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Stuck, Stuck, Loose: Free Yourself from Past Dating Traps

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Think your ex was The One? Paralyzed by the fear that you don’t have what it takes to get love right? Obsessed with how much time you’ve wasted in relationship after relationship that just never works out? Whether you’re suddenly single or perpetually minus a Plus One at parties, what follows are some of the most common traps that keep women firmly focused on the past instead of getting excited about their amazing futures. See which traps resonate most with you:


Trap #1: You’re stuck in what could have been
Do thoughts of “What could have been” keep you up at night? Are you haunted by the disappointment you feel at what your future could have looked like but never quite materialized? If you’re nodding your head right about now, I get it. I’ve been there. And so have so many others just like you. As women, we’re genetically and socially wired to want certain things: a home, someone to love, possibly a family. When a relationship ends, it’s like a part of our soul dies. The disappointment in ourselves and our inability to make love work can stifle any hopes of moving into our amazing future. But guess what? It’s time to turn down the volume on that pain and disappointment. It’s time to accept that for whatever reason, things didn’t work. You did your very best. In fact, I know you did more than your share to ensure relationship success. You don’t have to know why the relationship ended in order to move on. But you do have to give yourself permission to stop looking over your shoulder, stop obsessing about “What could’ve been,” and instead reacquaint yourself with your present circumstances, freeing yourself up to walk step by step into that magnificent future.


Trap #2: You feel like a failure at love
When you look back at past relationships and see that the only two common denominators are you and the fact that the relationship ended, it’s easy to fall into the false assumption that you must be a failure at love. And while it’s true that you participated in each and every one of those past relationships, it’s also true that there was something about each of those relationships that worked for you at the time. On some level (emotionally, spiritually, sexually, etc.), you got something out of it. And you stayed because that need was being fulfilled.


The truth is, you are not a failure at love. If you apply the lessons you’re learning from past relationships to your future, you’ll never again repeat those same issues, patterns, and mistakes. In fact, if you apply the Goldilocks principle to your next relationship, learning from what did and didn’t work in the past, you may even get it “just right” next time!


Trap #3: You feel like you wasted time in the relationship
When you look in the rearview mirror of your last relationship, do you:


A. Kick yourself for staying too long
B. Feel like you wasted weeks, months, years of your life that you’ll never get back
C. Worry that your ex still has time to get everything he wants, but it’s too late for you
D. All of the above


Whether you chose A., B., C., or D., the good news is that it’s never too late to be true to yourself.


Did you stay longer than you should have in the wrong relationship? Maybe. But you probably still had lessons to learn. Can you recoup those so-called wasted weeks, months, years? Not literally, but cosmically, yes. How? By learning your lessons, promising to never again repeat patterns and habits that no longer work for you, and by remaining consistently committed to your amazing future. If you commit to your successful future, you will never again waste time on the wrong guy.


Trap #4: You feel lost
If you spent most of your last relationship catering to your ex’s every need, don’t beat yourself up for being too accommodating. Celebrate the fact that you’ve got a lot of love to give. Moving forward, why not put all of that amazing love and attention on your own interests, your own needs, your own self nurturing? That way, you’ll never again get lost in a relationship, living solely for the purpose of helping your partner get everything they want and need, all the while feeling suffocated, isolated, and/or under-appreciated. Truthfully, in a healthy and happy relationship, wants and needs are a two-way street. You take care of yourself AND your partner, and vice versa. Love that! In the meantime, focus all that love and attention on Y-O-U.


Trap #5: You’re scared to be single
When it comes to being single, what scares you the most? Standing on your own two feet? Not having a date on Saturday night? Never dating again? Never meeting your perfect partner, falling in love, and experiencing your very own version of happily ever after? All of the above? The truth is, you ARE worthy of love, warts and all. Your happily ever after still exists. It’s just up to you to redefine it. In the meantime, it’s okay to be scared to be single. It may be new and unfamiliar territory, but guess what? As uncomfortable as it can sometimes feel, being single is also a gift and a blessing. And in time, you may just discover that you actually enjoy being single.


Which of the five traps above resonates most with you? Can you see how being stuck in those traps is holding you back? If so, give yourself permission to set yourself free and move on. Good luck and happy man-ifesting!

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