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Dating Is Not Your Therapy
Alicia Stevens, BA
Relationship & Self-Care Associate
Most people try to cope with the grief by jumping back into the dating scene. Using dating to get over a breakup might become detrimental to your healing. Taking the time to process the emotions and lessons that come with a breakup can be therapeutic. Instead of looking outward for attention, this should be a time for self-reflection and discovery. It’s better to let the initial hurt subside before you engage in anything with someone new whether casual or otherwise and end up getting hurt or hurting someone else.
There are signs that let us know that we might not be in the right space to begin dating. For example, you’re still emotional about your recent breakup, you may become triggered by something your new companion might say or do, you compare new prospects to your ex or you feel pressured to date.
The pressure to date again is real but sometimes it is internal. After being in a serious relationship, you become accustomed to having someone around and the feeling of being single again which can be scary. This fear may force you to feel that a replacement is needed sooner than later to fill that void. Big Mistake!
Being in a relationship might not provide you with the healing you are seeking. We want to avoid the “seat filler” route and discover other things you can do to heal. This is a great time to do things that make you feel more like yourself. Prioritizing self-care after a breakup is not only healthy but necessary. Here are some things to consider.
First - Spend Some Time Alone. I know this may be hard for many, but when we can’t find joy in time alone, it might become challenging to be happy in the company of others. There is power in solitude. Solitude can promote mental strength and self-awareness which are key to developing a true understanding of who you are.
It’s not easy to sit with your thoughts and feelings especially after a breakup. However, it’s critical to the process. By doing so you’re more likely to learn from the experience which can be empowering. There is a certain comfort that comes from turning pain into a gain. Gaining an understanding of who you are will enable you to determine the best quality of life for yourself and prohibit the past from repeating itself.
Second - Do Things That Nurture You. Taking care of yourself might be the last thing on your mind after ending a relationship. Some might find it hard to even get out of bed at first. But it’s important to stay uplifted and motivated. Exercising, going for walks or meditation are great ways to cleanse your mind and make space for the good to pour into you. This is your time to reset, recharge and pull your focus to your overall well-ness and not the breakup.
Third - Do Something That Restores Joy Back Into Your Life. After a breakup you may feel like you’ll never laugh and joke again which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s beneficial to the healing process to surround yourself with things and people that have a positive influence on you. This can be done by catching up with loved ones, getting a massage, taking a trip or engaging in any hobbies you may have. This reminds you that even though life at times can be hard there is still plenty of happiness to experience. Laughter is always the best medicine so doing anything that genuinely puts a smile on your face is great for you.
Finally, Processing Your Feelings. Though this may be a difficult time and you’ll find it hard to talk about the breakup without becoming emotional; expressing your feelings at this time can help you productively manage them. Some ways to process your feelings are by writing down your thoughts, talking to someone in your life that you trust or talking to a therapist. The last approach is a personal one and a road very less traveled. However, speaking from personal experience, talking to a therapist can be very helpful to your healing process and not just after a breakup.
Don’t’ get me wrong, dating can be a great experience especially when you’re at your best self. However, immediately after a breakup isn’t that time. This is the time to focus on you because having a healthy relationship with yourself is the foundation for all your other relationships.
Let me know in the comments below your self-care process after a breakup.
Sheila I Barnes
3/9/2023 03:38:08 pm
Congratulations!!!!! Very Proud and I really enjoyed your story it was very influential and hits close to home.
3/9/2023 03:39:04 pm
So enjoyed the article and you insight . Look forward to more of your articles
3/9/2023 03:46:58 pm
This article is well written and spot on! Love this - “This fear may force you to feel that a replacement is needed sooner than later to fill that void. Big Mistake!”
3/9/2023 04:24:59 pm
Great work cuz!!!!!
3/9/2023 04:35:36 pm
Yoga and Pilates are now my favorite self-care practices after any inconvenience, especially a breakup!
3/9/2023 04:48:11 pm
This is an excellent article. Self Healing in my point of view requires one to be open and honest with how they are feeling about others or themselves. . This could be difficult. Change in one’s life is a major step to starting a new journey of Self Healing. This means removing things or people in your life that maybe toxic. People or situations can be draining. You will realize it when the situation or person/s are no longer present. Find what makes you happy and head in a new direction. Believe in what is possible. You owe no one an explanation for the decisions you made or will make. This is your life and if you need to Heal then take the time for yourself. I find as I get older I’m less tolerant and understanding of those who are self serving. I love Peace! This I will have for the rest of my life.
3/9/2023 06:44:01 pm
Great article. In order to find happiness one should find true happiness within and for one’s self. I feel one shouldn’t be too restrictive from what they find joy in nor should sought pleasures be influencing by the views of society. Be sure that the indulges are genuine to your mind, body and soul.
3/9/2023 08:52:54 pm
I love this. This is so true, although hard, it is doable. It is also needed in all relationships.
3/9/2023 09:49:16 pm
Great read!! Very informative and introspective! Loved it!!!!
3/9/2023 10:57:44 pm
This article was very insight to read. As I was reading this all I could think of how long it took me to get back to my regular self after my last break-up. I believe it is a beautiful process of falling back in love with your own self. Thank you Alicia for this beautiful affirming article, and god bless you!
3/10/2023 08:56:24 pm
This was spot on Alicia. I'm so proud of your accomplishments.
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