Why are we so quick to jump into a new relationship after a breakup? Even if it’s casual-dating, hookups, and one-night-stands, why do we feel the need to find a replacement to help us heal over the pain of our past relationships? We hear things like:
“it’s time to get back out there.”
“the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.”
These are just some of the barriers that block the lessons that exist during times of singleness. I remember my last breakup. All of my friends urged me to seek new relationships … BULLSHIT.
allow yourself to be lonely so you can learn the lessons you need after a breakup.
After a breakup, it is normal to feel vulnerable, lonely, and down. If you feel like being lonely is a bad thing, it’s not, it is a opportunity. For me, breakups always caused me to go through the 7 Stages of Grief and Loss, according to Elisabeth Kubler Ross & David Kessler, shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. Instead of taking the time to focus on healing, I would jump from body-to-body and bed-to-bed. I did not give myself the space I needed or allow myself to find the lesson in my singleness.
When I was in my undergrad at California University of PA, I had a few intimate relationships. My high school boyfriend and I broke up during the first semester of my freshman year because I was young and felt overwhelmed by the drama between us. Instead of giving myself time to experience loneliness, process my decision, and heal, I jumped into another relationship one month later.
I always wanted to be in a relationship, but what I needed was to be single.
By not giving myself the space after the breakup, I did not give myself the opportunity to process what happened in my last relationship and what I needed in my new relationship. I was still recovering and uncertain if I was actually over my ex.
Soon after, my new relationship had ended and because of my uncertainty, I was introduced to a life of one-night-stands and FWBs (friends-with-benefits) relationships with jerks who said ‘I’ll hit you up’ but never did. That was not what I desired, but I settled for less to have company because it wasn’t as bad as being lonely.
I was so afraid of being alone that I went looking for a new connection while I was still healing over the pain of my last relationship, I was avoiding a hard lesson that there was a reason that I was single; and it wasn’t unworthiness.
choosing singleness + LONEliness
My last breakup was my most difficult one; the one with my daughters father. My heart needed the time and instead of giving myself what I wanted, sex; I made the choice to give myself what I needed, self-love. There are times when being lonely is a part of self-love.
Of course, even in relationship, a healthy singleness + self-love are essential, but when you are single gives you an opportunity to learn who you are and what you need and that begins with LONELINESS. If you come into a relationship broken, then you will break the other person. Hurt people can hurt people. The most important earthly relationship is the one with yourself.
If you have been single for a long time, recently single, or feeling lonely and you are wondering why, you are on the right track. Asking yourself ‘why’ begins the process of self-awareness and self-honesty that is needed before moving forward into a new relationship. Here are three tips if you are single but want to be in a committed relationship:
1. Find a mentor or a counselor to talk to
Stop talking to your friends and family all the time about your relationships; their biases can steer you in the wrong direction because they love you and just want you to be happy. What you need is to feel your feelings and have permission to just exist and a unbiased party to help assess your needs + desires.
2. Prioritize Self-Reflection
What happened in your last relationship that led to it ending? What did you allow in your past relationship that you settled for? What do you desire in a new relationship? What don’t you desire in relationship? What lessons did you take away from your last relationship?
Have you healed over the impact that your last relationship made on you? If you are still angry or upset, if you are still grieving, or if you would be jealous if they start a new relationship with someone else, being single may be for you, so that you can give yourself time to process your emotions.
3. Stop being afraid of being lonely
You are a sole being. Even if you are a twin you are still an individual. Yes, being alone is much different than feeling lonely, but don’t be insecure about that emotion; we all experience these feelings and in order to deal with them, we have to face them as opposed to running away from them. Give yourself permission to be lonely and do the Heart Work while you are there before you enter a new relationship.
Taking the time you need to reflect can help you to never settle for less than you desire again. It’s tough, but you are worth it.
-Ta’lor L. Pinkston, The Heart Advocate
If you are struggling with a breakup, with accepting singleness, or feel alone whether you are in a relationship or single, I would like to introduce you to The Heart Advocate Program. This is a 12 session virtual program that provides an understanding of self-love and how to apply it personally and professionally. Loneliness can feel overwhelming without self-love. Click HERE to learn more about the program and how to begin today (there may be a waiting list, but you can still become a Heart Advocate)