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How to stay healthily single after a breakup?


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Recently ended a toxic relationship.

 

I have made a personal goal not to date anyone or be in a relationship for at least 6 months, at the very very least! Ideally I would like to remain single for a year. It was a serious 3 year relationship that just ended a couple of months ago.

 

I’ve had a couple of rebound one night stands since, it was good getting that out of my system, but definitely put me off dating because I forgot how cruel the dating world can be now days.

 

I’m ok in my own company and spend most nights alone. Then I have moments of weakness where I yearn to be with someone, and feel sad when I see people around me in loving relationships and wish so much that I could have that.

 

Before I get the cliche “love yourself” spiel, yes I do love myself. Ending a toxic relationship was the most self loving thing I’ve done for me in a long while.

 

How do I curb these pangs of hating being single?

 

If matters, I’m 27 and a few months shy of turning 28!

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So, OP. I'll turn the question around. What do you hate about being single? Just to remark that other people's lives may be quite different to what you perceive (couples for example).

 

Aaah, to be 27 again! So much to do, and one doesn't even get round to half of it!

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Try not to force yourself to being a monk for any specific amount of time.. Casual dating is fine, but one night stands is perhaps too much in the other direction. It sounds like your are reading too many cliches (love yourself, don't date for x time, etc.) rather than doing what feels best for you.

I have made a personal goal not to date anyone or be in a relationship for at least 6 months, at the very very least! Ideally I would like to remain single for a year. I’ve had a couple of rebound one night stands since

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So, OP. I'll turn the question around. What do you hate about being single? Just to remark that other people's lives may be quite different to what you perceive (couples for example).

 

Aaah, to be 27 again! So much to do, and one doesn't even get round to half of it!

 

I guess I miss the company, but most importantly miss being with someone who loves me and I love them. Too bad my last relationship was riddled with toxicity, even though there was so much love there.. but I question if it was ever love, perhaps addiction because I was trauma bonded to a narcissists (I had no doubt that he loved me).

 

Miss having someone there for me... it’s lonely being single sometimes and I don’t want just a hook up. A friends with benefits situation would be ideal, because I won’t be breaking my plan of remaining single...

 

But let’s face it, those never end well. Someone always ends up catching feelings, and I’ll end up feeling worse.

 

I know healing and dedicating a year to be single is the right thing to do.

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Try not to force yourself to being a monk for any specific amount of time.. Casual dating is fine, but one night stands is perhaps too much in the other direction. It sounds like your are reading too many cliches (love yourself, don't date for x time, etc.) rather than doing what feels best for you.

 

You’re right, and that makes sense. Admittedly I have been on a couple of dates for casual sex... and had two one night stands. Never saw or spoke to the guys again, they ghosted me actually (after they realised what I drunk mess I was and that I slept with them on the first date) but that is all it was.. like I said, I’m glad I got that out of my system.

 

Now to be on this long path / journey of self healing... but it’s so damn lonely. I’m done with one night stands and hookups.

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I've gone back to thinking a bit more about what matters and would like to get back to doing more community work or donate my services to charities. I left a lot of that out for a long period and I think it dulled a side of me and the outcome over time is not something I'm that proud of.

 

Do something for yourself that means something to you or is bigger than what you are as an individual. You fall into the same trap of dating the same versions of yourself or others if you aren't able to get out of that bubble or headspace that kept you stagnating for so long.

 

Physical affection and intimacy is fine but I don't think it's healthy to swing too far that way and forget to think about yourself also and your individual identity. There's only so much that that type of interaction does.

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I've gone back to thinking a bit more about what matters and would like to get back to doing more community work or donate my services to charities. I left a lot of that out for a long period and I think it dulled a side of me and the outcome over time is not something I'm that proud of.

 

Do something for yourself that means something to you or is bigger than what you are as an individual. You fall into the same trap of dating the same versions of yourself or others if you aren't able to get out of that bubble or headspace that kept you stagnating for so long.

 

Physical affection and intimacy is fine but I don't think it's healthy to swing too far that way and forget to think about yourself also and your individual identity. There's only so much that that type of interaction does.

