Dating Smart: 10 Questions to Ask Yourself before Starting a New Relationship
Sometimes in therapy a client asks the question, “Should I start a new relationship?“ It is a very good question.
I am always very happy to hear a question like that from a client because it shows that he or she has been thinking about whether he or she is ready for love. He or she is taking responsibility for their own happiness.
You probably already have guessed that I wouldn’t give a simple answer like “yes “or “no” to this question. You are right. I’m a counsellor, and I answer a question with a question. Now you know why I love my job so much.
Actually I ask a few questions from my 10 question pool to facilitate a self-discovery journey with my client. To find out if you are ready for love try asking yourself the following 10 questions:
1. Are you still in love with your ex?
2. Do you carry tremendous resentment and rage toward your ex?
3. Do you feel empty?
4. Do you feel you have very little value to offer a mate?
5. Do you dislike yourself?
6. Do you feel so lonely and miserable without a relationship?
7. Do you feel no one would want to be with you?
8. Do you find it is almost impossible for you to feel any emotion?
9. Are you willing to talk about your feelings with others?
10. Do you have some addictions that you need to deal with?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you may not be ready for a close relationship.
If you answered yes to question 1 or 2, you still have unfinished business with your ex. Your heart or mind is still filled with your ex. You are not able to have enough space left for a new partner.
“What if I hate my ex? Am I still not ready?”, you may ask.
That’s right. You are not ready for love if you hate your ex so much. He or she still has some hold on you.
A quick fix – rebound is not a good solution. Going from one relationship to the next right away may help you avoid the pain of a breakup temporarily, but you may end up in a worse place. Your rebound is not the person you really want to be with. Now you have to face the problem of how to get rid of him or her.
If you want to have a happy long lasting relationship, you need to solve your problem with your ex by figuring it out on your own or by talking to somebody, like a counsellor.
If you answered yes to question 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7, you have a problem with yourself. Those problems may be rooted in your childhood interactions. You maybe have low self-esteem. Some of your fundamental needs are not met, such as your needs to be loved, accepted, or respected, and you don’t know how to meet your own needs. You are hoping a partner will satisfy your emotional needs. Unfortunately they can’t or won’t do it for you for very long. You need to be able to meet these basic needs on your own so that you become a happy and content person and ready to love another. If you don’t know how to love yourself, again you may need help from a professional.
If you answered yes to question 8 or 9, you need to find your own emotions before getting involved with someone. Love is about emotional connection. If you can’t feel your own emotions, you won’t be able to share those emotions with someone.
If you answered yes to question 10, obviously you’ve got trouble that will interfere with developing a new relationship. Finding a new date won’t fix your problem, and it’s not fair to bring your trouble into someone’s life. You need to deal with it before entering a new relationship.
If you’re already seeing someone and answered yes to some of these questions, you may need some time to work on whatever is preventing you from getting closer.
There are also times when you simply need to be alone. If you suspect you are not ready for love, get to know yourself better. There is nothing wrong to be alone.
When you can answer no to all the above questions, I would say, “Go ahead, you’re ready to fall in love!”