I look in the past to gain perspective. I meditate on the present to decide my future. I walk in both to sketch the road map.
Don’t dwell on the regrets of the past; the past is done. Make sure your regrets don’t keep you from living.
Relationship cosmopolitan (noun): A person who chooses to unpack unnecessary relationship baggage and take only the lessons learned, new self awareness, and lighter emotional self into a new relationship.
As I sit here contemplating the end of my 18 month relationship hiatus, I ask myself: have I really done myself any favors by being single for so long? After a break-up, I find myself following a specific pattern: grief, anger, numbness, indifference, introspection (all the above usually simultaneously), lust, loneliness, back in the dating scene. After this pattern, another relationship follows. It’s how a lot of relationships begin, wonderful even sometimes emotionally/sexually intense; and then the honeymoon’s over and whatever you blinded yourself to about your own issues or those of your significant other hits the fan and you’re comparing this relationship to all the others (usually to disastrous ends). I’ve found this to be the case quite commonly in my own relationships and in those I’ve observed. And what is the issue that continues this vicious cycle? We continue to carry around the baggage from our past and don’t sort it out and dump it out of our lives after that stage in our life is over. We leave it at the door ready to be picked up every time we walk through the door into another relationship and stack it with what we’re trying to build in our new relationships. Now really, is that really fair to your new love or to yourself for that matter?
In light of that, I propose being a “relationship cosmopolitan”. You traveler much lighter through life and relationships and don’t have to worry about pesky weight and dimension restrictions as you walk through the gate to board your next relationship. By taking only what you need from what you’ve learned from your past, you arm yourself with knowledge about yourself and what you need, don’t need, want, don’t want and boundaries that must be established to give your budding relationship the foundation it needs to be built upon. When you start a relationship blindly, you make a foundation full of cracks and holes that at the least sign of trouble, the relationship crumbles. If you start your relationship on steady ground with the knowledge that both sides have things from their past that has shaped who they are now, you make a foundation of accepting that person and even yourself for who/they are but letting what you build be the slate on which your relationship is written and letting the NOW determine what the future might bring.
I don’t know about you, but I think I’m much happier with the idea of bringing a small carry-on rather than paying for extra luggage that’s better left behind.