Drop the baggage
If you want to start something new with somebody, it’s unlikely to happen or be successful if you've got a ton of emotional baggage hanging around. Signs that you still need to let go are…
- You still think about your ex a lot - more than three or four times a week/day/minute.
- When you hear about your ex, you feel mad or very sad.
- You feel scared that you are going to be hurt again
- Your ex is still in your life in a way that’s not quite healthy. For example, they come around every night for dinner or are still sleeping on your couch!
- You can’t bear to throw out their old toothbrush and other personal momento’s they left behind.
- The thought of them being with someone else makes you want to turn inside out.
- You are occasionally still seeing or having sleep-overs with your ex.
If this sounds like you, then start to cut old ties. Get therapy, talk it out with a friend, write a goodbye letter where you say everything you want then burn it or have a throw out session of old possessions and memories. If necessary draw a boundary and move on with your life.
Sort out your life
If you totally love your life - skip to the next question because there’s nothing more attractive than someone who is living their passion. If you wish your day-to-day was different then you are going to have to do some sorting out before you start to date because negativity is a huge turn-off. Signs you need to take control of your life are being…
- Seriously in debt and not taking charge of the situation
- Unfit or unhappily overweight
- Unemployed and doing nothing to change it
- In a job you hate
- In continuing conflict with a family member or a previous partner
- Regularly indulging in sabotaging behaviours such as overspending, drinking too many glasses of wine in front of the TV or anything else you know isn’t good for you
- Continually pessimistic
If this sound like you, start immediately to create a life you love. Take control of your finances, plan a dream trip, start saving for your own place, go on that weight loss program, start visiting the gym, find a new job, volunteer with a charity and look for what’s great about your circumstances.
Decide what you want
If you don’t know what you want in relationship, it’s really likely you will settle for something you don’t. Make a list of non-negotiable values that you couldn’t compromise on and then add on your wish list. So get clear on if you want to date someone who…
- wants kids or who already has them or not
- has money, status and assets or not
- has cultural, religious, political or social backgrounds that you share or not
- is a smoker or not
- wants to get married or live with you or not
- shares a particular interest that you are passionate about or not
- wants to be based in the same place as you or not
If you find it hard to make a list of what you want, start with what you know you definitely don’t. Have fun with it and risk writing down what you most wish for. If you need help ask a good friend who you trust what they think you need in a partner.
Julie Hamilton is a therapist who does one-on-one love and relationship sessions. You can contact her at www.juliehamilton.com.au