Got a Long List of Never Agains?

Sometimes when a relationship doesn't work out, we say, "Never again!" At first, we usually mean that we're never getting into a relationship again. In that case, we're lying to ourselves.

Don't Let Go
We're also sometimes secretly hoping that our ex will come running back, asking for forgiveness. So we've got to stay open for that, right? Wrong! That's called denial.

Place the Blame
Later, we start trying to figure out what went wrong. Sooo wrong! We want to make sure to avoid making the same mistake in the future. When we say "never again" at that point, we mean we will never date that same type of loser again. How could we not see how incompatible we were? How could we not see all the flaws our lover had? That's called anger.

Try Again
Then we think, "Maybe if I change and handle myself differently, my ex will want me back. Maybe we could be stronger. Maybe it really could work out with a second chance!" That's when "never again" means that we don't intend to behave the same way and push our lover away. That's called bargaining.

Give Up Hope
Then there's the very common response that goes back to the first one. We tell ourselves that "never again" will we open up to someone in that way, hoping to be loved and cherished and getting the cold shoulder in return. We tell ourselves that we're seriously flawed. We tell ourselves that all potential future lovers are seriously flawed. We tell ourselves that it's hopeless and that never again should we expect a relationship to survive and be fabulous. It's not gonna happen. That's called depression.

See Clearly
Then there's the "maybe I'll try again" feeling we get when we finally recognize that it wasn't necessary all our ex's fault and that it wasn't necessarily all our fault. We recognize that it takes two to tango and two to fall down on our rear ends. We recognize that we just said goodbye to a mismatch. That's called acceptance.

Rely on Friends
Beyond all those "never agains" there just might be an "always need a friend." We can recognize some things we did wrong, some things our ex did wrong, and some things that made us together just wrong for each other. But whether a relationship survives, thrives, or just dies, we always need friends. Make your "never again" about losing touch with friends, and you'll feel stronger and happier at the start of a relationship or in the aftermath of one.

Friends give you the always-in-your-corner kind of love that will help you open up when you're ready to try again.

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