Starting a new relationship can be magical; a whirlwind of excitement between two new lovers. The thrill of getting to know each other, the butterflies, the anticipation of what the future holds for you as a couple. Yet starting a new relationship can have a dark side; the guilt.
Perhaps you’ve been betrayed, rejected or abused by your previous partner. Maybe your loved one passed away and you’ve struggled with grief. You may have decided to end your last relationship and are dealing with the consequences. Children and grandchildren may even be in the picture giving you other people to consider.
There’s a number of reasons why people feel guilty about starting a new relationship, but should you feel sinful for looking for a new romance? In short, probably not. As we get older and gain more responsibilities, we tend to put our own happiness on the backburner when it comes to love, especially after a death, divorce or split. Many mature men and women unjustly feel remorseful about satisfying their natural needs and putting themselves back on the dating scene.
If you are feeling guilt concerning starting a new relationship, ask yourself – am I prepared to start dating again? Before you even consider what your ex, friends or family might think or say, it is important to determine if you are completely ready to enter the world of dating again. These five questions may help you to decipher whether your bad conscience is justified, or if you’re beating yourself up unnecessarily.
- Who are you? If you’re newly single, you’ve likely suffered a great loss. Whether it be through separation, divorce or death, you’ve gone from being in a partnership to flying solo. It’s time to pick up the pieces and rediscover the real you. As much as we like to believe that we remain independent and true to ourselves in a relationship, we sometimes lose a part of us; compromising our wants and needs to cater for our partner or family.Now is the perfect moment to embrace the person you are and really look after number one. Once you’ve spent ample time being single, you will realise what is truly important in your life and this help to define what it is you’re looking for. Rushing from one relationship to another can be catastrophic; it is essential that you take the You time to clarify who you are and what you want.
- Do you need a partner to make you happy? If you answered yes, you are not ready to date again just yet. As previously stated, it is important for you to regain your independence and enjoy being you with yourself. Tap back into your hobbies and interests, spend time with people who make you laugh, treat yourself, have fun, live your Only You can make You happy. Once you’re comfortable with yourself and honestly love yourself, only then will you be able to find a meaningful, healthy, loving relationship with another.Have you really let go? Not truly letting go can cause men and women alike a whole world of unnecessary grief and guilt. Whether your ex has passed away or you’re now divorced, it is critical that you accept you are no longer an item as you once were. If there’s still a little part of you that holds on to your ex, you may feel like you’re betraying them.
- You may feel like your children, your ex’s children, family and friends are judging you – and this is a horrible torturous feeling! As long as you have given yourself (and your family) enough time to come to terms with the loss of the relationship, and you have spent adequate time on yourself, there is no reason for you to feel guilty. We are never too old to find love a second, third, forth – whatever – time around. Just take your time, let go, say goodbye, and move on.
- Have you let the pain run its course? After a divorce, separation or death, we have many feelings from upset to anger, frustration to heartache and everything in between. It’s vital that you allow yourself to experience your feelings in order for you to heal. Bottling up resentment or sorrow will inevitably come back to haunt you and restrict you from moving on and finding true happiness. Talking about your feelings or writing down your emotions can help in releasing yourself and enabling you to start fresh.Are you ready to meet someone completely new? If you step back onto the dating scene looking for a carbon copy of your ex, you’re not ready. If everyone you meet you subconsciously measure against your ex, you’re not ready. As previously mentioned; let go! It’s all too easy to romanticize our past relationships and magically forget our ex’s annoying habits, bad manners and irritating flaws.
By all means, remember your ex fondly if you can, but never judge a new potential partner based on past experiences. It’s not fair to them, start each new date with a clean slate. On the other hand, don’t allow bad past relationship experiences to taint your new one. You may have been hurt, tricked, abused, neglected, lied to, stolen from, cheated on – as difficult as it is, you must learn from whatever it is your ex did to you, and move on. Rebuilding your trust after a toxic relationship can be hard, but try to see the best in others and don’t allow your past to shadow your present.
Feeling guilty about starting a new relationship is all too common, especially amongst the mature singles, but don’t allow guilt to determine your future happiness. When you are truly ready to begin dating again, you will know. Listen to your heart and may all of your dreams come true.