Rachel Russo, 01.01.2016

Getting over an ex: how to become emotionally available

A lot of singles wonder what it is that the men and women they are interested in dating are really looking for in a match.

In addition to good looks, charm, a sense of humour, and the brains to carry on a conversation, most people are looking for someone who is relationship-oriented. After all, it is pretty difficult to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t want to be in one!  Therefore, in the land of matchmaking, emotionally availability is king. That’s right: In order to form a successful romantic partnership, it is important that you have the ability to form an emotional connection.

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Rebuilding after a breakup

If you are interested in becoming more desirable as a single, you have to make sure you present yourself as someone who is ready and willing to have a relationship. Indeed, the biggest threat to your emotional availability is an attachment to an ex. Unfortunately, a lot of people do not learn from their breakups and stay stuck in the past. This is a shame, as a breakup provides an incredible opportunity to learn from your past relationship, so that you can find a better fit and build your character. Post breakup, you have the chance to rebuild yourself even stronger than before, so that you are someone who can contribute to a great partnership in the near future.

READ MORE: How to improve your love life - 5 tips to get you started

Getting over an ex: analyse what went wrong

One way to become more emotionally available is to analyse your past relationship(s) and identify patterns or trends. Your strategy for finding the truth will be to sit down, do some thinking, and make some lists. You need to see everything in black and white to distinguish between the parts of your relationship that were reality and the parts that were fantasy. First, create a list that describes who your ex really was in the relationship. You should remember your worst times including forgotten birthdays, belligerently drunk shenanigans, and the whole antipasto. Recall your ex’s most irritating habits—the ones that made you cringe and contemplate a break up every time you experienced them. Oh, and take a moment for gratitude while you are at it, because the annoying way your ex did (blank) will never annoy you again!  Your second list should be about who you fantasised your ex was. Lastly, you should make another list about the person you want to date in the future. Get specific so that you can attract the right match for you. You’ll have a lot of comparing and contrasting to do if you really dissect your past relationship, and this will help you in your search for love.

READ MORE: Dating and relationship advice especially for women!

Learning from past mistakes

If you don’t sit down with a pen and paper, you run the risk of keeping everything jumbled up in your head. If you don’t detangle and learn from your mistakes, you’ll just make them again with someone else.  A really helpful strategy in making sense of it all is to write down all the facts and events that took place since you met your ex. You should record all major interaction leading up to the breakup. If you have an inkling that you may be leaving things out or misconstruing what really happened, you need to check yourself. If you’ve kept a journal throughout the relationship, you can go back and reread your past entries for clarity.  If you were seeing a therapist or coach when you were with your ex, you can ask him or her to offer some perspective. If you don’t have these luxuries, you can talk to your friends and family in order to validate the truth. Go through your list with your best friend, and see if your list matches up with his or her view. After a breakup, you have a lot of questions to answer, and it doesn’t hurt to get several other opinions. Once you fill in your blanks and figure out what really happened with your past partner, you’ll be more emotionally available for your future partner.

READ MORE: Looking for love: what makes you attractive?

It is only after you have overcome the weaknesses and threats to finding and keeping a healthy love that you are ready to focus on highlighting your strengths as you meet other singles. Without a doubt, emotional availability is one of them!

Rachel Russo is a US-based Dating, Relationship, & Image Coach. To learn more about her soon-to-launch-book, How to Get Over Your Ex: A Step by Step Guide to Mend a Broken Heart—Italian American Style, check out her website at www.RachelRusso.com

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