Important Things To Work On Before Your Next Relationship

Important Things To Work On Before Your Next Relationship ©iStock/ozgurdonmaz

You have a really great opportunity right now — you’re single, and you hold your fate in your own hands. You could go ahead with the same self-destructive behavior you’ve always practiced and pick the same crappy guys that fill up your ever-growing list of ex-boyfriends, or you could take this time to really work on yourself. It sounds like a big chore, and it kind of is, but it’ll be worth the trouble. Here are a few things to work on leading up to your next relationship.

  1. Being comfortable by yourself in public. When you’re in a relationship, you don’t need to go to the movies by yourself, it’s true. But if you always rely on your significant other to come with you to every event, you’ll start using him as a crutch. That’s approaching codependent territory, and it sucks.
  2. How to work on it: Get used to being by yourself by going to a movie on your own. Just you — no friends. If it makes you feel less awkward, go between 1 and 4 PM when the theater crowd is thinned out and filled with other lone film watchers. You might even enjoy it more this way.
  3. Accepting yourself and your flaws completely.Shame is terrible. It keeps us from moving on from past failures and forces us to live in a world of regret. If you can let go of the shame and start loving your insides — your personality, your actions, your defining traits, your past — you’ll prevent others from tearing you down or taking advantage of you.
  4. How to work on it: Write two lists, one full of what you like about yourself (non-physical), and what you dislike about yourself (the things that keep you up at night). Now destroy the second list and put the first on your fridge or make a copy for your wallet. Pull it out whenever you need a boost. It may take a while to sink in, but you’ll get there.
  5. Boosting your body image. You probably know how important self-esteem and self-confidence is, right? It’s hard to have either of those when you hate the way you look. And when you’re exuding self-hate, you aren’t exactly attracting a high caliber group of people.
  6. How to work on it: Stand in front of a mirror and list out what you see. Whenever you say something bad, think about how you would react if someone said that to you. If you won’t accept a stranger being mean about your looks, don’t accept it from yourself. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with your body. Everyone is different and your flaws give you character.
  7. Defining what you really want.Have you been stuck in a dating loop? You keep ending up with the same terrible guys time after time; they all cheat on you or treat you like an idiot and you hate it. Unfortunately, if you’re not clear about what you want–or don’t want–you’ll keep dating these guys.
  8. How to work on it: Make two lists. In one, list all of the things you want in a guy. I’m not talking about what car they drive or a minimum bank account; instead, focus on how he should make you feel and how he treats you and the people around him. Then make a list of all the bad traits you want to avoid. If you’re having trouble coming up with stuff, just think of the last few guys you dated. You could also enlist the help of friends if they happened to notice things about these guys that you were blind to before. Now read these lists on the regular to develop a firm picture in your mind of who you’re looking for so you can find him easier once you start dating again.
Trisha is a full time writer living in Montana. In her free time, she paints mountainscapes on her skin with body paint and reads a ton of YA lit.