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A new relationship – What exactly is “Ready”?

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Lately I have been asking myself the question:  Am I ready to have another relationship?

What does it mean to be “ready” I’m not sure I know.

What I do know is that I wouldn’t change anything about my journey over the past two years.  Choosing to heal first has allowed me to discover so many things about my personality, areas I need to make self improvements on and what my role was in the ending of my marriage.

Yes, there were many nights of tears and role playing all the things I never actually said to him.  My mirror had the starring role of my ex many times! But there were also many times of self discovery.  Moments of sudden clarity on an issue that I had previously blamed on his failure as a husband, was actually clearly attributable to some internal struggle I had been facing at that moment.  By not giving me the verbal or physical response I needed at that time, my mind deducted him a point and labelled him uncaring or judgemental.

I like those little moments of clarity.  It is in those moments I know I am healing.

While my day to day life has gotten back to normal and even improved in some ways, there is still the matter of my heart.  That deep place inside your soul that only a select few people get to visit.  For me, it was a place I held very tight, until I found real love.  Then without even knowing or trying, I gave it all away to him.  It’s something I will never regret because feeling true, unconditional love is a strength and beauty that can change a person forever.  But when it was all over, I was left with my heart in pieces and no glue.  So started the ordeal of rebuilding, re prioritizing and redesigning my ability to love again.  So this get’s me back to my original question: Am I ready to have another relationship?

The answer for me is yes AND no.

First let me tell you why I say no.  A big part of a good relationship is compromising. This may mean compromising on a small issue like what to eat for dinner or a big issue like buying a car or a house.  It’s all about taking the other person’s interests and feelings in to account and sometimes putting those above your own.  Since I’ve been alone I have been forced to be the only financial contributor to my household, identify and make repairs as needed on my home or my car and be directly responsible for my success or failure in this world.  There’s no one to lean on, rely on or consider.  And you know what?  I don’t hate it.

As a mother and a wife my role was to run my house and while I didn’t always do the best job, I put my personal wants and needs aside to do what was best for them. Over the past two years I have had to make all of the hard decisions on my own but I also get to experience some of the joy and excitement in being able to listen and take action on what I want.  Am I ready to give some of that up?  Is there a balance? I don’t know.

Now for the yes.  I feel pretty again.  Climbing up out of that dark hole of being separated from the only life I really knew was a long hard road of self doubt and self hatred.  For a while after I could barely look at myself.  I was a failure.  He didn’t want me and he was supposed to be my soul mate so why would anyone else want me?

Day by day though I found myself again.  At first it was just an odd smile here or there but eventually laughter rejoined me.  That black cloud that loomed over me ever day thinned away and was replaced with blue sky.  I started to look at myself a little more each day until I was able to not only look at her but take pleasure in what looked back at me.  Welcome back Ann.  I’ve missed you.

I believe that I can contribute to a relationship now.  I am present and am actually a little excited about sharing my space and time with someone who makes me smile.  Someone who will wrap their arms around me, tell me how much they care and make me feel like I am the only girl in the world.

I am not broken.  I am forever changed but I’m here.

So while right now I would rather walk barefoot over hot coals then get remarried, I am now both nervous and excited about what awaits down the road.  Road trip!

So what is the definition of ready?  Is there a personal check list that needs to be filled out before we can take on the responsibility of being a significant other?

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