When I'm working with my clients, I notice so many women rushing from one relationship to the next without realizing the power in being single in-between. The evaluation and subsequent life-changing personal growth that can occur during this time can ensure the next relationship is better than the last. Instead, many women commiserate with girl friends about how they were unappreciated or how they're heartbroken over the end of something they thought was forever. What happens with this common response to a breakup is an automatic flood of anger, resentment, blame, and fear of being alone, setting these women up for failure in their next relationship. Sound familiar?
The good news: It is completely possible to set yourself up for success in relationships with some surprising adjustments to what you're doing now. The worst way to begin a new relationship is by bringing in negative emotions from your past. Also, simply thinking differently isn't enough (I'll explain later).
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Let me share one of my great life-coaching strategies, which has helped my clients tremendously. After walking clients through this process, they feel better about themselves, are more confident about attracting the right guy, and have a game plan for personal growth and how to make the next relationship more successful than the last — by using their single, in-between time wisely and positively.
3 questions to ask yourself during your single time between relationships:
1. What did I do right? By asking yourself what you did right during the relationship, you acknowledge how much you've learned about being a good partner. It's an opportunity to measure your personal growth instead of playing the blame game, which always pollutes your next relationship, whether you realize it or not. It doesn't matter if you're blaming yourself or your guy. Blame is toxic to all relationships, even the one you have with yourself.
- What were you better at this time than in previous relationships (opening up, trusting, communicating, being more loving, etc.)?
- Were you supportive of him (trusting him, encouraging him, showing appreciation, etc.)?
- Did you establish and enforce healthy boundaries, ensuring you were treated respectfully and speaking up if not?
Congratulate yourself on the things you did right. You'll be able to measure your progress and become a better partner each time.
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2. What were the challenges? By taking a look at the challenges of past relationships, you identify patterns and specific qualities you want and those you want to avoid in your next relationship. Be honest with yourself to make the most out of your single in-between time and visualize a relationship without these challenges.
- Did one or both of you have too-high expectations?
- Did the relationship feel one-sided with one of you investing more than the other?
- Were there conflicts that caused irrecoverable harsh feelings? Keep reading...
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