LIFE

Why Taking A Break From Dating Is Good For You

There are four key questions to ask yourself.

27/05/2016 8:33 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:53 PM AEST
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You want to avoid running the "relationship treadmill."

Like surfing, dating can be exhilarating, fun and unpredictable. But much like the water sport, it can leave you feeling alone, under pressure and not unlike a limp piece of seaweed being slammed against the ocean floor.

Despite all of this, many of us continue to ride the wave and treat our feelings the same way we would junk mail: delete and onto the next.

"When you jump into something new straight away, it's like pressing pause on any processing, healing and understanding in relation to your ex. You won't have the space to reflect and learn and will just be spinning in the same way in your new relationship," Jacqui Manning, founder of The Friendly Psychologist told The Huffington Post Australia.

In short, not taking the time to reflect means that your next relationship has little chance of succeeding.

"If you think of your heart healing as a physical process, like a cut or a broken ankle -- you wouldn't go out and run a marathon on a broken ankle, you'd give it time to mend, lots of care, patience and find ways to strengthen it for when you do go out and run again -- well, your heart needs the same treatment," Manning said.

If you crowd your time and thinking space with another person you won't ponder these questions and you'll be more likely to keep attracting the same type of relationship, which may not be what you want.

A simple formula: feel the feelings (sadness + hurt + anger + heartbreak) + heal + accept = move on.

"When you're in something you can't see it, so having distance via time and space gives you perspectives that are essential to learning what you actually want from a relationship," Manning said.

Often, we either jump straight back into dating too quickly or worse, attempt a "friendship" with our ex, something Manning believes just isn't possible before you've had a substantial break from each other.

"If you crowd your time and thinking space with another person you won't ponder these questions and you'll be more likely to keep attracting the same type of relationship, which may not be what you want," Manning said.

Manning refers to it as "running the relationship treadmill."

"It's distracting, which seems appealing, but you're not stopping to reflect on how you want your dates and relationships to be. And without some thought and direction, how are you going to know when you meet someone who really suits you?" Manning said.

Another symptom of the relationship treadmill is comparison.

"This isn't helpful for you or your new prospective partner. Once you've healed you'll find this impulse to compare will ease," Manning said.

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1. What did you learn about yourself?

2. What did you learn about what you like in a partner?

3. What did you contribute to the problems in the relationship?

4. What boundaries will you now establish to invite wanted qualities and behaviours in, but keep unwanted ones out?

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