 

Thanks for this insight, that’s a really good point and a different perspective I can look at things from too.

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OP. "If it hurts it isn't love"

 

- Angry over small things, yell and loose his temper. Never hit me, but has yelled at me many times. Apologises afterwards when I make a point that it wasn’t acceptable to speak like that.. only after having it escalate and blow out of proportion.

 

- Shutdown and get angry whenever I mentioned how I was feeling upset about something in the relationship.

 

Does any of that sound like love? I don't think so. Not a lot to miss there IMO. Love and toxicity cannot exist in the same sentence. The toxic individual is never there "for you". S/he is only there (if you can even apply that word "there" to them) for him or herself.

 

OP, it does take time to scrape off all the sludge after an experience which left you so bruised. It's a dark shadow which takes time to move away from behind your shoulder.

 

Loneliness is a kicker, which is basically the difficulty and not "I hate being single". I echo the advice given to engage yourself in activities, and in passing work on improving the radar so that you can immediately spot toxicity on the horizon.

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I'm not really one for prescriptions, for giving timelines: six months, one year, and so on. Reminds me of my friends who are heavy drinkers, and do a sober January before resuming their drinking habit on Feb 1. Seems more like a way to self-enable the behavior they don't like about themselves than to approach that behavior in a more holistic way that allows them to live, year-round, in a way that feels more authentic.

 

So, back to you. I think one of the greatest thing a person can learn to do is to acknowledge uncomfortable feelings, and just sit with them without reacting to them. You say you're okay most nights—well, great. You sit in that. And on the nights you're less than okay, thinking about sex and love? Cool, sit in that too. No judgement, just observation: a feeling you're feeling, for a spell, that will pass. When you can do that? You kind of train yourself to be less influenced by highs and lows, less pressed for answers and more comfortable with questions, and to inhabit yourself more fully—and, in that, you may find that you become someone more ready for romance, be it of the casual or serious variety.

 

And perhaps in the vein of Rose's excellent post, you can also work on channeling those uncomfortable feelings elsewhere, into something (charity work, a hobby, whatever) that is not sex/romance/love/attention specific. It'll feel awkward at first, just as it feels awkward to force yourself to do sit-ups when you just want to sit on the couch. But that awkwardness fades pretty quick. Sit-ups don't take too much time, after all, and it feels a lot better to sit on the couch after doing them.

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I think its generally smart to recognize a big change happened for you and to give yourself time.

 

I wouldn't put a time on it though. I'd recognize maybe I'm a little more unsure of how to navigate and put a little more thought into my next steps to make sure my reasons are good and work toward acheiving my goals.

 

I wouldn't want to use anyone or my own pain as an excuse to do selfish things. I think being kind to oneself and slowing down is good for our mental health. It allows your brain and heart time to process and heal. Focusing on what truly matters to you will naturally define the actions required.

 

I know a FWB sounds like a good idea. Just be cautious because it can lead to transferring love and affection to a new person, but its not real, can be very confusing and cause more damage.

 

Be careful and always practice safe sex with one night stands. STDs are rampant because everyone on line is having one is having sex with everyone.... know that.

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Hello! You inspire me to think of my start-over days. Two of the most helpful shifts that I made involved viewing happy couples through a lens of inspiration rather than competition, and ditching ideas about FWBs as anything beyond messy kid stuff--with 'mess' being a key word.

 

The first was important because seeing the successes of others doesn't mean that there's less success available for me. It's not a piece of pie. If I want to aspire toward success in anything, then surrounding myself with people who are good models in those areas is a great learning device--not something to envy and avoid.

 

The second is just practical. I figured out that sex is bonding for me. So doesn't it follow to use care and intelligence in selecting who, exactly, I'll want to bond WITH? It makes no sense to deny my nature to pretend that I don't want what I DO want as I mess around with people who have zero capacity or desire to give it to me. That's just an egotistical game of "Let's see if I can make him want me..." and it can come with consequences, some of which are permanent.

