At the start of each New Year, you witness countless numbers of people full of hope for the coming year and they tend to quote cliches like “New Year, New You.” There is just one problem. A new year with old habits is not a good combination. However, it’s certainly a realistic scenario. I’m not here to speak doom, but I can only speak for myself when I say that I plan on dealing with reality this year.
I know that my bad habits were not magically removed from my frame of reference overnight. When the clock struck 12:00 am, ringing in the New Year, I did not become a new woman with a clean slate who was now free of the decisions from my past. As much as we would like for each incoming year to rid us of the ills of the year past, there is no magic wand. We have to do the work. Although I’m not a magically new sparkly perfect woman, I can make an effort to be a better woman. I’m on a path of continuous growth professionally, and my plan for 2014 is to continue that quest for growth in my personal relationships as well.
During a conversation with my close girlfriends one woman asked another: What are you going to do different in establishing and engaging in your next relationship? Even though the question wasn’t asked of me it caught my attention and practically screamed my name.
Sometimes we become so consumed with blame and finding fault in the things that the other person has done in our relationships that we lose sight of our role. Maybe you were not the one who cheated, but were you perfect during the relationship? If my partner cheated, I’m not saying that it is my fault. But reflecting on the events leading to the relationship’s demise, it would be smart to acknowledge where I could have contributed to its end.
In keeping with my quest for growth, I reflected on some of the men that I’d dated in the past. There was one man in particular that I couldn’t get off of my mind. After we parted ways, I would often think of him. I didn’t know exactly where things went wrong. He became distant and, in turn, I became intolerant. I wondered if I ran too quickly, but I never asked him. My intolerance was definitely my version of running. When things would get too complicated in relationships, I’d take the path of least resistance. Not saying that it was right.
Admitting. That is my first step.
I called him. Instead of grappling on my own with questions that I did not hold the answers to, I decided to go to the source. We met for dinner and had a surprisingly amazing conversation. I can only imagine that things went so well because I wasn’t seeking answers from a negative place, but more from a place of seeking enlightenment. I wanted to know how I could make myself better from his perspective. How could I improve my performance in relationships to ensure that I’m doing everything possible on my end to ready myself for my man of life (sorry, inside joke)? In no way did I look at this man as some type of superior being with all of the answers. It wasn’t about him. It was about me, and what I wanted to take away from our meeting.
Would you or have you asked an ex how you could/can be better in a future relationship? How’d that go? Do you think people should seek feedback from their exes? Lastly, what are some of the things you know you need to work on before your next relationship?
About the Author: Ahyiana Angel is a Cali girl who has turned the Manhattan streets into her playground. This sassy storyteller—a former sports entertainment publicist at the National Basketball Association (NBA)—is anticipating the release of her first novel, Preseason Love, about dating in New York, coveted careers, complicated relationships, and ultimate deception. Angel is the creator of the salacious and popular blog Life According to Her. It’s contrived like reality TV, fictionalized for fun (also to protect the innocent), and sensationalized for your entertainment.