Failed relationships can be painful and challenging to overcome. While the most common solution is to rebound into another relationship, these relationships rarely survive beyond a few months. Take advantage of your new relationship status by learning from the past and recreating your life. A breakup or divorce can ultimately be a positive experience.
Learn from a failed relationship and prepare for your future partner:
1. Learn from it. Every failed relationship provides at least one significant lesson. What was it? Relationships typically fail either due to errors in choosing a partner or errors in behavior. Determine where you made a mistake and decide to do something better next time. If you never repeated any of your relationship errors, you’d be guaranteed to find the right person!
* Use the first few weeks to examine the relationship and consider what changes you can make in the future.
2. Let go. Unless there are children involved, consider ceasing all contact. Resist the tendency to “accidently” run into them at your favorite hangout, send a late-night text message, or stalk them on Facebook. Take anything that reminds you of them, box it up, and put it in the garage.
3. Forgive. It’s an easy word to say, but challenging to do. There’s no closure without forgiveness. For those talented at forgiveness, it can happen quickly. For the rest of us, it can take some time.
4. Take care of yourself. It can be tempting to skimp on your hygiene, sit in front of the TV in your sweats, and avoid the gym. However, it’s important to continue taking care of yourself. Get a shower, spend time with friends, and maintain your normal routine.
5. Get your life in order. This is a good time to shore up the deficiencies in your life. Find a job you like. Ensure your finances are in order. Get in shape. Feel good about your life and yourself before dating again.
* You want to have a great life to share with someone else, rather than find someone to fill in all the gaps and solve all the challenges in your life. Fix your life first. You’ll be a much more attractive partner, too.
6. Remodel. Create a new environment at home. Move the furniture around. Buy a gallon of paint and redo the dining room. Give yourself a fresh start.
7. Find a new hobby. There’s something you’ve always been dying to do. Now is the perfect time to do it. Take a pottery class or buy a violin. Join the bowling league. Add something new and fun to your life.
8. Enjoy being single. There are disadvantages to being in a relationship. Avoid starting a new relationship at first. Enjoy your freedom. Spend more time with your friends and family.
9. Make a list of what you’d like in a potential partner. Decide what you’re looking for. Think about your past relationship experiences and put together a description of what you’d like in a new partner. Begin looking, but avoid straying too far from your list of requirements. Avoid falling into old patterns.
10. Take it slow. When you find a potential match, enjoy it. There’s no rush.
Moving on after a failed relationship can be especially challenging. Rely on friends and family to see you through. A breakup or divorce is an ideal time for self-examination and making positive changes in your life. There’s no reason to be in a hurry to find a new partner. Move on from the past before jumping into a new relationship.