 

Instead, I got clarity about myself as being relationship material. Maybe not today, but it's my goal. So how would playing in a sandbox of pretense that I'm cut off from the neck up benefit me? Empty sex is...empty. So why not get more privately creative than using other people as masturbatory devices?

 

Once I got clear about what I DO want, it became relatively simple to align myself with people and behaviors that promote that, while avoiding those that sabotage it.

 

If you're clear that your goal is to be eventual relationship material, then decide what that looks like. Then begin the work of becoming that person. If it means growing into someone who has found private interests and passions and confidence in your judgment and an ability to form friendships with like-minded people, then you support your own vision and your aspirations.

 

If you are not clear about your goals, then engaging people and behaviors that end up making you feel lousy and lost just takes the long road and the hard way to gaining clarity by learning what you DON'T want.

 

Head high, and write more if it helps.

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Ok, so you are going on casual dates. That's fine, but why not pace yourself. Just enjoy some company and scale back on drinks. Have a handful of fun safe places to go and things to do.

 

Actually, after breaking free from an abusive relationship, it may be a sense of freedom to just let loose and be a little reckless after dealing with all that control and fear.

 

So take a deep breath, retool, regroup and rethink. Start with social media updating, rid yourself of dead weight, reset all your privacy settings, post a few new nice pics and comments.

 

Join some interesting groups or clubs. etc. If you want casual dating, do the same on those apps, nice pics, nice profile, etc. But his time go on fun dates, not regrettable ones. Plan ahead for 'bad nights' so you have something lined up or something to do with friends.

Admittedly I have been on a couple of dates for casual sex... and had two one night stands. Never saw or spoke to the guys again, they ghosted me actually (after they realised what I drunk mess I was and that I slept with them on the first date)
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I think its generally smart to recognize a big change happened for you and to give yourself time.

 

I wouldn't put a time on it though. I'd recognize maybe I'm a little more unsure of how to navigate and put a little more thought into my next steps to make sure my reasons are good and work toward acheiving my goals.

 

I wouldn't want to use anyone or my own pain as an excuse to do selfish things. I think being kind to oneself and slowing down is good for our mental health. It allows your brain and heart time to process and heal. Focusing on what truly matters to you will naturally define the actions required.

 

I know a FWB sounds like a good idea. Just be cautious because it can lead to transferring love and affection to a new person, but its not real, can be very confusing and cause more damage.

 

Be careful and always practice safe sex with one night stands. STDs are rampant because everyone on line is having one is having sex with everyone.... know that.

 

Thanks for the advice, I agree re FWB relationship. This is a good reminder for me, for all past FWB relationships that never ended well.

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Hello! You inspire me to think of my start-over days. Two of the most helpful shifts that I made involved viewing happy couples through a lens of inspiration rather than competition, and ditching ideas about FWBs as anything beyond messy kid stuff--with 'mess' being a key word.

 

The first was important because seeing the successes of others doesn't mean that there's less success available for me. It's not a piece of pie. If I want to aspire toward success in anything, then surrounding myself with people who are good models in those areas is a great learning device--not something to envy and avoid.

 

The second is just practical. I figured out that sex is bonding for me. So doesn't it follow to use care and intelligence in selecting who, exactly, I'll want to bond WITH? It makes no sense to deny my nature to pretend that I don't want what I DO want as I mess around with people who have zero capacity or desire to give it to me. That's just an egotistical game of "Let's see if I can make him want me..." and it can come with consequences, some of which are permanent.

 

Instead, I got clarity about myself as being relationship material. Maybe not today, but it's my goal. So how would playing in a sandbox of pretense that I'm cut off from the neck up benefit me? Empty sex is...empty. So why not get more privately creative than using other people as masturbatory devices?

 

Once I got clear about what I DO want, it became relatively simple to align myself with people and behaviors that promote that, while avoiding those that sabotage it.

 

If you're clear that your goal is to be eventual relationship material, then decide what that looks like. Then begin the work of becoming that person. If it means growing into someone who has found private interests and passions and confidence in your judgment and an ability to form friendships with like-minded people, then you support your own vision and your aspirations.

