You Can Learn to Trust Again After a Bad Breakup
Give love a second chance
Going through a breakup, particularly a messy one, can leave emotional scars that aren't easily healed. If you find yourself stuck in an angry, unforgiving space after a relationship ends, it is possible to heal yourself.
Our relationship experts share their advice on how you can move on and learn to trust again.
Let the past stay there
Don't let past experiences stand in your way or block your opportunity to trust again. While you want to be cautious, you cannot let it take over.
"Caging the hurt/pain/anger/fear/emotion/resentment will negatively affect future relationships because you are holding onto the past," said Deborah Graham, author of "Get Your Head Out of Your App" and star of TLC's Psychic Matchmaker.
"Ask yourself what lesson you learned from the experience and thank that person for coming into your life and giving you the lesson to help for your next relationship. Trust the one you are with – you," she said.
It's important to believe that you can love again, in order to truly be open to this possibility.
There are steps that you can take to help heal your heart, according to Graham:
An exercise that helps is to write a list of everyone that has hurt you or did you wrong and, starting from the bottom, forgive each of these people using the words "I forgive you, I release you." Put the paper at the foot of your mattress and after nine days, tear up the paper and flush it down the toilet once again saying "I release you."
The healing process
As most relationships take three months to stabilize, allow yourself three months to develop a stable relationship with yourself before you jump back into another relationship.
Remember the fun
Dating is meant to be fun. You need to release the fear and be ready to take chances to trust someone new. Relationships are like buying shoes, sometimes they seem to fit in the beginning but end up hurting you later, while others can become your most favorite pair. Be open and love will find you.
Be open with your feelings
Gregg DeMammos, a relationship coach in Washington, D.C., said when you meet a new guy, communicating that you worry about trust is key. Once men realize you have trust issues, and you explain how they can help you overcome your concern, the right guy will want to help.
"If you share the fears you have, where you want to get to in the future, you show courage and a future that could look very good to a potential partner. They get to be your knight in shining armor, ushering you through dangerous territory and the pot of gold really is at the end of the path. You. And you will likely be appreciative, grateful and ready to show it," he said.
Trust can take time, but as long as there is communication and a real effort to deepen the relationship, men can hear that the next step is difficult. Problems crop up when there appears to be no solution, no ideas on how our partners will participate in moving the process along. You don't need to have all the answers yet, but that commitment to keep going, to get there is something many men will feel great about being a part of, DeMammos said.
So, after a breakup, take a few deep breaths, and a few months to heal before diving back into the dating pool. And know that with work, and hope, you might just find yourself more open to love than before.