Being in a relationship is something that feels good for many of us. We enjoy the company of others. Knowing that we matter to someone is important. It can be tempting to rely on the comfort of being in a relationship; as a result, we may feel lost when we are no longer in a relationship. Instead of trying to find a new relationship as quickly as possible, maybe it’s time to try a different approach. Before looking for a new relationship, try dating yourself first!
Getting over a breakup is a complicated process. Even if you feel ready to move on and start over, you may not be emotionally ready to do so. You need to take the time to process the loss of your last relationship. There’s no hard and fast rule about how long you should wait, but in general, the longer the relationship, the longer the recovery time. It is important to remember that it is not so much time that heals all wounds, but a willingness to face and address those wounds.
If you jump into a new relationship before you’ve healed from the last one, you’ll be starting from an unhealthy position. You owe it to yourself to process and heal. Your future relationships will be more likely to succeed if you’re not on the rebound.
How to Date Yourself Instead
Dating yourself doesn’t mean taking yourself to dinner and a movie—although it could. What dating yourself means is learning to be comfortable being alone. Many of us are not comfortable being alone, especially if we’ve spent most of our adult lives in relationships. Being single is the perfect time to explore the things that you like and don’t like. Think about the interests and passions you may have put on the back burner during your relationship. If those interests are still important to you, why not make time for them again?
Start chipping away at your bucket list now. If you don’t have a bucket list of things you want to do, create one. Whether you want to run a marathon or travel to an exotic destination, make it happen. Work on developing friendships rather than romantic relationships. It can be difficult to make new friends as an adult but groups like meetup.com can help.
Your life can be full of adventures, small or large, and you don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to have them.
How to Truly Heal
Healing from and processing a past relationship can be challenging and time-consuming. The timetable is highly individual. Maybe you’ll be ready in a couple of weeks, or it might take months instead. You may always feel a twinge of sadness or regret, but acute emotional pain suggests you’re not yet really over your ex and continuing to date yourself may be the antidote you need to heal.
Take the time to focus on the lessons you can learn from your last relationship. Which traits of your ex became unbearable deal breakers? What would you rather not deal with again? Did you discover things about yourself that you want to change? This process is not one that you can rush. You may find it helpful to write in a journal about your feelings. Doing so can help you gain clarity about your relationship values, making it less likely you’ll repeat unhealthy relationship patterns. Regularly meeting with a counselor can also be immensely beneficial. A counselor can help you to process the pain of a breakup and clarify what you want out of your next relationship.
For more information, go to naomiberrycouneling.com or contact Naomi Berry at 480-427-3553.