Girl Talk: Learn from your past mistakes but don’t let them define you
By the time you reach your thirties, chances are you have had your heart broken once or twice. The path to discovering the traits you need in a mate are shaped as you stumble along the bumpy road of dating. How do you learn the lessons from the mistakes of your past without letting them make you jaded?
Time and again, you often hear people comparing their new love interests to their ex, for better or worse. Ex-boyfriend number 34 had red hair and was a cheater, so all red heads are likely cheaters. Bad date number 79 had really bad breath after eating Thai food, so, in the future, people vow to never date at Thai restaurants again. We make lists, sometimes consciously, other times subconsciously about qualifiers and disqualifiers as we look for our perfect life partner.
Packing that baggage and bringing it with you to your new relationships can often do more harm than good. Instead of giving people a fair chance at something great, people tend to throw those misconceptions and tainted thoughts from the past toward these new prospects. A bad break-up can leave a bad taste in your mouth, but if you aren’t willing to rinse it out and start with a clean palate, you might be missing out on something truly sweet.
So how do we go into something new unjaded?
First and foremost, it is extremely important to make sure that you are over your ex before starting something new. Going into a new relationship when still harboring feelings for someone else is not fair to the new person or to yourself. You aren’t giving the person the opportunity to have your whole heart, and you aren’t giving yourself the time you need to heal.
Whether you admit it or not, you do need time to repair and grow as an individual before you start looking for your next love interest. People who have the “on to the next one” attitude are never really ready to commit to something serious and are only playing the game and wasting people’s time.
Learn your lessons and grow from your past but don’t let it define you. People who go into new relationships blaming the person they are with for the wrongs of the past will never be able to find their happiness. Stay positive, and look forward to the new adventures on your path. No one ever made any progress by splashing in their ex’s potholes.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live and WBRE.