have determined how we allocate our time.

In truth, this can in a way be true. If you just feel too drained of energy because you are having to take on extra work or feel constantly stressed out, you might have actual “time” but not “energy” to dedicate your time to activities or people you “want” to be important to you.

Regardless of the reason, it will show to your partner. Save someone else the heartache of this and wait until you have the energy to dedicate to someone, to show them you care.

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While it isn’t a good thing to be “over the top” with a long list of “requirements” for your partner, you’ll need to know the things you will and will NOT accept in regards to behavior. You have to have lines drawn around yourself, especially if you are coming from an abusive situation.

For example, if you don’t like alcohol and drinking, and this has been an issue for you in the past in some regard, you’ll probably want to filter out those that have that as a significant part of their life. It doesn’t make a person a bad person if you aren’t compatible, and you shouldn’t feel “mean” for making good decisions for yourself.

Just be sure that you aren’t self-sabotaging by having a list of 2000 items you expect from your partner. It isn’t about expectations from the potential partner as much as it is informing other people of what you need for yourself.

Anyone who would try to force their lifestyle on you isn’t going to be someone that will bring peace with them into the relationship. Trying to change your partner is a set up for failure — regardless of “where” they’re coming from in trying to do so.

You don’t need to have everything figured out. After all, who does? Does anyone ever really know or feel completely comfortable about themselves? The key is that you are self-aware and are ready to take on more than you already have…because you’re already fine with what you have. You’ve been open and honest with yourself, and you are ready to do that with someone else.

While it isn’t necessary you have all your ducks in a row, you’ll need some true confidence going forward. To clarify what this means, it isn’t toxic positivity or fake smiles. You aren’t going into something new looking for something to fill a void in your soul, your life, or your bed. You should really think about this with yourself, and be honest in your answer.

Are you looking for a relationship now because you are content with life…or because you aren’t?

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Bring Peace, Not Fear.

Having a relationship because you are afraid of being alone is something that codependent partners struggle with, and this is usually one of the building blocks that make up an abusive dynamic.

We shouldn’t look for relationship partners because we are unhappy, but because we already are. Relationships are like icing on the cake, so that we can share and enjoy our life with someone else.

In this way, relationships become more about giving on both ends, creating reciprocity that is healthy and can be long lasting.

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