One thing we can all agree on: In the world we live in, there is no shortage of information, input and advice … and no shortage of people dispensing it. An abundance of relationship experts and love gurus offer tips and rules for successfully pursuing romance. Some of this advice is very helpful; some, not so much. (We hope our articles fall into the helpful category!)
All of that said, the best advice about your love life might come from a source you are tempted to overlook: YOU. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else does, you understand your past joys and struggles, and you’ve gained insights into romance and relationships over the years. So while taking in guidance from wise counselors, be sure to heed the wisdom that comes from yourself.
Honestly assess your dating history. Lots of people look back on former relationships and remember only the enjoyable, ecstatic moments. Others dwell only on the headaches and heartaches. Recognizing both the positives and negatives will help keep things in perspective — and help you let go of the past more easily and to move forward with wisdom.
Understand your dating fears. Nearly everyone has fear when it comes to dating: fear of rejection, fear of getting duped, fear of getting stuck in a dead-end relationship. Sometimes these fears serve as a helpful safeguard; sometimes they prevent us from taking risks that have huge upside potential. Is your fear based on actual danger, or is it fueled by old baggage you’ve yet to unpack and unload? Understanding where your fear comes from may lead to guidance worth following.
Identify lessons learned that will help in future relationships. What insights can you discern that will enable you to avoid trouble next time around? Nearly every experience — difficult or delightful — teaches us something. Seek to gain a clearer picture of what you need in a partner and what you want to avoid. Learning from the good experiences and the bad ones will make you a wiser dating partner in the future.
Write out the advice to yourself. No doubt you’ve picked up lots of dos and don’ts along the way — hard-earned rules of the road on the journey toward lasting love. Clarify your thoughts by writing your own advice and lessons learned in a journal. Create your own principles for success, and review them often.
Take time to explore your own inner world … you may find that the best advice about love and romance for you comes from within.