THE BLOG
11/03/2014 02:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Love: The Second Time Around

Is this your second try at a relationship with a potentially significant other? What's the likelihood that this one will succeed? The answer depends so much on your attitude. Let's explore.

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Have you truly forgiven the problems of the past? If yes, proceed to the next step. But hang on, don't be so hasty. The end of your last relationship was painful, wasn't it? Do you really want to set yourself up to possibly go through that pain again after you've worked so hard to pick yourself up? This can only be answered with more questions. Have you forgiven him/her? More importantly, have you forgiven yourself? What was your role in the demise of the relationship? If you believe it was all or mostly their fault, you've got some work to do. The victim in you is holding reign. You chose to be in a relationship that was bad for you. What misguided need was that fulfilling in you? Perhaps it was to prove your unworthiness of something better? If you can take part of the blame and forgive both him and yourself, then you are ready to advance to the next square.

Have you swept the problems of the past under a rug -- or have you tried to learn from them? We know that obsessing over our problems is unhealthy, but so is ignoring them. There is a lesson behind every bad thing that happens to you. What was the breakup trying to teach you? There was good reason for the breakup -- something important to learn, do or change? Rest your mind that you are not unlucky in love. The world is not out to get you. You are not a hapless victim. The change was necessary. Perhaps you needed to learn to love and accept yourself more? Perhaps you needed to be more loving and accepting of them? Perhaps there's something deeper that prevents you from wanting what you have or keeping what you want? Perhaps the timing and the circumstances were off? Until you understand this, you could go into the next relationship and repeat it all again. Give the next relationship an opportunity to be stronger and happier, by learning some lessons from the previous one(s).

What were your expectations then vs. now? Were you hoping for some ideal -- the dream jobs, marriage, a home, a family? Did these dreams and hopes not come to fruition? Were your dreams not in synch with each other? That's okay. Again, there is probably a reason and a lesson to be learned from this "failure." Spending time alone may have been a necessary step in your growth. Perhaps you needed to get stronger, more confident, more humbled. Perhaps you needed to work harder, find other avenues to fulfill your needs and desires. Maybe you needed time to accept what you have and realize how much you have to offer. Maybe this was just the wrong person for you. If we expect more of others than they are willing and able to give, we will only be disappointed. If you can be with someone and still work toward your dreams with their support as well as accept and support their dreams, then you are headed for blue skies.

Can you accept each other for who and what you are? Life is full of compromises, except when it comes to your integrity. Are you comfortable enough to be yourself with your partner? Can you love and accept them as is? It is much easier if you regularly practice being grateful for everything that is wonderful in the relationship. Take nothing for granted, and you will keep things fresh and alive. Often, the demons in our heads want to look for proof that things aren't as great as they should be with our partner. Change the litany in your head to positive thoughts and affirmations, and the demon will go away. Think it, want it, believe it and it will be true, but do it without diminishing the essence of you.

Are you willing to redefine what being together is all about? You can if you take a thoughtful approach. Think of it less as "work" and more as being mindful and purposeful in making it a great relationship. A relationship is like a plant, a pet or a child. You have to feed, water, nurture and love it continually or it will die. If the love died for you in the past, take the effort and energy to understand what went wrong. Don't just run out looking for the total opposite and expecting magic. There were things about the prior relationship(s) that you loved. There were things that were right. Repeat those. Don't anticipate problems, don't accept mistreatment and don't compromise your integrity. Think highly of your partner and yourself. Nurture, water and tend to the relationship with love, care and respect -- and do it continually. Treat every day like it's new and you're happy to be together -- and you will be.

Contrary to popular belief, love the second time around can be even better than the first. You're older. You're wiser. You know yourself a little better. Don't be afraid to take a chance. Keep your eyes and your heart open. Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy being with that potential mate to the fullest. And if it all works out, it could be the greatest love of your life.

Cindy Tansin is author of the book Lead With Your Heart and the Rest will Follow. Her expertise is in promoting personal and professional growth, addressing issues of mind, body, spirit, and financial soundness. Follow her at www.cindytansin.com