Every breakup is tough — whether you initiated or were blindsided. Even the ones you knew were inevitable.
You may swear off dating for a while after a breakup or jump back in immediately. Either way, you have a choice.
You can choose to learn from it and magnetize a better relationship next time. Or do what most people do, which is accumulate more emotional baggage to drag into the next one with you.
Unless you let go, it’s like taking a deep breath and holding it for the rest of your life.
Imagine if everyone took responsibility for learning from the last relationship and growing stronger and more confident before the next one. Dating would be completely different. Probably much more fun and empowering rather than disappointing, scary for the heart, and destructive to your self-esteem. Most people won’t, because blaming the other person is so much easier.
But you can do it!
Making a list can help you face the reality of your relationship — both the good and the bad — and help you move through your feelings. On top of that, these lists can help you see some patterns in your relationships that will be helpful in your future, if and when you fall in love again.
To learn how to let go more easily, as well as feel stronger, and move on more confidently after a breakup, make these five lists:
List 1: What did you like about him?
Even the most painful relationship had something in it to get you to stay as long as you did. Was it feeling connected to him? Just having someone there? That you laughed a lot together? Did he cherish your feelings? Did you feel protected and happy when you were with him?
Include what you liked about the relationship itself, also. Some of these you will be able to get in the next one (when you’re ready) and some were uniquely him.
List 2: What did you dislike about him? (This will be your go-to list when you’re missing him!)
It’s common to think of and miss the good things after a breakup even if the relationship was bad. That connection to another person is severed and it can create feelings of loneliness and loss.
This list helps to give you a more realistic view. Did you feel like you weren’t a priority to him? Or that you felt the need to make excuses for his behavior or attitude? Was he hard to talk to or always suspicious of you? Maybe he didn’t eat well or take care of himself. List everything, even if it was his crooked nose you didn’t like. List everything, whether it seems superficial or not.
When you miss him or miss the two of you together, this is the go-to list to remind you why it’s okay to be apart.
List 3: What makes you a great catch? (This will be your go-to list when you’re ready for love again.)
What are the qualities you bring to the table? List everything that makes you a great catch. Are you a good listener? Do you always have his back? Are you an excellent cook? Are you enthusiastic about life and love? List everything you can think of.
Also, be sure to list what he will miss about you that he can’t get from someone else. What was uniquely YOU, that he will lose after the breakup?
If there are any additional characteristics you want to improve before you meet someone new, list those here and get busy becoming the woman you want to be. The woman that makes YOU happy. That will raise your self-confidence and magnetize a more confident man next time because you attract what you are on the inside.
List 4: What did you learn about yourself before (or after) the breakup?
Did you learn that you are an excellent girlfriend? Or that you felt insecure and needy the whole time?
Did you invest your heart completely or hold back to avoid getting hurt and now you think you screwed it up? Were you jealous, drama-ridden, untrustworthy, or whiny? Or were you compassionate, loyal, honest, loving, and supportive? Whatever you learned about you… Own. It.
Add to this list how you felt about yourself before you met him. How you felt during your relationship, and how you feel about yourself now? Did your self-confidence go up or take a dive? Did you feel unhappily single before and now you realize single feels better? Or did you feel safe and happy in your relationship and look forward to the next one?
List 5: What do you need work on before meeting the next guy?
Do you need to build your core confidence, so you can remain calm and connected during conflicts?
Do you need to learn more about how to express your feelings in a way your man understands? As you know, men and women do speak different languages. And yes, it is your job to figure it out if you want a healthy relationship.
What sounds good to you and me may have a man running for the hills! All you need to do is know yourself and know how to communicate effectively with men. That will get you going in the right direction and the results will blow your mind!
Warning: After making your lists, you may feel like kicking yourself.
Thoughts like, “What was I thinking, being with this guy?” Or “Why did I mess it up by (fill in the blank)?” Or “Why didn’t I see all those red flags?” Stop it! This is the clarity you need to move forward with more confidence. Next time will be different if you learn from this time. If not, you may find yourself in the rut of having the same relationship again and again with different guys.
Are you wondering why you are doing all the work to improve yourself when you’ll probably just meet another guy who doesn’t deserve you? If you are, I have good news for you…
You can only attract men on your same energetic level. In other words, when you do your inner work, your energetic frequency (like a radio station) goes up. You will be more likely to attract a man who’s done his inner work as well and not as destined for a breakup.
You will also meet the occasional guy who seems to be one giant red flag. He’s just a test… a catch and release. Listen to and follow your intuition always. That’s your personal GPS and it will always lead you in the right direction even if it looks wrong at first. And note that I said “personal.”
Your friends may not agree with what your intuition tells you, to do but follow it anyway.