WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve all made the emotional Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m swearing off dating!Ã¢â‚¬Â announcement after a particularly bad night, but is it actually a good idea to take a break from relationships? In the March 2014 issue of SELF, Julianne Hough says she made a pact to stay single for a year after her breakup with Ryan Seacrest last March, and well, she almost made it. The Rock of Ages star is now reportedly dating hockey player Brooks Laich, according to Us Weekly, but hey, it was close enough.
Apparently, HoughÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s strict hiatus isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exactly a rule that she (or you) needed to follow through on anyway. One of the best ways to heal post-breakup is to define your solo time by goals or emotional milestones, not time limits, says relationship expert and therapist Rachel A. Sussman, L.C.S.W., author of The Breakup Bible. So a better plan would be something like Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not going to date until I get my confidence backÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not going to date until IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m totally over my ex.Ã¢â‚¬Â We all heal at different rates, so thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no use trying to hold out for some arbitrary day on the calendar.
Sometimes, though, a dating hiatus actually is necessary; the question is when. Sussman shares her thoughts on when taking a break from dating is definitely a do:
If you had a messy breakup or divorce
Long-term relationships lead to lingering feelings, and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no use trying to meet someone new when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re still stuck in the past. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I definitely feel after a major break-up or divorce, you should take a hiatus from dating,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Sussman. That being said, there isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a set period of time to aim for here. She sees a lot of people who take six months or a year to themselves, but even they arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t always 100 percent ready. Ã¢â‚¬Å“If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re doing a lot better, you can get out there and date again because sometimes what you need to get over that hump is the excitement of meeting someone new or falling in love with someone else,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Sussman. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But you need to be about 80 percent healed before you put yourself out there.Ã¢â‚¬Â So if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve still got strong feelings for your exÃ¢â‚¬”of the puppy love, crushing betrayal, or rage varietyÃ¢â‚¬”then you probably need to put the brakes on your love life while you work things out solo. And try these 6 ways to get over a breakup the healthy way.
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If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re having a hard time emotionally
When youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going through a rough periodÃ¢â‚¬”whether it be depression, a substance abuse problem, or a body image hang-upÃ¢â‚¬”you might want to focus on yourself rather than a new relationship. Ã¢â‚¬Å“When you get out there and date, you always want to put your best foot forward and be your best possible self,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Sussman. Ã¢â‚¬Å“When youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in a really good place and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got a lot of confidence, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s when you'll attract a quality partner.Ã¢â‚¬Â So if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going through a rough patch, check out of the dating scene for a while and tune into yourself. May we suggest some soothing yoga, calming foods, and a few Ryan Gosling flicks to help the pass the time?
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If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re having bad luck with dates
If every single date youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve landed in the last few months has been a dud, you might be more motivated than ever to keep looking (seriously, it can only go up from here, right!?). But according to Sussman, this is a sign you need to slow down. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve probably heard the phrase that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, and that principle applies to dating, says Sussman. Ã¢â‚¬Å“So if you have a period where you feel that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going on the worst dates, instead of continuing to do it, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a good time to say, Ã¢â‚¬ËœOK, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to take a break.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t worry, it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be a long dry spell. Take the time to ask yourself a few questionsÃ¢â‚¬”like why these dates arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t working, if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re meeting people the right way, or if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re putting your best self out there. The goal is to assess the damage before you reach serial dater status and lose way too many weeknights to failed OkCupid dates.
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