After a breakup, your friends may give you conflicting advice. Some will warn you about the dangers of rebound relationships. Others will urge you to start dating again.
Studies suggest that there’s little harm in making a new connection quickly if you had a healthy relationship with your former partner. On the other hand, if you have dating patterns you want to change, taking some time off is usually the smarter choice.
Invest in yourself so you can find the love you deserve. Consider these tips for what to do while you’re between relationships.
- Clarify your priorities. Being single gives you an opportunity to figure out what you really want from a relationship. Identify the qualities that are most important to you, such as emotional intelligence and kindness. Be willing to compromise on the nonessentials.
- Move forward. You may need to deal with past experiences that are still affecting your current behavior. Do you see a pattern of similar issues causing conflicts with different partners?
- Increase your resources. Dealing with an unhappy relationship uses up much of your time and energy. Once you recover from the initial sting of breaking up, you’ll probably have a greater capacity for overcoming your personal challenges.
- Recognize your options. It’s natural to be attracted to familiar things. Taking a break enables you to explore your alternatives.
- Appreciate solitude. Are you uncomfortable with being single? Learning to enjoy your own company will help you to be patient until you find a connection that serves your wellbeing.
- Connect with loved ones. Were you spending so much time with your partner that you were neglecting your family and friends? Share your feelings and ask them for the support you need to get back on track.
- Pursue your interests. Hobbies enrich your life and might make you appear more attractive when you start dating again. Go out dancing. Paint watercolors or play volleyball.
- Continue learning. Add to your knowledge and credentials. Practice your foreign language skills during a solo vacation to a different country. Read fiction and nonfiction books. Sign up for adult education classes at your local university.
- Pamper yourself. Honoring your physical and emotional needs is even more important when you’re dealing with a change in your relationship status. In addition to eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, splurge on yourself. Get a facial or give yourself a foot massage.
- Serve others. Caring for others will also increase your self-esteem and distract you from your troubles. Volunteer in your community. Clear out your closets and donate your unused items to charity.
- Advance your career. Was it difficult to keep your mind on your job when you were arguing with your partner? Make up for lost time by showing more initiative at work. Join the business development committee. Teach yourself a new software program.
- Try counseling. If you need more assistance, talking with a professional therapist may help. Ask friends for referrals or visit websites such as the American Psychological Association to use their locator services. Counseling can help you to gain new insights and practice coping skills.
- Plan your comeback. When you’re ready, create a strategy and action plan for reentering the dating world. Set specific goals like creating an online profile and meeting someone for coffee at least twice each month.
Romantic relationships can contribute to your personal growth or hold you back. If you’re going through a difficult breakup, give yourself time to heal. Use your single time to make positive changes that will help you to develop a loving and supportive partnership.