IN THIS ISSUE:
Three Steps to Opening Your Heart Again After a Painful Break-UpBy Courtney DeVon
You've just been through a break-up. You're probably attempting to cope with a whirlwind of emotions ranging from anger to disappointment. The relationship you had such high hopes for didnít go as planned. Besides dealing with real-time pain, anxiety about the future creeps in. Will you find someone else? And if you do, will you be able to open up your heart again?
The tendency to put up walls around your heart after a painful breakup is only natural. If you've ever had your heart broken in pieces, you may have said things to yourself like, "I'll never be able to trust another man/woman again" or "I don't need another partner in my life, it's too much trouble".
This type of defense mechanism plays out in many ways. It may show up as the rejection of dating altogether, or dating people you know aren't right for you. After all, it's safer to fall from a first story window than from the 100th floor. Your mind and broken heart may trick you into believing the best option is simply to never fall deeply in love again.
Of course you need time to grieve and explore life as a single person, but, if after an appropriate amount of time, you notice your defenses are still up, it's time to rethink and take action. After all, even though this behavior may keep you "safe," it will never get you the type of relationship you really want and deserve. As humans, true love is our lifeblood, and we need it to nourish our minds, bodies, and souls.
Here are three steps to opening your heart again after a painful breakup:
In the book "A Return to Love" Marianne Williamson says, "Love is within us. It cannot be destroyed, but can only be hidden." If you fear the pain of a past relationship is going to destroy your chances of finding love again, remember that this is impossible. You can never lose love; you can only lose sight of it.
Copyright © 2015 by Courtney DeVon. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Courtney Devon, is a Certified Relationship Coach for Singles. In her private practice, The Intuitive Dating Coach, she guides men and women to uncover and heal their internal blocks to attracting genuine love, so they can finally find and keep the relationship they've always dreamed of.
Can I Learn To Trust Again?
I have had a few long term relationships that ended up in the person cheating on me. The betrayal took a real toll on me and being able to trust someone. I am always feeling paranoid that I am being cheated on again. Because I vowed to never fall for lies again, I am always on the defensive.
I hate that I can't trust anyone and am sure it is sabotaging future relationships. Can I learn to trust again?
- Anonymous from UK
Barbara responds ...
Yes, you can learn to trust again!
It is imperative that you learn to trust yourself and your own judgment. What have these relationships shown or taught you about yourself? I'm sure if you look back on when you were in these "long term relationships" there were all sorts of red flags and other warnings that you either ignored, or just let slide; for whatever reason. If you can acknowledge this, it can be a huge awakening for you in moving forward. You are the first to know when something or someone is not right for you. Trust that!
You don't necessarily need to understand it at the time; just trust it. Spend time getting to know, like, trust, and love you for who you are. When you do, you won't allow yourself to be in a relationship with anyone else who doesn't. We teach people how to treat us. So learn how to love on you, so those you bring into your space will do the same; or else, be gone. I hope this helps and starts you on a beautiful journey of self-love and setting healthy boundaries."
Barbara A. Williams | www.barbaraannwilliams.com
Lori responds ...
Feeling deceived can feel like a violation to the heart. In order to truly love someone and feel loved in return we have to open our heart, which leaves us vulnerable to being hurt by that person and vice versa.
You could hurt them either knowingly, or unknowingly. For what ever reason you are attracting people who are cheaters. Some people cheat and its a pattern for them, and some people find it against their moral code.
I would suggest writing out your ideal vision for a loving respectful relationship. What qualities do you require in your life mate? Write out as much detail as you can think of. How would this person look at you, talk to you, where would you be living. What activities would you do. How would you feel most of the time when with this person? Are you wanting to be truly loved? If so, what would that look like? In order to have something you have to first know what it looks like and feels like.
Keep this vision in your mind while putting your fears on a shelf. Each time your fears creep back in, imagine putting them in a scrap book and placing it on a shelf. You may have to do this many times. It takes practice to change a pattern of thinking. We attract what we think about.
Also, practice saying positive statements to yourself each day. Write them on paper and say them to yourself or even out loud. This too becomes a habit after awhile. We all have an inner critic and it takes practice to tame it.
Lori Beals | 317-683-8064
Denise responds ...
Definition of betrayal: "not acting responsibly with the confidence placed in another; to uphold a sacred commitment between two reliable parties."
Is there any chance that you offer up trust prematurely, in an attempt to rush into the commitment stage of a relationship, by fast forwarding through the natural progression of bonding and character testing that requires time and patience?
This is done by having sex prematurely, disclosing too much personal intimate information prematurely, dating people not aligned with common values, creating an instant exclusive relationship with someone who has an agenda such as sex, money, or convenience. I encourage you not to judge yourself, just notice as a neutral observer.
Perhaps you assumed you were in a committed relationship when in actuality the other party never agreed to this. Perhaps you're prone to believing someone's words, when in actuality a person's consistent actions reveal their true values, true intentions, and true character.
Giving away our trust requires first setting up appropriate healthy sexual, emotional, financial, and physical boundaries. Second allow yourself time to test their consistency and integrity before giving away trust. Does this personís actions match their words time and time again?
Denise Wade Ph.D. | www.sweetharmony.net
Judith responds ...
You say you had fallen for lies. Do you mean they had made it clear that they were dating you exclusively?
Or did they only tell you they loved you, cared about you and then dated others at the same time, while all the while you assumed they meant they were exclusive?
The reason I am asking, is because there seems to be a great deal of confusion amongst daters about the level of commitment they can expect from their partners. There is not much discussion around where on the commitment continuum each is, and a lot of assumptions are made.
If you felt committed but never asked your partner if he was, only assumed he was, he may have felt free to go our with other women. If he hadn't told you explicitly that he would not be dating anyone else, you couldn't say you had been lied to.
So how can you avoid another heartbreak? You can make sure you are on the same page with your partner by talking it over.
The best way to learn to trust again is by promising yourself to keep your heart until someone is truly committed to you
Judith Halmai | www.TheHigherWay.info
Kemi responds ...
Trust is a gradual process to gain back after it's been lost. Focus on the lessons learned from the previous relationships. Think about what led to you being betrayed and cheated on. Is there something you are doing wrong?
Sometimes, we need to learn to trust ourselves before trusting others. How much do you love and trust yourself? Sometimes our expectations of others tend to be around what we need to work on in our lives.
Once you learn to trust yourself and realign your expectations around your needs and not wants, it'll be easier to trust yourself first, then to trust in someone else.
You'll also realize some of the warning signs, once you utilize the lessons learned from previous relationships.
Kemi Sogunle | www.kemisogunle.com
The opinions stated are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the staff, members, or leadership of Relationship Coaching Institute.
This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your question here www.relationshipcoach.org/ask-the-coach and it will be forwarded to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.
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