If you want to find the good guys and better relationships, you have finish the past, put self care first and get out of your own way. Until then, you can't date differently, you can only find more of the same.
When you keep finding the wrong guys, or they keep finding you, something is wrong and you have to press pause and figure out what "it" is - that "it" is different for each of us but the over-riding factor that tells you something has to change, is a pattern of chaos, harm, or toxicity in your life. Destructive relationships ruin your life, it doesn't matter if that destructiveness is minor or major. Anything that is consistently making your life less than it could be is considered destructive to you and there are only two things you can do about it: choose to find and face your "it" - or you can choose to ignore your "it" and keep going in the lonely land of misery.
If you are the courageous and strong enough to demand more type, I'm glad you found me. I'll show you the steps I took to turn things around, but you have to take them. All the information in the world isn't going to help unless you take action.
One of the most powerful things you can do after a break up is take a break. Breathe. Think. Be quiet and find quiet. Learn to meditate. Just chill for a minute. All the men aren't going to disappear, they'll show up again when you're ready. Just slow down and give yourself more time than you think you need to "recover" and plan on looking at the past to learn something from it. That's what I call preparing to date and it's the step that's always missing. Most just go back into dating, and usually too soon. Some even date as a way to get over a guy, and that's a huge mistake.
I follow my own advice, that's why I know what works and what doesn't. I took myself out of the dating game until I could identify what the core problem was for me, because I had nothing but toxic, cruel men in my life not so long ago. I was settling for losers who appeared successful, so it looked like I had it all. Far from it. I always say, when women are settling, men aren't the problem, so I had to figure out what was making me settle and tolerate some really low down, dirty stuff.
Once I started to clear things up and out - my life got really easy and dating was stress free and low risk. I started dating in a completely different way and all the typical relationship advice out there didn't help me one bit - in face, it put me in harms way. My needs were just different and I've found that to be true for the women I work with as well, because women who have had any kind of destructive relationship have different needs around dating, and if they don't get to it they stay stuck in the same cycle.
You train yourself to date differently, you don't train men to become something they're not, although that might have been easier. You have to stop rushing things along and found men who respect and value your need for no speed. Once I started doing a few of these things, I started attracting a different kind of guy and I dated great guys who were fun, talkative, friendly, and they made me smile and laugh and love again. I also found protectors - and connecters, and that was new for me. When you find men with solid character, common sense and the accountability factor, it is an entirely different dating experience.
I have no fear of a repeat from the past, I would never consider trading my independence for a guy - and I am valued, always. Dating is just completely different - it's the way it was always supposed to be. I never knew I had missed out on so much - and you shouldn't miss out either. Dating and relationships are supposed to be fun, if they aren't, you're doing them wrong. Connection, intimacy and vulnerability are part of the deal with the good guys and it's okay to lead with all that when you know you can confidently protect yourself from harm.
Knowing how to spot subtle destructive tactics and behaviors is great and it's necessary, but it won't matter one bit unless you also start responding differently to toxicity as it happens. That's when you turn the corner. Things change when you say they do. It can take years - or hours, it's your call.
I simplify the process of starting over into 3 steps:
1. Acknowledge what is - not what is wanted. This step requires brutal honesty and it's where the most resistance lives.
2. Accept it. No translating what things mean or interpreting why things happened to make the truth easier to take. Sit in the real truth of what is. Let it take you down for a minute. Feel the weight of it, feel the pain of it, then get pissed off about it, please.
3. Surrender. This step is h.a.r.d. for women who are strong, and woman who have been through destructive relationships are strong, and that strength blocks the surrender - and you can't create love when blocks are present, you have to find what blocks you, face it head on, and let things fall apart. Surrendering is completely different than giving up. Giving up is defeat, it is a response to powerlessness way to stop the pain and it's forced on you by others. Surrendering is an intentional choice to stop the resistance to what is in order to protect yourself and improve yourself and your life.
Keep it this simple and move on as fast as you can.