One of my readers asked me for advice, more specifically how to spot the right man after being heartbroken. I was inspired by her question and decided to transform my advice to her into a blog for all the other women out there who are asking the very same question!
Getting out into the dating scene once you've been hurt can be difficult, and remaining cautious not to get hurt again is natural. However, I can suggest a few points to reflect on, the next time you’re ready to meet someone new.
By Author V.S. Atbay
1) LOOK FOR PATTERNS
Reflect back on the type of guys you dated in the past and try to look for patterns. What did they all have in common? What attracted you to these guys? Why? And why did you find yourself accepting the situations you did? You will start to see a pattern. Were they all bad boys who mislead you, played hard to get, cheated, lied, used and abused you, disrespected you or repeatedly abandoned you? – you get my point.
Once you’re able to reflect deeply and spot patterns in the type of guys (or bad traits) you were attracted to, you’ll start to recognize what to avoid the next time around and what NOT to tolerate. This will bring you one step closer to finding a more decent partner, because breaking old patterns, is like breaking a really bad habit that has gotten you nowhere.
2) REFLECT ON YOURSELF
Look for patterns and habits within your own self. Are you always submissive or dominant in a relationship? Are you too clingy? Too dependent, possessive or jealous? Do you always play the victim? Are you afraid to stand up for yourself? Afraid of commitment? and so on. I say this because it takes two to make it or break it. The key to avoiding being mistreated again and again, is to know and respect yourself first. Reflect on yourself and question your standards and expectations.
Also, what do you expect from a partner now that you’ve been hurt three times? How have your expectations changed? What do you feel like you deserve? Do you know what you want in order to find stability in a relationship? Once you feel confident about your expectations and where to draw the line, you'll have a better idea of "spotting" more suitable and healthier men.
When you know what you want and deserve, when you feel confident in yourself as a woman to keep this standard and expectation up, you will naturally attract and be attracted to someone who can accept and respect you for who you are, rather then breaking your heart again.
Also, by knowing and respecting yourself, you don’t allow the next person to hurt you. If you're heartbroken again and again, than I suggest you carefully reflect on your priorities, standards and expectations. If you have been entertaining, tolerating and accepting bad behavior and negativity in the past, then that's what you are accepting and settling for if you allow it to happen to you again.
3) SEEK SOMEONE WITH SIMILAR VALUES
It’s hard to say who will or won’t break your heart since life is full of surprises and challenges (we can’t control what others will do or how others will feel) since there is no such thing as the perfect person. However, a person who makes you feel healthy in all aspects (mind, body and soul) are healthy, secure, confident and good with themselves. They're also more likely to love and appreciate you for who you are. Therefore, it’s important to seek a partner that adopts and has similar values as you. If you're dating someone who doesn't want children, and you do, chances are you're willing to head towards a very exhausting road.
In other words, trying to change or control your partner is not only a waste of time, but unhealthy for you. Your relationship can never thrive, be solid, secure or grounded for the long term on any temporary, quick -fix change.
4) IS GRACE UNDER PRESSURE?
Being with a partner that knows how to handle or "deal" with conflict is key. This means they are open and ready to learn and grow with you even when the pressure is on. If you're dating someone who runs away from conflict rather than face it, chances are you're going to be left abandoned and left dealing with the conflicts on your own "ad nauseum." And if a guy comes in and out of your life as he pleases, then he is most likely treating your relationship like a revolving door which is not only selfish, but excruciatingly painful if you are on the receiving end. "Good" guys will know how to face and deal with conflict. Good guys will want to take responsibility for their mistakes.
5) DON'T RUSH
If you’re dating someone and it starts to feel “too good to be true” then I suggest you take a step back and reflect. If something is making you feel uneasy, investigate this on your own time and ask yourself why. Perhaps your subconsciously placing this person on a pedestal.
Or maybe you are simply moving too fast and want to believe that this person is “the perfect one." If something is too good to be true, in most cases, it usually is. Or perhaps, you're just too afraid and have trouble trusting since you've been hurt before. The point is - take a deep breath and slow down before jumping into another commitment.
6) CAN YOU BE YOURSELF?
A decent guy will allow you to be you and not change you, belittle you, discourage you or make you feel ugly or insecure to make himself feel better. A decent guy will allow you to grow, challenge you in a healthy way, will be proud to be with you and around you. He won't hide you from him family or friends, but bring you into his world. He will accept you for your imperfections and perfections, will be open, mature, encouraging, stable, helpful, supportive and communicative.
He will also have values , goals and expectations of his own, will honor both his and your shortcomings and will want to work towards building on the relationship everyday. It’s hard work, it’s challenging, but if he’s up for it everyday, then you most likely have "spotted" a healthy partner. Bottom line? you'll naturally feel happy around a good partner, because a "good guy" won't make you feel bad.
7) FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION
More importantly, follow your intuition and don’t doubt yourself – chances are you will sense the good guy from the bad right away if you pay careful attention to your own needs. If the person makes you feel unhappy or miserable - MOVE ON. He’s most likely not good with himself, and therefore, can't be good with you or for you. Waiting on him to change is a waste of time when it comes to reality.
8) NEEDS VS. WANTS
Sometimes, what you want is not always what you need -so keep that in mind. Check your perspective. If you want someone with a million dollars, big muscles, a big ego and a great social status, chances are you may not really need this in the long run. Maybe what you needed was someone with a stable job, a good heart and a sense of humor. So re-evaluate your own needs and wants before your back in the dating scene.