02/22/2012 05:18 pm ET Updated Apr 23, 2012

Relationship Advice: Take Time for Yourself

You just ended a four-year relationship. The first year-and-a-half was great, the next six months were pretty good, then the last two years were a roller coaster ride of emotions where things should have ended at the end of the third year, but they dragged on. Then, four weeks later you find yourself in a new relationship. Six months go by and things are pretty good, then all of a sudden the same issues you had in your previous relationship start rearing their ugly head in this relationship. Yet you say to yourself, "Things are different, because I'm with a different person, so I know we can work on things to make everything better." But, things don't change, and another year-and-a-half goes by with you breaking up and getting back together several times. Finally, you both end the relationship. Six weeks later, what happens? You're in a new relationship again. Do you see the pattern that is forming?

I am not a psychologist or a therapist, I am speaking from my own experiences with relationships and what I've observed and heard from friends. There's nothing more special than having a significant other to share your life with and there's nothing worse than being in a volatile relationship that makes living life difficult and miserable.

I have never understood how both men and women can go from one relationship to another without reflecting on their life and the situation. And then those people wonder why they continue having to deal with the same issues over and over again. It's simple, you need to take the time to understand what worked and what didn't work in your relationship. Furthermore, you need to make sure you are working on yourself, your career, and your life, so that you are not just filling a void.

I would have to say that usually (and yes, I'm generalizing) that most solid relationships work, because you are not forcing yourself to find someone, it just happens organically. And by organically I mean you're making sure things are solid with your job and your life and you're spending time with family and friends, and it's when you least expect it that someone pops into the picture. It just happens naturally.

Taking time to get to know yourself is one of the most important things you can do -- before you run into a new relationship and get to know that person. You need to make sure you are providing for yourself in terms of your career and your happiness, because if you cannot provide those things for yourself, how do you expect to have the capacity to do that for someone who is going to share their life with you? I realize being alone can be a difficult thing for many people, but it's the difference between truly feeling and being fulfilled and happy with you and your life, or only filling a void. A relationship is not about two halves coming together to become whole; rather it's about two wholes coming together for a higher level of wholeness. The experience is completely different.

Also, remember to nurture your relationships with friends and family members no matter if you have a fabulous relationship with your significant other or a volatile one, because when it comes to taking time for yourself, those are the people that are going to help make that time much more satisfying.