“Don’t be afraid to start over again. This time you’re not starting from scratch; you’re starting from experience.” – Unknown

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was on the phone with my boy discussing yet another “failed” relationship (I know better now) when I uttered the words, “Ugh! I’m so sick and tired of starting over.” His words were crisp and matter-of-fact: “Why do you look at it as ‘starting over?'” I didn’t have a response that made sense other than the fact that like millions of people, I associated the end of a relationship with having to “start over” with someone new.

The reality is that any of us who think this way are not only incorrect, but we stand in the way of true, joyful experiences when it comes to love. If we look at dating, meeting new people, getting to know them, falling in love, figuring out their flaws, etc. as a tedious task, we rob ourselves of growth, evolution and most importantly, a potentially genuine, solid connection. Your last relationship may not have worked out, but by remaining stuck in the state of dreading a fresh start, you are basically telling your conscience that you’re only as good as your previous relationship.

For whatever reason, we are ridiculously hard on ourselves when relationships end. Other areas of our lives are just as important, but that “I will land just what I need” seems to flow from the tip of our tongues a bit more easily than when we break up with someone. Take work for example. When you get laid off or leave a gig for a new one, you don’t think, “I gotta start all over.” You simply move on to another gig. If we did, we would not have any type of professional “experience,” because what we did in the past doesn’t count. There would be no resume for potential employers to review because we’ve erased our previous experience, so to speak.

The idea of starting over is detrimental to our outlook on love and romance because it completely dismisses how far we have come. Unless you’re an idiot, all of your relationships have provided the opportunity for you to learn from your experiences, and make new mistakes along the way.

So the next time a relationship ends, do not think of it as “starting over,” but “starting fresh.”

Shantell E. Jamison is a certified life coach, author and motivational speaker. Her latest book, “God Help Me: A Personal Guide to Freedom While Here on Earth,” is available now on Amazon.

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