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How To Be In A Relationship After Being Single For A Long Time

If you've been single for a while, you may feel like you've forgotten what it's like to be in a relationship.

The truth is, being single is pretty awesome: You get to do whatever you want, whenever you want, and your life is your own.

That said, sometimes after a period of singledom, you might feel like you want to (and are ready to) enter a relationship again. It can be nice to start to look forward to a new love after a period of being happily by yourself.

But since you've been single for so long, you may be wondering exactly how to prepare for a relationship, now.

Worry not! If you think you might be looking for a relationship soon, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself that'll help in the long-term:

1. Focus On Your Own Identity

One of the best things you can do to get ready for any new relationship that is about to come is to focus on yourself first.

The old cliché that you find someone when you're least looking is, in my experience, very true. I met my husband after I quit my job to travel the world full-time, was happy, in my element, and not even thinking about being with someone. Focusing on myself — what I liked, what made me look forward to the future, what I wanted — made a huge difference in opening space for love to come into my life.

If you think you might want a new relationship soon, spend time getting to know yourself and allowing yourself to be whoever you want. Get a better idea of your likes, dislikes, preferences, and tastes. Have fun alone. Work on being really happy alone. You might find, like many people have, that this sets the perfect stage for love.

2. Think About Lessons You've Learned

Thinking about past relationships gone wrong kind of sucks, but it's also kind of necessary to grow.

Before I met my husband, I had spent a lot of time (on the open road with my puppy) thinking about things that went on in my past relationships. In my head, I focused much more on things I had done wrong, ways I wish I had treated someone differently or things I would take back, if I could.

I went through a very introspective period where I realized that I was far from perfect, but also that I had learned a lot of really valuable lessons in the past.

Before you are ready to enter a new relationship, you should make sure you've learned the lessons you've needed to from your past ones. A lot of the time, people come into our lives to help teach us something, and if you truly take that to heart and learn what's meant for you, you'll be a more loving, open person when the right partner comes along.

3. Throw Yourself Into Something

There's nothing like getting totally lost in some passionate, creative venture to help kick start love.

Right before I met my husband, I was the most passionate I had ever been about anything. I had spent a long time building my life and I was so thrilled to be traveling constantly. I wanted to talk to everyone about travel and creativity and making the world a better place.

It just so happened that my excited energy attracted my husband, too, which worked out in a way I never could have imagined.

If you feel like you haven't yet discovered a passion that makes you happy, now's the time to go exploring. You'll likely find that you feel more alive and engaged — and that this is the perfect opportunity to meet someone new.

4. Take Care Of Yourself

One of the best things about being in a new relationship is all the physical energy that comes with it — the late nights, the dates out, and the new sex!

Because of all that, one thing you can do to prepare is take care of yourself as best as possible.

I'm a big fan of working out; I always have been. I've been a CrossFitter and runner for years because taking care of myself makes me really happy.

When my husband and I connected, we immediately started doing physically active stuff together, but not just at the gym. We certainly went to the gym together, but we also went out for long walks, and we went to raves where we had to be in great physical shape to stay up all night dancing. It really helped that we were both already into fitness.

To prepare yourself for a relationship that might be coming soon, make sure you are taking care of your body as well as your mind. Not only will you be glad you had all the energy to keep up with your new relationship, you'll also feel sexy as hell for your new partner!

5. Have An Open Mind

Finally, there's nothing more important to prepare for a new relationship than having an open mind.

I was pretty anti-commitment when I met my husband. I had been having a great time being single for a long while — I was traveling alone, I had no ties to anyone, and I was really happy.

But something was different about him right away and I knew it. In fact, I even tried to stop seeing him a few weeks into our relationship because I was so scared he would change things! Luckily, I came to my senses and let myself be open to a new experience. And now, I have the best husband in the world.

If you think you are ready to be in a new relationship, make sure you are truly open and available for it before it happens. When the right person comes along, you'll be glad you gave yourself the time to feel ready.

The transition from singledom to a new relationship can be a little rocky, but it doesn't have to be. Take the opportunity to start preparing yourself for what's to come: When you finally meet your love, you'll be even more excited to jump right in.