By Rosalind Sedacca, CCT
1. Beware of unresolved baggage from former relationships – yours as well as his! Emotional scars and wounds from your past can easily sabotage any new relationship. Identify unresolved feelings of anger, hurt, guilt and disappointment still haunting you and accept these feelings as lessons learned. It then becomes easier to move on. Avoid remnants of “fairy-tale” thinking still lurking in your psyche. This can be dangerous for any relationship because it’s impossible for anyone to “be” Prince Charming. It’s not your partner’s job to make you happy. It is your responsibility to love and value yourself and to make yourself happy. Dependency and neediness are not attractive qualities. It is also an illusion to assume any one person can meet all your needs. So don’t expect it.
2. Don’t lose yourself when finding a partner. Co-dependency is about giving control of your life to another. You must be capable of orchestrating your own life without being smothered or discounted. Be alert to behaviors in your partner that are signs of impending abuse. Too quick attachment, intense jealousy, mood swings, anger issues, verbal threats or distorted accusations are the “red flags” that spell caution. When one partner “owns” all the power and exerts control over the relationship, the other partner feels intimidated, insecure and often fearful. If your partner won’t relinquish control of the relationship – and treats you more like his property than his one-and-only, now is the time for you to look for a better relationship fit.
3. Never sacrifice who you are for the sake of your partner. While it’s always important to be flexible in your relationship, don’t sacrifice the values, beliefs and standards that are important to you – and make you who you are. Compromise is a wonderful quality; selling your soul is too high a price to pay for being in a relationship! Maintain your individual interests, including friends, activities and professional goals. Your partner should never make you feel uncomfortable about expressing your needs, desires and aspirations. Healthy relationships thrive on more than just passion. They are based on balance. If you are giving up your integrity to please your partner, if you’re pressured to stop seeing your family, loving your pets, or doing things that used to bring you joy, perhaps you should do some inner probing, reassess your relationship’s balance and question whether you’re with the right partner.
Keep these tips in mind and your next relationship will be based on a sound foundation for success!
Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, is a Dating & Relationship Coach and co-author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! To receive a complimentary ebook, Smart Dating Advice for Women Over 40: Answers to Your Most-Asked Questions, along with a Tip of the Week which spans every facet of dating success — from preparing for your first date to determining whether your partner is a “keeper” — visit www.womendatingafter40.com .