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14 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Entering a New Relationship

14 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Entering a New Relationship

Entering a new relationship is a big deal, particularly when your past relationships have continually failed. If you’re having reservations about starting fresh with someone new, it might be best to reflect on your dating habits first.

Here are 14 questions to ask yourself to ensure that your next relationship is the happiest, healthiest one yet.

1. Am I ready?

Relationships take time and energy. Make sure your current lifestyle is ready for the commitment. If you have a new job, if you’re in pursuit of a dream, or if you are endearing a family emergency, it might not be best to throw another human being into the mix.  Wait until the storm has passed before inviting another ship into the water with you.

2. Am I truly over my ex?

To make #1 more specific, ask yourself this. Do not enter a new relationship if your answer is no, and you secretly want your ex back. Rebound relationships are not only destined to fail, they’re destined to bruise the ego and emotions of your new partner. No one wants to feel like they’re a rebound, and no one deserves to be one.

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The best way to get over an ex is to work on YOU. Decide what didn’t work in your last relationship, and what personal aspects of your own life need adjusting to make your next relationship a success.

3. What did not work in past relationships?

Perhaps you sacrificed too much for your last partner. Perhaps it lacked trust or honesty. Maybe your relationship didn’t work because of the distance. Make a list of all the things that went wrong in your prior relationships and find solutions.

4. What worked in my past relationships?

If you don’t recognize the positive aspects of a healthy, functional relationship, it will be difficult to transfer those ideas into a new one. If your own relationships lack insight, look at the couples around you. Perhaps your own parents or friends have harbored long-term relationships, and can lend some advice. 

5. What kind of relationship am I looking for?

In other words, how serious do you want it to be? This is important, not only for your own sake, but for the sake of your new, potential partner. Are you looking for a fun fling? Or are you ready to settle down? Be sure to discuss your answer with them before the two of you get in too deep. Avoid wasting time by making sure you’re on the same page.

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6. Do they share my morals?

When I began dating, my grandmother would ask, “how’s your love life going?” Her next question was always, “do you have the same morals?” I never really understood what she meant until I got older. Just because someone likes the same activities, or the same movies or books or food, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right for you. You have to dig deeper.

Do they have the same beliefs? And I’m not even talking about religion or politics. How do they treat other people in their life? How do they look at the world? What are they passionate about? And if you’re looking to settle down with this person: What will they teach their children? Is it the same thing you would want your own children to learn?

7. What do I want out of this relationship?

Maybe you’re looking for support. Maybe you’re looking for companionship or love. Maybe you’re looking for a best friend. Maybe you’re simply looking for a “good time.” Again, it’s important to determine these things before entering into a new relationship. It’s the only way to decipher whether you’re in it for the right reasons, and whether or not this person can provide what you desire.

8. Do I love myself?

This is the biggest cliché in the book. You cannot love someone else if you don’t love yourself. I personally think you can love someone else even if you don’t love yourself; however, problems will still exist. If you don’t feel deserving of love, you might doubt or deny the love you receive from someone else, which can be extremely frustrating for them.

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9. What characteristics am I looking for in a partner?

Confidence? Sense of humor? Humility? Kindness? Motivation? Hard work? Does your prospective partner embody most of these characteristics?

10. Does this person bring out the best in me?

How do you feel when you’re with them? How do you behave? Are you able to be your complete self?

11. Am I really interested in this person?

I, for one, have made the mistake of dating someone just because. I was bored and confused and blinded to the fact that they were completely wrong for me. They were great; they just weren’t great for me. I was more interested in telling them about myself, than learning about them.

12. Would I be proud to introduce this person as my partner?

When you get into a new relationship, eventually, you’ll have to introduce them to everyone in your life. Are you excited about this? If the answer is no, I’d run.

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13. Do my friends and family like this person?

Usually, the people who know you best also know what’s best for you. If they don’t like your new partner, it’s probably because they’re seeing something you can’t yet.

14. Do I even want to be in a relationship?

If you’ve been in lots of relationships, if you’ve recently gotten out of a draining one, or if you just love being single, maybe you should be. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you’ve considered all of these questions above and feel that you’re ready, then go for it! We’re all rooting for you.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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