Rule #1. Leave a significant amount of time between leaving one relationship and even thinking about creating another.
It takes a lot more time than you think to energetically disengage from the previous relationship, especially if it was deep and long-standing and even more especially if the separation was painful. If children were involved, the problem becomes even more compounded. If you leap straight into another relationship, the chances are very high that you will take into the new relationship all the unresolved issues you had in the old one, recreating the very same set of dynamics that might have been the cause of the break up in the last relationship.
I realize, of course, that in many cases meeting another person and falling in love with him or her may have precipitated the breakup. In that case, there might already be a new relationship in existence even before the old one is finished. Nevertheless, a wise couple will still arrange things so that each has a chance to live alone for a good while before moving in with each other. I would suggest at least 6 months and better yet one year for the reasons I give in Rule #4, below.
Men seem to have the greatest need to replace as quickly as possible and often will force an earlier hook-up than wisdom would normally dictate. He will be even more urgent if he is looking for a mother for his children, assuming he has any. So it will probably be the woman who has to resist the urge to move in together and to insist on having the amount of time she needs to be alone. If he is not willing to allow that, then that should be a red flag anyway. He’s not worth having.
Rule #2. Do the forgiveness work on your previous partner before you begin manifesting a new one.
And I don’t mean just doing one Radical Forgiveness worksheet. You keep doing them until there is no energy left in the situation; no anger; no resentment; no jealousy; no pain; no regrets. This takes some work, obviously, but if you want your new relationship to work, it is essential that you release all those energies. This is why you need to have a lot of time on your own to do this work and to know who you are before you create the new one. There are many people who have never lived on their own for any length of time and, therefore, have no idea who they are, separate from another. How can you expand into Love if you don’t know who you are and feel less than whole without a partner?
Even if it has been a number of years since your last relationship ended and you have been wanting to manifest a new one for a while now, you may still need to do the forgiveness work on your previous partner. The fact that you may still have some energy left in the old relationship may be the very reason why you haven’t been able to attract the new one.
Rule #3. Be clear about what you want and don’t want in a relationship.
If you are already a member of our Radical Living Association, use the online questionnaire and the “Creating a New Relationship Worksheet” located on the membership site to establish your values and your boundaries. Get very clear on them and resolve never to compromise on them.
If you’re not a member, then just make a very exhaustive list of what you want and don’t want. Put a lot of thought into listing all the attributes you want to have in the person. Think long and hard about what you feel are the most important things you will want in your relationship.
Rule #4. Scope your partner out over a period of at least 6 months before committing. Be a detective.
At first, the person you attract into your life may seem absolutely perfect. The problem is that once you have reached a certain stage of intimacy (into-me-see), and you have become hooked, the person begins to reveal the real man or woman behind the mask. Suddenly the person becomes quite opposite to what you thought and the relationship starts to seem like a disaster. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the story of someone finding their ‘soul-mate’— the perfect partner who is loving and caring and then after six months they turn into a tyrant. There’s a reason why this happens, but that’s a whole other story. Just be warned that it is a very common scenario.
So, if you begin dating someone, stay alive to this possibility and do not commit to a fully fledged relationship until you have reached this stage in the relationship where you each have become comfortable enough with each other that you begin to be real. Then watch out for any changes in his or her behavior. They may be subtle at first, but there might be an outburst or two that will give you a hint of what may come later.
One of my clients who had experienced this ‘personality switch,’ a couple of times and felt determined not to have it happen again, called the man’s ex-wife and asked her what he was like deep down. His ex-wife was only too happy to tell her everything – both good and bad. She learned a lot from her, and they actually became quite good friends as a result. My client eventually married the guy, and it turned out fine. This is a risky strategy, but it is one way of finding out whether there is a hidden side to this person. You really don’t know anyone until you live with them, so it’s worth asking someone who has done so before you risk it yourself.
These rules can be challenging, but the stakes are high. You’re investing a great deal of energy into creating the new relationship. Give yourself the gifts of time and clarity to make sure you’re investing wisely.
PS. One of the new tools that members of the Radical Living Association received last month was the “I Am Ready for a New Committed Relationship” questionnaire, and the response has been very positive. People say it helps them sort through distractions and focus on what’s really important.
Of course, RLA members have access to tools that strengthen current relationships too. Click here to read about them and join the Radical Living Association.