I won’t tell you how the story ended. Let’s just put it this way: In his age-old quest for the drawers, he had actually managed to dispense some wisdom. I mean, he had actually done me some good. He had set me free. And from then on, after almost a year of holding in my grief and refusing to allow myself to mourn my previous relationship, I was able to let go, stop punishing myself for being human and eventually begin the process of healing. And in the meantime, I had some fun!
So, my point is, sometimes when you put yourself on a relationship-sabbatical, you have to ask yourself what are your motivations? If your motivations are to truly heal from a traumatic situation or to educate yourself after having experienced a traumatic or chaotic relationship, then by all means, take that time out to learn, to grow and to heal. But if you are subconsciously denying yourself pleasure, intimacy, company or friendship or whatever it is you’re looking for because you’re subconsciously punishing yourself for having made bad choices in the past, then you need to seriously reconsider your choices.
When might you need to consider taking a dating break?
If you are emerging from a relationship that involved any form of abuse whatsoever (physical abuse, alcohol or substance abuse), then you probably need to take a break from dating for a while. If you are wrestling with issues or suspect that you are wrestling with issues like dependency (drugs, alcohol, shopping, eating, to name a few), then you might need to take a break from dating. If you suspect you might be depressed, have bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, mood swings, panic attacks, have chronic low-self esteem or other things/episodes that affect your life and the way you think about yourself, then you might need to take a break from dating for a while. If you have had a traumatic childhood where you suffered abuse or witnessed abuse of any kind, if there is sexual abuse in your past or other issues that have affected the person you are today (to a negative degree), then you might want to take a break from dating for a while.
All of these conditions and symptoms and indicators of deep-rooted subconscious issues that affect the choices that you make on a daily basis—including the choice of who you decide to date, marry and/or allow to impregnate you. If you have ever been with someone and then later on, not without some astonishment and/or embarrassment, asked yourself, ‘What the hell was I thinking?’ then you’ve witnessed the phenomenon of your subconscious at work during the time you made such a choice. If your subconscious is consistently making choices that you regret or wish you hadn’t made later on, then you’ve probably got some underlying issues going on that need to be dealt with.
Also, if you look back on your relationships and found that the partners in your life have a common troubling theme, then you might want to take a dating break and get to the bottom of why you tend to attract certain types. For example, my friend, Tierra has had three significant relationships, with children from two of them. The first was her high school sweetheart. Though they loved each other, their relationship was complicated by the fact that he was a drug addict. They both tried to make it work over the years, but, she eventually realized that she had to leave him in order to save herself. Tierra thought things would be different with the next man she fell in love with, only to painfully discover that his habit of drinking occasionally eventually escalated into a full-blown alcohol dependency. After their breakup, she decided to focus on furthering her education (she got a bachelor’s degree and then went on to obtain a Master’s degree) and raising her children. When she met her third long-term partner, she thought, ‘Finally! I’ve got it right. He’s the one.’ And he might have been—except for the fact that he, too, turned out to be, you guessed it, an alcoholic!