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Letting go of the old to embrace the new

Easter is a time of hope, renewal and new beginnings so how can we bring that fresh energy into our dating life? I know from speaking with single friends and coaching clients that the dating process can wear people down. But if we approach dating feeling downhearted, it’s probably not going to go too well. So here are some ideas to freshen up your romantic life:

Let go of old relationships

Are you carrying any baggage that’s weighing you down? Do you need to break ties with an ex-partner or let go of your hopes and dreams for a relationship that didn’t work out? Perhaps you are still in touch with an ex and you know the ongoing contact isn’t good for you.

Perhaps you’re no longer in touch with your ex, but you still hold a candle for that person. If so, it’s likely that relationship is taking up valuable space in your head and your heart, stopping you from moving forwards. How can you let go fully so that you can date with a clean slate?

Nobody said this was easy. Breaking ties with someone we once liked or loved or letting go of hopes and dreams is going to stir feelings of loss and grief. But as I often say, we have to feel it to heal it.

So give yourself some space and time to feel all of your feelings, to let them pass through you. Otherwise, the feelings will stay stuck and they’ll sabotage your life and your chances of happiness in a new relationship.

There are a number of rituals that can help us to let go of someone. In the past, I used a ‘God box’ – a small, cardboard box with a lid. I would write the name of the person I needed to break ties with or let go of on a piece of paper, fold it up and put it in the box. In this way, I was symbolically handing the situation over to God, surrendering it, leaving it in God’s hands. We can also use a God box for any anxieties or worries we have.

As I live by the beach, I also like to write words on the sand and allow the waves to wash over them to symbolise that they’ve gone. If you’re by a beach this Easter, why not try this.

Let go of our expectations of how our life should have worked out

As a coach, I come across many women whose lives have not gone to plan. I imagine they’re drawn to work with me because my life hasn’t gone to plan either. Yes, I’m engaged to be married and getting married this June, but I never expected to be 48 when I walked down the aisle. And I didn’t expect to have to do so many years of personal development and self-discovery in order to find my way to love.

I also imagined I’d have children. I just thought it would work out, which is an expression I hear often also. But it didn’t. I remained ambivalent about having children – partly due to my own childhood experiences – until it was too late. Or perhaps I did make a subconscious choice not to become a mum, but again, I think that was down to my past.

When I hang on to my fixed ideas of how my life should have gone, I end up feeling bitter and resentful. I get stuck. I can’t look beyond my own picture. I can’t see past my own failed plan.

Embrace ‘what is’

Something wonderful happens when I let go of my own plan and believe in a bigger plan, in God’s plan. When I embrace ‘what is’ and let go of ‘what if’ or ‘what could have been’, I feel freer and lighter. I feel more trusting. I feel excited about the possibilities of this amazing life of mine.

So this Easter, I wonder if you can commit to embracing ‘what is’ from here on in. I wonder if you can commit to letting go of the old – of past relationships and of expectations of how your life should have been – in order to make space for new possibilities.

I wonder if you can date with an open heart and a clean slate.

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