Before we can live happily ever after, we have to get ourselves ready for love, so that when we are faced with a good relationship match, we can make healthy decisions.
So far, so sensible. But how often have you made a bad choice? We might find ourselves selecting the wrong person to get involved with; hitting on a good match only to rush headlong into commitment without pause for thought; or even doubting our own instincts about whether we should go back for another date.
The Internet is awash with advice on how to deal with poor choices in matters of the heart. We’ve scoured the most frank and sensible to bring you four key mentalities you can adopt today to make sure things are different next time round.
#1: I will identify my pattern
Have you a history of choosing the wrong partner? Mr or Mrs Not Quite Right doesn’t necessarily have to be someone who treats us badly. It might be that your pattern is choosing a certain type of person whose value system is, ultimately, incompatible with your own. Or someone who simply doesn’t want to commit? Or someone who wants to commit from date one – a case of too much, too soon? Was the very thing that attracted you to past partners, the very thing that eventually drove you apart?
Spend some time thinking over past relationships. Is there anything that connects them? Did they end in similar fashions? Did you realise, retrospectively, that you were drawn to a certain characteristic, experience or type of behaviour?
Hindsight, of course, is a wonderful thing, but if you want to avoid falling once more for Mr Spendthrift or Mrs Hot & Cold, understanding your pattern - and what might be behind it - is critical. Once you’ve mentally acknowledged your pattern, you’ll be better prepped to spot the warning signs when they’re embodied in the person sipping coffee opposite you.
#2 I will focus on compatibility
How often have you heard a friend rattle off a wish list of all the characteristics and virtues a perfect future partner must embody, only to see them get all loved up and settled down with someone completely off-topic? If your friend is happily in love then the chances are, he or she realised that the dark-haired, adrenaline-junkie fantasy is nothing compared to their real-life blonde homebody. Or it could be the other way around - and therein lies the point. Successful daters keep an open mind and are looking for a ‘click’ rather than to tick of items on a shopping list of hair colours, perfect heights and ideal career choices.
#3 I will learn to trust my gut
That nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right? That internal voice that just won’t shut up? It could be the gremlin that must be shushed. Or it might simply be trying to help. You’ll no doubt have had times in your life when you chose to ignore your instinct and lived to regret it. The only way to avoid a similar situation when it comes to matters of the heart, is to cultivate your instinct so that it always has your best interests at heart. If you’re feeling uncomfortable about any aspect of a relationship, but you can’t quite put your finger on what or why, take a pause and a deep breath. Slow down; don’t make any decisions; just examine your feelings. Keep reflecting, noticing what might be going on, and how your doubt is manifesting itself, both physically and mentally. Make a commitment to develop your instinct and give it the trust it deserves.
#4 I will cultivate healthy reasons for wanting love
At Spark Of Love we think everyone deserves to find a happy, loving relationship with someone they can share their lives with. Before you can find someone to exchange love and companionship with, we’re firm believers that you must have sound reasons for wanting to do so. If you’re simply looking to heal past wounds, forget an old relationship, make up for mistakes made, or someone who will make you feel better about yourself, you might end up in a negative cycle. Learn to love your lovable self and external love will surely follow. Cultivate your own self-confidence: make some of the below quotes your daily mantras.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
“Love can make you happy, but often times it hurts. Love is only special when you give it to who it’s worth.”
“Wait for the one who would do anything to be your everything.”
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”