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.
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.
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.
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.
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.