 

If you are not clear about your goals, then engaging people and behaviors that end up making you feel lousy and lost just takes the long road and the hard way to gaining clarity by learning what you DON'T want.

 

Head high, and write more if it helps.

 

Thanks for this advice, this was inspiring to read and gives me the motivation to remain positive about my single status. Along with remembering how crappy I felt with the aftertaste of being discarded once a casual date got what they wanted, sex.. in return it was just that, empty sex, that I realise going without is far more beneficial on me emotionally than being tied up in all these casual relationships and rebound hook ups, just to end up feeling crappy afterwards.

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Ok, so you are going on casual dates. That's fine, but why not pace yourself. Just enjoy some company and scale back on drinks. Have a handful of fun safe places to go and things to do.

 

Actually, after breaking free from an abusive relationship, it may be a sense of freedom to just let loose and be a little reckless after dealing with all that control and fear.

 

So take a deep breath, retool, regroup and rethink. Start with social media updating, rid yourself of dead weight, reset all your privacy settings, post a few new nice pics and comments.

 

Join some interesting groups or clubs. etc. If you want casual dating, do the same on those apps, nice pics, nice profile, etc. But his time go on fun dates, not regrettable ones. Plan ahead for 'bad nights' so you have something lined up or something to do with friends.

 

Thanks for the advice, that’s a really good point. Also great suggestion re clubs and groups, I’m going to work on finding things to keep me busy.

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Thanks for this advice, this was inspiring to read and gives me the motivation to remain positive about my single status. Along with remembering how crappy I felt with the aftertaste of being discarded once a casual date got what they wanted, sex.. in return it was just that, empty sex, that I realise going without is far more beneficial on me emotionally than being tied up in all these casual relationships and rebound hook ups, just to end up feeling crappy afterwards.

 

I started associating the word 'casual' with 'disposable,' and this is a great screening device.

 

When you decide that you are relationship material, you'll raise your bar on screening OUT anyone who's reasons for dating don't align with yours.

 

There's nothing heavy about a profile that specifies exactly what you're looking for. Plenty of people are dating to find true simpatico with one who shares their vision of a future with a committed partner.

 

So there's no need to market to the masses. When you're only looking for 'one' RIGHT person, why waste your time entertaining people who don't know what they want or who aren't seeking the same things you are?

 

Once you ditch posers who believe that playing it cool is attractive, you'll be true to yourself AND you'll start meeting people who are honest and real. Those are your mentors. Self honesty is a life skill that starts with a decision. So befriend people who've got that down, and the rest becomes simple.

 

I realize that simple and easy aren't the same things, but simple is at least easiER. De-cluttering your outlook of adolescent attitudes and perceptions in favor of the mature picture that you can actually 'see' for yourself means dropping an unproductive--and unnecessary--misery-go-round.

 

Once you do that, it's a direct ascent from there, and you'll thank yourself.

 

Head high.

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IMO.. you've got a ways to go in your 'healing'.

You have some wounds that will take time- and may be more than just a year. You don;t know how long it will take, to not feel lonely.. to not feel damaged.. to not feel like you are nothing, etc.

 

Often, as we work through our pains and acceptance, etc ( grieving stages), we may need some professional help to work through these times & emotions. Especially if we've been damaged. ( Mentally, emotionally etc),

And one of the worst things to do is think on jumping into another relationship- get involved again.

 

Because you know you are far from ready, so don't bring anyone else into it at this time in your life.

 

You need to learn to be happy again.. be okay again as you are. NOT with feelings that you NEED to be with someone to feel good. - that is normal part of withdraw and something you were so used to for a good few yrs,

 

Some people you may realize on here are okay & have been, being on their own for 5-10 yrs.

Try not to feel as if you should be involved all of the time, never anything wrong with being single for a while. It is just your adjustment period and healing- and that is okay.

Find yourself again,

 

hang with friends.. get out there & live again.

Get into a hobby.. or something you used to enjoy, but lost it during this last phase of your life.

 

One day at a time... focus on you!

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