When we’ve been burned in a relationship, we go into new relationships a little more wary. “That’s a two-edged sword,” says relationship coach Amy Schoen.
While being street-smart can help you avoid making the same mistake the next time, “It can also keep you so hyper alert to possible problems that you don’t give yourself to a relationship,” Schoen says. Here are some tips to help you when you’re ready to try again.
10 TIPS FOR STARTING A NEW RELATIONSHIP
1. Settle the past. Work with a therapist to understand how and why you picked your failed marriage.2. Realize you can make a choice. OK. Something bad happened. You are not a victim. You can and will move on.
3. Learn who’s safe and not safe and how to be safe. Once fooled, twice smart. Learn the early warning signs that someone lacks integrity and construct proper boundaries to keep people like that far from your heart.
4. Get clear about your expectations. What do you want for yourself? What are you moving toward? Know what your values are and be clear about what you’re looking for in a relationship. Then, be bold about not settling for less.
5. Realize there are wonderful people everywhere. Uh huh, you ended up with a world class schmuck AND the world is full of really great people.
6. Learn where to go to meet people who enjoy the same things you do. If you like to dance, take dance lessons. If you like to hike, join a trail club.
7. Hold off on the séx. Give yourself time to get to know someone before jumping in the sack.
Sociologist Dr. Edward Lauman’s research found that 85 percent of couples had known each other at least 30 days before having séx and 45 percent waited at least a year.
8. Check out their “fit.” How are they around your family and friends? How comfortable are you around theirs?
9. Pay attention to their overall behavior. Is this person an “easy keeper” or is your relationship full of drama? Are there periodic temper tantrums? Regular “flake sessions?” If so, next!
10. Listen to your gut. You have a built-in radar that alerts you when something is up. So, listen to and honor your intuition.