2022 was an epic year. And I don’t mean that in a good way. I don’t know about you, but from the scope of my personal life and so many stories I’ve heard, it seems as though 2022 was filled with some pretty catastrophic things for many people.
Many of those atrocities, having to do with category of relationships.
While some of you experienced the joy of love and healthy relationships- many others experienced a lot of pain, heart-break, and the emotional ups and downs that beg for the start of a brand new year.
Like the rest of you, I’m all for the new-ness of 2023. I’m excited to say “good-riddance” to a painful year and usher in the hope of a new one. But one thing I know to be true- when it comes to relationships in particular- you can’t do the same things in the same way, and expect different results. Not…gonna..happen.
No matter how much you hope, pray, and dream for good things this coming year, for many of you, good things will only come when you learn to do things better. To do things wiser. To do things healthier.
If you’re still holding on to the hope of better relationships in the year to come, here are some mistakes that you may need to acknowledge, and then take ownership of as we approach the new year:
1. You let the wrong people into your life. One of the biggest relationship mistakes people make has less to do with what they do in a relationship, and more to do with who they choose to enter a relationship with. We can spend so much time thinking about what we want in someone of the opposite sex, without ever taking the time to think through what we don’t want- and what we won’t settle for. When it comes to finding love, there are some red flags that simply cannot be ignored for the prospect of a healthy relationship (see 10 dating deal-breakers). Think through the people you allowed into your life this year, and ask yourself if they were the kind of people who built you up, or tore you down. Healthy relationships will always add more to your life than they take.
2. You allowed your physical relationship to lead the way. As Christians, it’s easy to get sick and tired of hearing the “waiting until marriage” rhetoric. But we’re not just talking about sex here. When it comes to dating, it’s easy to allow the physical interactions of your relationship to take the lead before you know what happened. But time and time again from both married and unmarried couples alike, I hear about the harm that encompasses those who allow their physical relationship to lead the way. I get it…there is a time and place for physical affection in a dating relationship. *I write more on this in the FAQ section & Chapter 8 of True Love Dates, with a guide on appropriate physical touch in each stage of dating.* But letting the physical lead the way will always skew your judgment, heighten your emotions, and fool your concept of commitment. When the physical attributes of your relationship take control, they have the power to ruin a relationship. That’s something worth avoiding in 2023.
3. You believed that you were worth less. I talk about this often, but there is so much truth to the concept that you will always attract the kind of relationship you believe you deserve. Maybe part of the problem of 2022 is that you didn’t believe you were worth more. I write about this in depth in this article called We All Come with a Price Tag. Give it a read, and then take the time to consider what you want to be worth in 2023.
4. You didn’t talk to God enough about it. It’s embarrassing how simple yet profound this statement is. Why we don’t take the time to talk to the Almighty God of the Universe who knows all things and can make all things happen is simply mind-boggling to me. He knows what’s best for our lives, and He knows what we need to get us there. Why not go to Him for wisdom, for hope, and for healing? Why not seek Him with our questions, our pain, and our problems? Here are 8 ways you can pray for relationship (or lack-thereof) in 2023:
5. You downplayed the importance of emotional boundaries. We talk a lot about the dangers of the physical in a dating relationship, but we don’t talk much about the emotional. But in my opinion, emotional intimacy can be just as damaging as physical intimacy – if we’re not careful to proceed with caution. As you approach 2023, maybe it’s time to take inventory of your emotional health (here’s a 5 minute emotional check-up) and the boundaries you’ve put up to protect your heart. “Emotional Sex” has ruined many relationship, because your heart is precious, and something that needs to be handled with care. Seek to set emotional boundaries in your life and protect your heart this coming year. (For more on Emotionally Healthy Relationships- check out chapter 7 of True Love Dates!)
We’ve all made mistakes.
But it’s most important that we learn from those mistakes, and then strive to never, ever, let them happen again.
Here’s to 2023. May it be a year full of love, laughter, joy, and the hope of healthy relationships.
*This article is adapted from concepts in my book, True Love Dates. Most of the content of True Love Dates has never-before been published on my blog, and is my insider-scoop about finding and keeping healthy relationships on the pursuit of true love. Pick up your copy today and have access to your own personal dating coach!
There’s no better way to start 2023!
If you’re struggling in any area of your life or relationships — don’t wait another day to find out the steps you can take to begin to restore and heal!
There are practical things you can do to change the way you think, the way you feel, and the way you process life– no matter what might be going on right now.
Our team at the Debra Fileta Counselors Network, would be honored to walk with you during this season. As we approach 2023, don’t wait get to the root of some of these deeper hurts, disappointments, and broken relationships.
So many people wait until 2023 to make a new years resolution and start getting healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally — but why wait when you can start TODAY?
DEBRA FILETA is a Licensed Professional Counselor, national speaker, bestselling author, relationship expert, and founder of the Debra Fileta Counselors Network. She’s written five books including Choosing Marriage, True Love Dates, Love In Every Season, Are You Really OK? and Married Sex. She’s also the host of the hotline style Love + Relationships Podcast answering listener questions about love, relationships, and mental and emotional health. Her popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, reaches millions of people with the message of healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or book an online session with her or someone from her team today!