Why You Should Be Single for a Time Between Relationships
If you tend to jump from one relationship to the next without a break, here’s why you might want to change that.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to find your person. Wanting love and that (mostly) happy ever after relationship is natural. But sometimes, in order to find love, we need to take a break from the search.
After a breakup, it’s a good idea to take some time to be single. It may feel a little lonely at first but in the end, some time spent alone can do you a world of good and prepare you for your next relationship.
What can that time alone do for you?
Help you move forward
When we leap from one relationship to the next without a break, we tend to avoid dealing with things from our past relationship. By not dealing with those things, we can end up bringing them into our next relationship — and the one after that.
When you take the time to be alone, however, you can look back on your last relationship — and all the ones that came before it, if you’ve never done this before. You can look at them with the clarity that often comes with hindsight. You can see the mistakes you made, those your partner made, and the way to avoid them in the future.
This can help you be better prepared for your next relationship, because you’re healing those old wounds so they don’t get ripped open again and again and create new problems.
Increase your resources
If you’re not taking time between relationships, you’re not giving your emotions a chance to calm down and settle. You’re not giving them a chance to refill. What does this mean?
It means you might love the next person a little less than you should because you still love your ex. Or that you get angry at your new love over something minor because it reminds you of something your ex did that was hurtful.
It means your emotions aren’t all in in the current relationship because they’re still scattered all over your past relationships. Which means your newest relationship isn’t getting a fair shake.
By taking some time to be single, you give your emotions a chance to calm down. They get a chance to refill, to settle into equilibrium, and to be ready to go all in when you find your new love.
Clarify your priorities
Have you ever been in a relationship and when it ended, you couldn’t remember why you’d started dating that person in the first place? You couldn’t think of anything you had in common, anything that attracted you to them, or any other connection that would have brought you together, however tenuous.
When you’re going from one relationship to the next without a break, you’re not taking the time to really get to know someone. You’re just looking for that next lifebuoy to latch onto. You don’t care where it comes from or what it looks like, only that you can cling to it and not be alone.
When you spend some time being single, however, you’re able to clarify your priorities. You remember what you want in a partner, and in a relationship, and you’re able to take a step back and start looking for those things again. You remember those things matter.
You realize that you don’t have to latch onto the nearest lifebuoy because the sea is full of them. You get to choose which one you want — and you also know you can tread water without one.
Pursue your own interests
Relationships are often filled with compromise. And while we certainly talk about how you should take time for yourself and keep your own interests, the fact is there are only so many hours in the day. Sometimes in the interest of keeping our relationship alive and happy, we let some interests go. We let hobbies, friends, or favorites go.
Being single for a while between relationships allows you to pursue your own interests. You can reconnect with friends, indulge in your favorite foods, pick up old hobbies, and find new friends, foods, and hobbies.
This can help you in a few ways. First, the things you naturally gravitate back to almost immediately can help you see what you might want to hold onto a little harder in future relationships.
Second, it can help you reconnect with yourself and remember who you are and what matters to you. This can help you have better relationships going forward because you’re more certain of who you are and able to choose a partner who complements that so there’s less need for compromise.
When you’re single, you have more time for yourself. Why not take advantage of that to pamper yourself? Instead of diving into another relationship where you need to prioritize a partner and show them you care about them, spend some time alone, prioritize yourself and show yourself that you care about you.
Pampering yourself isn’t just about indulging yourself. It’s about showing yourself the love and attention you want and need. It’s about reminding yourself that you are worthy of having affection showered upon you. It’s about remembering that you love getting flowers or sleeping in on weekends or watching scary movies with mint chocolate ice cream.
Enjoy being single and pamper yourself. That pampering will help you choose a partner who will give you the same love and affection you give yourself.
Appreciate being alone
When you go from one relationship to the next without spending any real time alone, you can eventually reach a point where it feels weird to be alone. But we should all be confident and comfortable being alone. So instead of leaping straight into another relationship, spend some time with yourself and get comfy with it.
When you’re confident and comfortable being alone, you know you don’t need anyone else. And when you know that, you make better choices when it comes to future partners. You choose someone because they enrich your life rather than simply filling a space in it.
Take the time to be single between relationships and really appreciate what that’s like. Appreciate being able to decide what to have for dinner without asking someone else. Enjoy staying up half the night reading, playing video games, or watching movies without someone being irritated that you woke them up when you came to bed.
Enjoy going out with friends without needing to clear it with a partner. Appreciate being able to indulge in your hobbies without feeling guilty that you’re not spending time with a partner.
Learn to enjoy your own company, the sound of silence, and the freedom to spend your money and time as you wish.
When you get comfortable with and appreciate being by yourself, you’ll be choosier about who you offer your time to. And that will help you find someone who truly enhances your life.
Your life belongs to you
Taking a break between relationships is a good idea for anyone, but how much time depends on you. It’s up to you to decide if you need just a few weeks or a few months — or even a few years.
Your life is your own. The time you spend as a single person will help you create a rich and beautiful life that exists outside of any relationship you might get into and partner you might have. And that life is what will draw the kind of people you want to date to you.
Before you know it, you’ll find the relationship you’ve been looking for and you’ll never need to spend another day as a single person — unless that’s what you want.
Wendy Miller is a freelance relationship writer & meditation teacher. After years of settling for abusive and otherwise toxic relationships, she got fed up. Using meditation and other tools, she got to work on healing herself, setting boundaries, and only engaging in relationships (romantic and otherwise) that bring her joy. She wants to help other single parents find the love they seek, including and going beyond romantic love. She lives in Florida with her two sons, where she homeschools while solo parenting, while surrounded by what feels like a zooful of animals.
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