For a guy who tries to share advice on how to cultivate healthy relationships, I’m surprised to find myself propagating the idea of solitude. But, I’ve been exploring life without romance, and I wanted to share some of my ideas on why you need to take a break from dating.
I hate to sound like a cliche, but one of the most important relationships you will ever have is the one with yourself. If being by yourself results in self destruction, then you have a lot of work to do on the relationship you have with yourself.
Think about it for a moment.
When two people who are toxic for each other spend time together, more often than not, they damage each other. A relationship that is unhealthy will gradually destroy your self esteem, sense of security, happiness, and even your health.
These unhealthy relationships often consist of scrutiny, criticism, dishonesty, poor communication, and unhealthy vices.
So, are you in this kind of relationship with yourself?
I want you to answer the following questions honestly.
- Are you incredibly critical of yourself?
- Do you lack self esteem and think poorly of yourself?
- Do you say the meanest of things to yourself?
- Do you demotivate yourself and/or do you self sabotage whenever there’s a chance for you to be happy or successful?
If you answered affirmatively to these questions, then it is a clear indicator that you are in a toxic relationship with yourself.
Finding external love may mitigate some of that negativity and harm until the way you treat yourself seeps into that relationship.
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A Lack Of Self Love Will Ruin Romantic Love
It is true that we can heal through love, but if we don’t have any love to give to ourselves, we definitely won’t have enough love to give someone else.
In that kind of relationship, we would exploit whatever love we got and depend on it as our sole source of sustenance.
That’s when we find ourselves codependent and cultivating a relationship of necessity rather than of mutual love and generosity.
I’ve had a hard time with this intermittently throughout my life.
The only time I’ve had a chance to create a better relationship with myself was when I made the conscious decision to invest some time in solitude.
I use the word “solitude” loosely because I remain in close contact with friends and family, but I remove myself from romantic encounters altogether.
It isn’t easy for someone like me.
I have so much adoration for love itself. I’m infatuated by romantic relationships, and I enjoy giving myself to someone else on a daily basis.
I can do this because it also makes me feel like I’m worth something.
This process is difficult because I’m trying to build my self-worth as an individual, not as someone’s partner.
Essentially, I’m trying to find meaning and value in myself rather than in a romantic relationship. I’m trying to love myself and the life that I want to create.
It sounds romantic, right?
But, it’s anything but romantic.
The process of self-actualization and the cultivation of a meaningful life is messy.
Some days you are inspired by the hope of a bright future, whereas other days you are deeply in pain from nostalgia intertwined with thoughts and memories of the past.
Some days you say the nicest of things to yourself, and other days you are back into a narrative fueled by criticism, fear, and anxiety.
Some days you are everything you hoped to be, and other days you’re struggling to get by without accumulating mistakes.
Through this experience, you learn things about yourself.
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How Choosing To Be Single Changes You
When there isn’t a partner by your side talking you up and motivating you through love, the only person you can rely on for that is yourself.
In other words, you have to learn how to be a loving friend and motivating figure for yourself.
You have to learn to listen to yourself with the intention of understanding and not judging.
There’s beauty in this process, even though it’s laced with hardship and missteps.
What’s interesting is that being single again and learning these skills has made me a better partner than any relationship has.
That’s not to discount the value I’ve received from being in certain relationships, not at all.
But, it just illustrates to me how every phase or season in life has a grander purpose.
The hardest part of being single is seeing that purpose.
Remaining diligent in your daily habits and working through the hardship of solitude with hope and focus takes an unbelievable amount of effort.
But, if you get through the first couple of days or weeks, it becomes you.
People contact me for help after a breakup and they always share one thing in common, struggle over change.
Intentional positive change through effort is the perfect response to an uncontrollable change that has occurred in your life.
When romantic love has been removed from your life and you’re left with heartbreak, controlled and intentional change is the very thing that remedies the pain of uncontrolled change.
I can’t remember who said this but if you leave a man in a forest with nothing but himself for an indefinitely period of time, he will either find peace or insanity with himself.
I often wondered what the seperator is.
For me, the only thing that keeps me in a state of peace while I’m alone is a growth mindset.
Striving for growth as a person in every and any capacity inspires so much hope that it calms me down during the insanity of solitude.
I can be kind to myself and supportive with this mindset when fear and anxiety plague my mind.
I ask myself.
The only thing that makes sense is the growth mindset.
Giving my future meaning pulls me away from the addictive nature of staring into the past with regret and remorse.
The more I learn about having a growth mindset as an individual, the more I understand how beneficial it is to have this mindset within a romantic relationship.
These skills don’t just appear miraculously.
Things don’t just fix themselves in relationships. In fact, one of the most common reasons for relationships that fail in the long run is resentment.
We fix relationship problems by growing through them.
There will be different seasons to a relationship as there is in your life. You have to be prepared for that and nothing beats a growth mindset.
Try to find meaning and growth during a difficult phase of solitude and you’ll be equipped for a lot of problems in a romantic relationship and in life.
You will be so much stronger by choosing to be single rather than drowning yourself in casual dating or meaningless relationships.
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I’m sure that there are people reading this who should enter the market and it may be time for you to seek out a life partner.
But, if you’ve been numbing yourself with validation and attention or if you’re tired of going in circles and dealing with the same type of relationships over and over again, take some time to be single and stop dating.
You’ll learn so much about yourself and the changes that will happen over time and through a growth mindset may just help you cross paths with the right person.
At the very least, you’ll learn more about yourself as an individual and the relationship you have with yourself will improve if you are steadfast in prayer, productivity, and positive speech.
With that being said, that brings us to the end of this article on why you need to take a break from dating. I hope it was a source of comfort and guidance to you. If you would like to get in contact with me, check out my services page for more information.