What is reflection? – We Don’t Learn From Experience, We Learn From Reflecting On Experience — John Dewey.
Self-reflection is defined as a mental process you can use to increase your understanding of who you are, what your values are, and why you think, feel, and act the way that you do.
What has shaped you into the lovely person you are today? Understanding who you are and where are you at in the dating process is beneficial before beginning to date effectively.
Ask yourself these questions
- What were the things I liked and the things I disliked about my previous partner/spouse?
- Why did the relationship end? Was it one sided? Was there compromise? Was there a betrayal of some kind? And if so, why did that take place?
- Do I blame myself?
- Do I blame my previous partner?
- Am I still thinking about them on a consistent basis? If this is the case, then there is some reflection that needs to take place before the dating process begins.
- Are outside sources making me feel guilty about dating again? This could be because of a partner passing away, or what will my children think.
All of these questions can consume our minds when we begin the journey of the re-dating process.
Accepting of the past and moving on
The one thing that remains true is that our hearts have the infinite capacity to love, and to receive love if we are accepting. Accepting of the past, accepting of the decisions we have made that have brought us here today. And welcoming of the future that is in store for our relationships.
We mostly all share the same wants, and concerns
Can I open my heart up to the right person, what does the right person look like for me? And who am I right now? Maybe I have never really dated, maybe I am a divorcee, maybe I am raising my children, maybe I am a widow, maybe I thought my last partner was the one and they weren’t.
We all learn things from our past relationships that we can bring into the present to identify what it is that we are truly looking for in a spouse. The dating journey can feel different depending on where we are at in the present moment. If we allow ourselves to truly reflect on our values, we can identify what it is that is important to find in a potential partner. Reflecting is the first step, internally we can start the process and then we can navigate into dating effectively.
Identifying your “dealbreakers”
Dating effectively involves first the reflection, then identifying the must haves and the must nots. The must-nots are your “dealbreakers” the factors that you just could not consider or compromise on. Identifying these is crucial so we don’t begin to date while “wasting time”and looking at previous relationships really helps here.
Maybe your past partner did not have the same lifestyle, or your communication was misaligned. Identifying these must-nots will help you to discover what your must-haves are. I often hear “well I don’t want to narrow it down”, but keep in mind if you are looking for one person, it’s only one you need. One of my favorite quotes talks about dating, and how it is like finding a needle in a haystack, to which the author responds “bring a magnet!”. The point in this is if you want to attract the right one, don’t be afraid to narrow the search.
Don’t be afraid to keep looking. There is someone for everyone
To date with intention you can try using the SMART approach which involves being self-compassionate, mindful, authentic, refined, and tactful. And give this some thought, the dating journey is supposed to be exciting. If every person or date was for you, you would have a million spouses and this is not the point of dating. Have you ever sat down at a blackjack table and won every single time. Chances are, probably not. And that is okay!
In the world of dating, we only have to win once. If you are hopeful, you are ready. If you are excited, you are ready. If you are nervous, you are normal. If you are dreading the thought of even going on a date because it is just too overwhelming and there is not a single part of you that feels even the least bit excited to be here, then reflection needs to take priority, and that is okay! Only you get to decide if you are in the right place to start the journey. If you are feeling confident, excited, a tad nervous, but willing to open your heart to the possibilities then you are in the right mindset to begin the dating journey once again.
If you’d like to know more about how working with a matchmaker can help you find your one-and-only, Maclynn is a boutique, multi-award-winning introductions agency with offices in California, New York, New Jersey, and London. We’re world-renowned for bringing together highly compatible singles within our vast network of attractive, intelligent professionals, and our matchmakers are relationship experts in their own right. Get in touch