Photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters, Unsplash.com
This article is the second installment of a two-part series entitled, “After the Breakup”.
After the Breakup: Relationship Assessment
Consider the following scenarios after the end of an intimate relationship, separation, or divorce. You probably experienced one of these or something close to it:
You’ve just been through the worst breakup of your life.
You’ve been through a string of relationships and keep hooking up with the same type of person over and over.
You and your current partner have mutually decided to call it quits. You just don’t connect anymore.
One thing is for sure — you know you don’t want to hit repeat on the last relationship, but you might not be feeling so confident that you won’t make the same mistakes again… particularly when it comes to choosing a partner.
When you combine lessons from the past with knowing and respecting yourself, you will be able to choose a partner and create the kind of relationship you want going forward. To do this, you need to step back and get really clear about what happened looking at both the good and the bad as objectively as possible.
The first step in having a great relationship with someone else is not sacrificing yourself, or what you hold dear, just to be in the relationship. Accept yourself as you are, which is awesome! Know that you’re worthy of having a terrific relationship. You deserve to have the very best in everything, including a partner and a relationship.
Secondly, you need to live with integrity. This means that your actions and your values are in sync with one another. You’re not doing things or letting others do things that go against what you believe or hold dear. You will know you’re living with integrity when things just feel right. Identify your values.
What do you love? What is important to you? See my blog post, Values: Uncovering Your Most Valuable Treasures.
Now, for each of the items below, grab your journal or a piece of paper and complete the assessment honestly and as objectively as you can. The more serious you take this exercise and trust yourself to follow-through and take action that syncs up with your values and ideals, the higher the likelihood of you connecting with the right person in the future.
You can choose to focus on your last relationship or multiple, intimate relationships from your past.
Make a list of the following:
1. What you liked about your former partner.
2. What you liked about your former relationship.
3. What you did NOT like about your former partner.
4. What you did NOT like about your relationship.
5. Identify the red flags that showed themselves early on in the relationship. These were the warning signs that gave you a hint of what was to come.
6. Identify and list what an ideal partner and relationship looks like. What is your dream?
7. List what your family and friends disliked about your former partner. Recall if you had to defend your partner or make excuses for him/her.
8. Think about your family members or friends very close to you growing up. What negative attributes are similar between your former partner and those pivotal people in your life?
After you finish working through these items, look back and highlight the points that help you draw a picture of the relationship as a whole – both good and bad. Cross-reference the attributes of your former partner to the attributes of people who were most pivotal in your life.
Ask yourself a few questions.
1. What is missing between my ideal partner to that of my former partner?
2. What does my ideal relationship look like and how does that differ from what I just had?
3. What is important to me in terms of values and ideals? How did this relationship break-down or go against my personal values?
4. What are clues that will help me know what attributes and actions I need to steer clear of in the future?
By working through these items you will be light years ahead toward selecting a partner who perfectly compliments who you are in every way. You can trust yourself in choosing a person perfectly suited for you, and you will not make the same mistakes again.
There’s not just one person out there who will fit your bill; there’s actually thousands of them, but connecting with them may take time. Be patient and learn more about you and what you love while you wait. Be assured that there are absolutely people out there who will respect you, respect themselves, and respect the relationship.
And hey… are looking for the same type of relationship that you want. You can find love again, and it will be different from what you had in the past.