Do you know someone who says multiple times each year that (s)he has met her "soul mate"? Are you perhaps someone who loves being in a relationship, despite how fulfilling it is? Do you find comfort in always having someone by your side? There are many people that would prefer to be in a relationship rather than being single, but sometimes this means the relationship is not genuine, but purely existing for comfort or convenience. We are finding that with the rise of dating apps and websites, people are jumping from (mediocre) relationship to relationship rapidly. Sure, it might mean you're a total catch and you're open to dating lots of different types of people. However, there is a tipping point. Are you, unable to function or be happy without a sidekick? If you think you are guilty of jumping directly from one relationship to the next just for the sake of being in one, there are few things to consider while you work to break this potentially unhealthy cycle.
Do you think about your ex-partner regularly? Having an ex usually means that (s)he was an important part of your life at some point, however, (s)he's an ex for a reason. Make sure you take time to understand this. Sure, you opened up to them, broke down your walls for them, discussed future plans and potentially thought one of them was "the one." It takes time to heal from the breakup - this should not be rushed. If you are still lusting after your ex and currently dating someone else, consider ending this relationship to focus on yourself to reflect and heal. When you ignore the reflection stage, you may end up hurting the person you are dating and prolonging your own healing process.
Furthermore, have you truly evolved after your last relationship? In my experience, a healthy relationship won't bloom if have not analyzed what went wrong in the past - what worked and what didn't, what changed, why it ended. If you are jumping from one relationship to another and afraid of being alone, you may not be comfortable with yourself, and there is probably a pattern of why your past relationships have failed. If you don't think you learned from the past, don't start another relationship until you do. Know what you can bring to a relationship, and how your past relationships helped you better define this.
Are you currently dating someone who you know is not a "great fit" for you, but are remaining in it regardless? Many times people who love being in relationships will meet someone "good enough" - someone fun, easy going, and constantly caters to or dotes on them. These are wonderful qualities to have, but should never be the reason why you stay in a relationship that is otherwise unfulfilling and uninteresting. Be mature enough to recognize this is selfish and a recipe for another failed relationship and move on. Spend some time alone and recognize that waiting for a healthy, fulfilling relationship will save both you and your partner headache - especially if it's a (s)he is just "a filler."
How to make sure you are not jumping into a relationship before you are in the right space? Take time and reflect after your last relationship. Time is key to healing and realizing why the relationship failed. Be sure to be happy and comfortable with who you are and what you bring to the table - you won't make someone else happy without it. If necessary, hire a therapist or dating coach for a few sessions. These days, coaches are a great option for those wanting to quickly jump back into dating, and want to be efficient in reflecting on the past and moving forward. Rethink what is important to you: your values, your goals, what qualities you want in a partner, and be fully comfortable with the person you are in a relationship.
There is nothing better than being emotionally ready for a relationship. If you exude these qualities and are stable in all areas of your life, you're ready to accept a healthy relationship and a new love.
*Contributions from Meghann Novinskie, partner and matchmaker at Mixology - Matchmaking with a Twist.
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