I despise (because I don't like to use the term hate) to see people dive into a relationship, but fail to empty their luggage from the previous relationship.
Would you go on a vacation with the same luggage you took on a previous trip? Essentially, you would not go on a trip to Colorado with the same luggage packed for Los Angeles, without unpacking it first and making sure you have everything you need right?
So WHY would you think going into a relationship without properly unpacking from the previous relationship would be a good idea?
We must take the time to properly unpack after a breakup so that we can go into a new relationship with a new mindset, new motivation, no fears, and no expectations.
If you haven't had a chance to read my post Break-up Management 101, do yourself a favor, take a pause, read it, and then return to this post.
Well, that's because these two posts will go hand in hand.
Now the first thing to note is if you managed to use the tools/information provided in Break-up Management 101, then you probably won't need to unpack. If you've successfully managed your break-up, when you are ready to embark on a new relationship, you will have properly processed the old one.
But for many of us, whether we read that post or not, we still have a hard time "unpacking" before entering a new relationship, so...
HERE ARE 5 STEPS YOU NEED TO KNOW, TO SUCCESSFULLY UNPACK FROM YOUR PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIP!
ONE: PREP FOR UNPACKING
You know how when you come from vacation you typically look at your suitcase for about a day or so before you attempt to unpack? Those 2-3 days are your preparation for the task. The same applies when you get out of a relationship.
In hindsight, your prep may take a week, a month, or for some even a year, but when you're ready to unpack, you're ready to deal with all of the dirty laundry, storage of any purchases, and put away all unused items, etc...
When you get out of a relationship it's important to give yourself time to accept what is, process the loss, and/or change.
TWO: UNZIP AND REMINISCE
Ever notice that when you're unpacking you may smile and/or go deep in thought about all the memories from the trip?
If so, that's what step two is all about, allowing yourself time to reflect. This step is essentially your reflection and growth phase. When you allow yourself to reflect on the good and the bad, you can think about all the lessons you've learned, all the things you loved about your ex that you'd want in a new one, and all the things you despise, that you'd never seek in the next partner. You give yourself a chance to put in perspective why you are single and explore your faults as well as your partners. At that time, you get to choose to change to be better, and or accept what is!
THREE: DO THE LAUNDRY
Would you put away dirty clothes with clean clothes? No right! So why would you want to go into a new relationship thinking about someone old or doing the same old things?
Step three encourages you to "do the laundry", and cleanse yourself from the previous relationship. Free yourself from all the old memories, any negativity, and bad vibes.
Forgive your partner for any hurt they may have caused you. And forgive yourself for anything you identified that you did wrong.
Again, FORGIVE YOURSELF!
Because if you don't, you will just go into the new relationship bitter and insecure. And we all know that relationship may not last very long...
FOUR: PUT AWAY THE UNUSED ITEMS
Often when unpacking, we don't realize how much we did not use while on vacation. In the context of relationships, you want to consider all things not explored, tools unused, and places you did not allow yourself to go. Then identify and classify those items as either tools unused, but necessary or things we learned we didn't have to default to.
For those who need an example, say you went on a sightseeing trip, packed a camera, but forgot the camera in your suitcase every day, or refused to use the camera because it was too heavy to carry.
We do things like this all the time in relationships. Forget to use tools that we have at our disposal. We forget to recognize that we are capable of being patient and that our partner could benefit from seeing that side of us, but we are never patient because in the moments we need to be, we choose to be selfish. However, in hindsight, if we had been patient, we could have salvaged the relationship.
This step allows us to identify the things we didn't use and or refused to use in previous relationships, that may have been essential to making that relationship last. But once you identify those things, don't beat yourself up, just accept that fault and agree to use them moving forward.
FIVE: ZIP AND PUT AWAY THE EMPTY SUITCASE
By the time you get to step five, you should have come to terms with the end of the relationship and be properly prepared to put away that empty suitcase, in preparation for the next trip (or new relationship).
You should be eager to zip it up stress-free and eagerly anticipate the next time you get to use it, with no regret, fear, or anxiety.
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