Why Staying Single Is the Best Thing to Do After a Breakup
Breakups blow — there’s no need to put it more eloquently. And although some people do handle breakups better than others, no one can fully evade the inevitable emotional toll they take. Coping methods range from productive and healthy to destructive and inhibiting, but whether you’re an in-bed ice cream eater or a gym junkie post-breakup, one habit you should definitely avoid is moving on too quickly. Jill Whitney, a licensed marriage and family therapist and the blogger behind Keep the Talk Going, explained to us why this habit is especially harmful.
Although some people try to quantify how soon is “too soon” based on the duration of a relationship or its seriousness, any person who moves on without feeling fully healed and emotionally ready is moving on too soon, according to Whitney.
Staying single while still heartbroken may seem like a no-brainer to some, but many people seek new relationships prematurely and for a variety of reasons. “When people move on too fast, it’s usually because they’re trying to prove something or trying to avoid unpleasant feelings,” Whitney says. Whether they’re attempting to prove they’re still desirable to themselves or to their ex — two common occurrences, according to Whitney — all they really end up proving is their selfish motives. Those who move on too fast are merely using their new partner because they are unable to be emotionally present in the relationship. Although consensually casual flings are one thing, “it’s unfair if you know they’re looking for more, and you’ve made them think you might give it,” she explains.
Moreover, moving on too quickly can be a way of avoiding confronting emotions. Whitney claims it’s normal to be hurt, sad, or angry, and validates the desire to turn to distractions such as dating or drinking after a breakup. But eventually, those feelings must be addressed. “If you bury or avoid them, you’re cutting yourself off from your internal experience,” she says. Suppressed feelings may then begin to manifest in other unexpected ways or even cause physical symptoms.
Whitney makes it clear that taking time off from dating after a breakup is not the same as taking time off from socializing. This post-breakup period, which Whitney recommends be at least a few months, is what she calls a “fertile time” during which you can learn about yourself, evaluate how you grew in the relationship, and identify what you gained from it. But it’s also a time to go out with friends and explore new interests.
And in time, you’ll be ready. “You’ll know you’re ready to date again when you can think about both the good and bad about your ex without getting all worked up — when it starts to feel like history, and not so raw,” Whitney says.
Ever faced the fallout of moving on too fast? Tweet us about it @BritandCo.
(Photo via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.