We’ve all been in a relationship that seems doomed. Maybe one person gives everything they have while the other just tries to take everything that they can. Perhaps both partners just stopped trying. Either way, there IS hope for those single Pringles to better themselves and better the quality of their love lives. Here are a few ways to improve your next relationship.
Instead of obsessing over your ex’s flaws, evaluate your own.
Most people only see their partner’s flaws and unintentionally neglect their own. This seems harmless; however it can result in bickering and one or both partners becoming dissatisfied.
Remember in high school when the teacher asked us to grade ourselves? And in job interviews and evaluations, we are consistently asked to point out weaknesses and other “areas of opportunity.” The reason for this is because unless asked to do so, humans are typically reluctant to search internally for problems when faced with adversity.
Hopefully you’re not reading this and giving yourself all “A”s — try to honestly and humbly reflect and consider your partner’s complaints, and determine the validity of those concerns. When we accept our shortcomings, we are far more likely to seek improvement than when our partner (or boss or teacher) conjures a moment of reflection.
Figure out why you want a partner and what you hope to get out of a relationship.
Everyone has their personal reasons for wanting a partner. Many seek emotional fulfillment, while others desire fulfillment physically. Some are simply afraid of being alone; they allow their definition of worth to be dictated by whether or not they have a significant other. Contrarily, some people simply find a partner for personal gain.
Whatever your need(s) are for a partner, it’s important to know them prior to entering a relationship. How can you expect a fruitful partnership if your definition of success has yet to be define? Utilize time in between relationships to determine what you like and don’t like and where your areas of opportunity lie. If you can’t figure them out for yourself, you can reach out to an ex and ask for them to candidly outline some for you.
Work on your confidence and self-worth.
After any grieving period following a breakup, start your rebound by improving your self image. If weight and health are issues, work on your fitness and diet. If you’re impatient, learn to be patient. If you’re too jealous, learn to appreciate your worth so you know your partner has something to lose, and allow them the freedom of making a mistake before you smother them and treat them like they’ve already done so.
These flaws are relatively easy to work on if you’re truly committed to a better outcome than last time. Volunteer time with children to help with patience; keep at it and eventually it will come.
Your personality is like a muscle. If you start with low resistance, you can gradually work your way up until you’re able to tolerate much more than you ever thought possible. The same goes for jealousy. Learn to be proud of yourself by achieving goals such as weight loss, speaking to new people to improve communication, or joining a rec-league or a coed social league to improve social skills while putting yourself out there to meet new people.
Figure out what kind of person you want to be with and what your priorities are.
After you’ve figured out your reasons for dating and your self-esteem has improved, figure out what your needs are within a relationship. Think about what type of person are you looking for and what your relationship requirements are. If you’re in you mid-20s or later, can they offer enough time for you away from their career, kids, family, etc? What about maturity levels? Do you like going out or staying in? Do you want time for your friends or time alone? The more you know about what you need and what you need from your partner, the better armed you will be going into a partnership.
Featured photo credit: Boating by gagilas via flickr.com