After any long-term relationship it may be tough to find the inner strength or desire to open your heart to love again. When a love interest comes knocking at your door, how do you know that old battle wounds and scars have been healed enough to let love in? Seeing as each person is completely individual, there really isn't a way to know exactly when the right time to begin a new relationship is. What may work for one person, may not work for another. Fortunately, there are a few key attributes that successful relationships have in common. If you find that you meet these, then it may be time to let love in. When you're ready to analyze your heart's state of affairs, take an honest look at the questions below to determine how ready you really are.
1 - How stable is your life?
How can you possibly hope to keep a relationship together if your life isn't put together properly? I think many of us use relationships as a way to help fix ourselves, when actually; we should be trying to do that before we find someone else. Isn't it true that a good many of our love interests result from someone who was there to give us a stable hand? How do you think your next relationship will benefit if you were already stable?
2 - Have you learned something about yourself from every past relationship?
On our path through life we encounter many different obstacles, people and experiences. This is what makes us unique. Everyone has a different life experience. The people who create happy lives take each experience and make it work for them, especially if it is a negative one. If you haven't learned something about the way you interact with another person from your past relationships, you're living in cycle that won't get broken until you take the time to find out. You can't possibly expect to break negative habits if you're not aware of them.
3 - Have you narrowed down your specific desires as to what type of person you want to meet?
Each relationship offers us an opportunity to review our master list of qualities of our ideal mate. Sometimes, what we thought we wanted didn't even come close to what we really needed. After a long-term relationship it is especially prudent to revise your list of desirable traits. Were there things about your past partner that hindered you from being really you? What traits would help you feel the most comfortable with being yourself?
4 - Are you really over your past?
I know, you're probably thinking it's a misprint? You may be thinking "Don't you mean past love?" Sometimes, I find we identify our past with our past loves. Our life may have included something that was special that we may be feeling is missing now. Somehow that gets wrapped up in our emotions with our past love. So, instead of trying to find new ways to make our life more complete, we think we need to have our past love to feel complete. Make sure you identify your real sources of desire before beginning a new relationship.
5 - Have you talked about your feelings with someone else?
It is often easier to deal with the real issues of the heart privately. However, this isn't always the best option. Talking about what's really going on in your mind and your heart gives you the opportunity to release any painful or negative emotions you didn't know you had bottled up. Trust me, there are almost always bottled up emotions you're unaware of. If you don't have anyone you feel you can trust to talk to, try talking to a group of people online. A great place to start would be our anonymous advice forums. Use them as a sounding board to get inspiration or just to get everything off your chest. Whoever you talk to, you'll be glad you did.