This is something I put a lot of effort into and continue to revise over the course of my life. We learn something new almost every single day, why keep that knowledge to yourself? I would of killed for advice like this when I was in a similar situation of not having a clue of how to go about things. I've had plenty a share of ex's that were downright nightmares and suffered a few broken hearts. You really start to rethink things when you're forced with either remain at rock bottom or get over yourself. I'm by all means not perfect, I had a nasty coke (I won't spell it) habit at one point in my life that really distanced myself from the world. I'm still kicking though. If I can avoid you going through what I did then I hope this is at least a start in the right direction. I know this site isn't about hooking up but lets face it I have no clue what goes on in your personal life outside of here. This can be applied to any lifestyle from what I have gathered. So please sit back, grab a drink, and get ready to take in what some of the wheels in my head have put together for you.
If there's one thing I feel I know at this point in my life, it's relationship advice. I have seen so many cases of people wanting what I have but having no clue how to get there or going about it the wrong way. I don't mean to sound egotistical or anything because that's the last thing I want. I just feel I really know what I'm talking about when it comes to this. Alright that's enough intro.
I'm sure you've heard this before but the most important thing to remember is to STOP looking. You can't predict when things will happen, when you will meet the right person, so why set yourself up? Do yourself a favor and just stop.
Dating, hook ups, etc are all a complete waste of time. I hate how everyone thinks finding someone is a simple 1,2,3 step plan, it's not. Maybe that's the traditional way to do it but why keep following the same plan if it's not working? I wised up to this and went about it my own way. What way is that? I stopped getting so hooked up on wording. Don't call it dating, don't call it anything. Why not be around someone just to enjoy each others company? No set plans, no dinner arrangements, no need to go all out with a set plan for the evening. All this does is put your head into thinking about expectations and the over whelming need to impress. And what makes this worse, not only is it expectations but it's high expectations. I guarantee you're setting yourself up for failure.
Don't look for a lover, look for a friend. Noname and me started out as friends at first. Eventually we turned that into quality best friends. Neither one of us had any expectations of each other, we just knew we enjoyed being around each other. That's what friends do, right? I feel I can talk to him about anything though and never fear any kind of judgment. I know he feels the same way when it comes to this because we have strong communication. Which brings me to the next pointer...
Communication. I cannot stress enough how important this is. No more secrets, no more lies, no more bullshit. If you really want trust, you need to trust yourself first. Don't hold back because eventually it will come out. Besides why deny yourself of the things you like for someone else? Don't you want them to like you for you?
Like Vs. Love. Once again, stop. Don't be so quick to call it love, it's very over rated. Don't get upset when they don't say it back. Maybe their not ready? When the time is right it will feel right but in the meantime remember like sure sure sounds better than hate.
You can't love someone if you can't love yourself. I was told this before when me and Noname had our first break up. I didn't understand it at the time, heck I down righted hated him for saying something that I felt was harsh. He was right though. I didn't love myself at all one point in my life. I felt like I had nothing to give but my love and though I wanted that to be everything ...it was downright selfish. I was living in a story book of some cheesy romance fantasy. It does not work like that. Heck it doesn't even exist.
Get yourself situated/stable. What makes you, you? Are you happy with where you are in your life or where you're heading? This answer is different for everyone. I know for me working makes me proud of myself. It gives me a feeling of self accomplishment and having money sure as hell doesn't hurt either. I get pride out of this and that translates into stability. I don't want to feel like I'm nothing without Noname and I can make it on my own if it came down to it. I know that it won't but it's still a nice feeling to know that I do have a stable plan. Also, get your license! Some of you may think this only leads to more payments in your life ...yes that's true. However it also gives you freedom and independence. No one wants to be with someone that they feel they have to be a taxi driver to.
Respect. You have to respect what they want. You cannot force anyone to do anything just because you want it. So if someone tells you they don't want a relationship, let them be. You can choose to keep a friendship with them and hope time will change what their looking for but don't be surprised if it never does. At this point you need to ask yourself if you're okay with accepting that and move on. It doesn't make them any less of a friend though, don't be a dick just because you didn't get what you want. After all it's about what you BOTH want.
Trust. Of course this would be followed up right after respect because the two go hand in hand. Both important but neither one more important than another. This one also falls under common sense to me because if you don't have it you will scare them away. Trust each other.
Ex's are helpful. Sure at the time we may seem we hate them, hell I know I did. Learn from them though. What made you break up in the first place? Take everything you didn't like about them and apply it the next so you get more of a idea of what you're looking for. I know with my ex's I fucked up because I was so desperate to not be alone that I let people take advantage of me. I also had that issue of not loving myself. I learned though and eventually grew up in the process.
Never be afraid to ask for help. If you're struggling, down on yourself, or just plain ready to give up then you need to ask for help. Maybe even see a therapist or a counselor? They can be helpful when it comes to personal issues that are far beyond you understanding or even accepting. I'm speaking through experience, it does help to hear someone on a professional level tell you why you are the way you are. When they link up things from your past it's a huge relief to have a better understanding of who you are. It will help. Sometimes it helps to let go of your pride.
So to wrap this up, a few more things. It's not a race, never rush anything. Communicate, communicate, and communicate. And finally, be yourself dammit.