12 Promises I’ve Made To Myself That I Have To Fulfill Before I Fall In Love Again

12 Promises I’ve Made To Myself That I Have To Fulfill Before I Fall In Love Again ©iStock/lechatnoir

My recent return to the single life has proven to be a huge wake-up call for me. I’ve been confronted with a lot of hard truths about myself, and many of them have revealed that I was so absorbed in someone else that I forgot to give myself the attention I’ve been needing. So now, whether I’m single for another month or for another five years, I’ve sworn that I will achieve all these personal goals in self-love and development before I allow another person to take such an important place in my life:

  1. I will make myself a priority. Especially when I’m in a relationship, I tend to put others’ happiness before my own. It doesn’t stop when I’m single, either. They say you need to love yourself before you can love someone else, and while I do love myself, I need to make sure that I’m being treated like the main character of my own story before I’m ready to throw myself back into the dating world again.
  2. I won’t search for a relationship just because I’m lonely. Being single is fun for a while, but I’m all too aware of the feeling of loneliness that sets in after you get your independence fix. In the past, it’s led me to lower my standards and seek out relationships just so I could stop feeling so alone, but I refuse to let that happen this time around. By the time I’m ready to be in a relationship again, it’s going to be because I found someone who makes me want to give up being single because I want to be with HIM, not because I want to be with any old guy.
  3. I will treasure my flaws rather than tolerating them. If I am the night sky, I must start to see my countless flaws as the stars rather than the darkness. They are what make me special and unique, and even though not all of them are desirable, I need to embrace them as the qualities that make me who I am. It’s tempting to just try to fix them as quickly as possible, but until that happens, I need to love them for making me the person I am now and the person I will be in the future.
  4. I will value my body for what it can do rather than what it looks like. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, all I can see are the things I perceive as flaws. I see the pooch on my belly, the stretch marks on my thighs, and that pimple that came up at just the wrong time. While I’m okay with admitting that I’m not completely satisfied with how my body looks, I need to give it more love for all the amazing things it allows me to do. It’s grown into a pretty amazing machine over the years, and before I even think about getting into a relationship again, I need to start giving it the appreciation it deserves.
  5. I will accept that the person I was in the past is not the person I am today. When I look back on who I used to be, I sometimes find myself cringing. I wasn’t always the type of person I’d hope to be, and even today, I occasionally find myself looking back on my younger self and being judgmental. But during this time that I’m single, I’m going to teach myself to stop worrying about who I used to be and start focusing on who I am now.
  6. I will learn from my mistakes rather than regretting them. I’ve always been that person who lies awake at 2:00 a.m. going over every single thing I’ve ever done wrong in my life… and that goes double when it comes to all the messes I’ve made in my dating life. But from now on, rather than letting myself focus on the past so much, I’m going to take all the errors I’ve made and use them as lessons. That means that I have a LOT to learn before I jump into another relationship, but I have a feeling it will all be worth it.
  7. I won’t let the opinions of others determine my self-esteem. Whether they’re focused on your looks, your abilities, or your accomplishments, it really seems that everyone’s a critic these days. Social media has made it even easier for just about anyone to look at your life through a filter and judge it as they see fit, and no matter how hard you fight it, all those words can eventually start to sink in and affect your perception of your own self. But whether it’s some random person on Instagram or a guy I’ve been crushing on, I swear to myself that I’ll no longer allow someone else’s view of me to cloud my own perception of myself.
  8. I will listen to constructive criticism about myself. As much as I love myself, I can also accept the fact that I’m not perfect. I lump myself in with that large group of people who really don’t like it when others accurately point out their flaws, and I know I can sometimes get defensive when someone tells me something about myself that I’ve always known but didn’t want to admit. Instead of trying to convince myself that I’m perfect just the way I am, I’m going to start telling myself that it’s fine to admit that I have things I need to work on if I want to be a better person. Hopefully, by the time I’m in a relationship again, I’ll be a wiser, more receptive woman than I am now.
  9. I will pay more attention to a guy’s actions than his words. Despite being pretty jaded after so many failed relationships, I still have a soft spot for romance. I love it when a guy I’m crushing on promises me the moon and tells me how much he cares about me. Unfortunately, that trust has landed me in some pretty crappy excuses for partnerships. The next time I fall in love with a man, it’s going to be not due to his charming words, but the actions that prove his intentions with me.
  10. I will remember that while I’m not perfect, I’m still pretty damn awesome. Despite my never-ending list of things I want to improve about myself, I know that I’m not all that horrible to be around. Sometimes, I just need to remind myself of that. Now that I’m single, I’m going to spend a lot more time and effort focusing on the things I DO like about myself instead of concentrating solely on my faults. The next guy to win my heart is going to be very lucky indeed, and I would do well to remember that more often.
  11. I won’t waste my life worrying about stupid crap. Easier said than done, right? But really, my anxiety about anything and everything has affected me in negative ways for so long, and I’m frankly sick of it. I may not be able to just press a button and magically stop myself from worrying about everything, but I’m at least going to put forth the effort to keep all those nagging fears in check. I owe it to myself to stop wasting my short time on Earth freaking out about what might happen instead of what is happening, and I plan to do whatever is in my power to get control of my anxious mind.
  12. I won’t let past relationships get in the way of my future happiness. It’s not even remotely fair to judge other guys based on experiences with your exes, but even though I don’t try to, I often end up doing it. Guys that I haven’t even seen in years creep up in my mind and remind me that even the nice guys might end up being cheaters or liars or manipulators, and before you know it, I’ve sabotaged another great relationship by not being able to let go of my past. It’s not fair to me, but mostly, it’s not fair to the genuinely great men who are trying to create something worthwhile with me. Before I even think about starting up another romance, I need to wrangle the damage from my past and get it under control before it ruins my future.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.