Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2017 issue.
If you’re recently divorced, had a breakup or are “still single,” there are 6 things to do to thrive as you move toward a new relationship:
1) Remember Who You’ve Been
A breakup or decline in self-esteem may have spiraled you down the rabbit hole. Come back up! Re-engage your Confident Self by first remembering who you were when you succeeded in the past in a relationship. What made you attractive? Confidence? Loyalty? Honesty? You mocked the ordinary? You were clever and kind at the same time? You were actually authentic? Don’t let the recent chaos of the breakup take away your personality-bling. You were fun before, made others laugh. You can be that again. You were creative, and made great weekend-getaway plans. Remember who you’ve been. It’s still part of who you are.
2) Focus On The Other, Not Just Your-Sweet-Self
People are attracted to those who are into them. Show your interest. Ask questions, get out of your own head, stop worrying what they’re thinking about you. You want this person to shine their best so you can decide if you like them. Help them out.
3) Do The Unexpected
In your 20s, you went camping under the stars on a warm night in just a sleeping bag with friends. Or, got up and took photos of your new partner’s profile in that morning light. Doing the unexpected kicks in your creativity, which ignites connection, and vice versa.
4) Get More Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
If you’re a girl, ask the guy if he wants your number. Sometimes great guys are shy. If you’re a guy, risk being vulnerable, cut the safety of a “line,” and tell her she’s lovely. Just be authentic without being a weirdo. It will feel awkward. If it were easy, you would have already done it. Change comes with discomfort. Risk taking the risk.
5) Take Off Your Favorite Mask
You are not solely who you are at work, in the gym, or who you were in your former relationship. Expand. You are many things, all at the same time. Don’t stay comfortably frozen, wearing your favorite mask that says, “I am this ONE WAY.” There’s a new you inside, who is real and more complex. Take off the mask. Be the variety of selves, all in one, that you can be.
6) Work Your Butt Off On Your Stuff
Ugly repeats of doing the same chaotic things you did in the last relationship will only have the same results. Work on your stuff, no matter what your ex or the next person is doing. Those who take 100 percent responsibility to alter past poor behavior see results. Do you really want to change, though? Or do you just want to blame? Have compassionate, fierce honesty with yourself. If you’re a blamer, you won’t thrive; you might as well have stayed with your former. If you’re looking at yourself without a filter, digging in the dirt, uprooting past reactions and ways of thinking, you’ll move forward into love.