Being single isn't easy.  It can be lonely, right? Days like Valentine's Day seem to rub it in your face mercilessly. When I was suddenly single after being widowed, I had some things to learn before I could ever move on and entertain dating. I had a lot to learn about myself and it was necessary to set some firm boundaries 

with 

myself and 

for 

myself.

Singleness might not seem so appealing especially if you've been that way for awhile. But finding a mate out of loneliness or desperation will never end well, but it likely will indeed end. I wanted to share some valuable lessons I learned and dish up some food for thought.

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  • Learn what missteps you took in previous relationships.  No matter how a love relationship ends, neither party was perfect. Certainly, the lion's share of the blame can lay with the one who was abusive or unfaithful. You may have been like me and was faithful to the bitter end, tolerating far more than any human should. But even so, there are things I could learn about myself that I could do better. There were ways maybe I was immature or disrespectful and I needed to take myself to task over those things so I didn't repeat them in another relationship.
  • Deal with your insecurities.  Whatever may have been done to hurt you in past relationships, you cannot carry those things into the next relationship. You can't punish your new love for something your old love did. Of course, you will be sensitive to certain things like your potential new mate working late or having a password on his or her phone, if your previous mate was unfaithful. Certain words or harmless teasing may be a hot button for you or evoke a past hurt.  If they're deeply ingrained in you and take more time to overcome, be prepared to discuss it once you're in a new relationship.  Chances are, we all have insecurities or sensitivities because we've all been hurt. Being willing to discuss those so the other person is aware so they don't do or say things that will draw out those past feelings, will make a world of difference.

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