With any kind of physical ailment, you’re told to basically “take it easy,” by basically resting and limiting your physical abilities until you’re healed. And if you don’t do that, you basically make that wound or injury ten times worse than it was originally.
When it comes to an emotional wound, however, things are slightly different. You’re expected to “bounce back” from whatever happened to you almost immediately or soon after. And, sometimes that expectation can lead us down a dangerous path, a path I would like to call “emotional relapse.”
This happened to me recently.
As mentioned in my last entry, I’m going through a breakup. One of the only ways that one is able to move past it is to truly be patient with yourself and allow you to feel the emotions that you need to feel. When going through something that is as challenging as a break up, it’s important to move slowly and be careful with yourself. Otherwise, you can easily relapse, and the result can be awful.
This means taking a break to make yourself stronger. In my case, that means taking a break from the dating world. However, the question still remains on when is the right time to get back into the game.
And that’s a tricky question.
And the answer? Well, it’s really when you feel emotionless towards the event/person/whatever. It’s when you’re done eating your cartons of Ben and Jerry’s, and you’ve cried your last tear. It’s when you have forgiven that person for all that they have done for you. And, most importantly, it’s when you’ve properly healed.
This doesn’t happen overnight, folks.
On Sunday, I thought I was ready to dive back into the Tinderworld, so I booted up my profile and began to swipe “right” and “left” for guys. It was all going well-until, I saw a familiar face-my ex. This was six days after breaking up.
Needless to say, the feelings that I thought I was done with slowly crept back and I felt a knot in my throat, signaling the tears that would soon come.
I called my best friend, who reminded me this: taking a break after a breakup needs to be something that lasts longer than a week. And, when you do decide to go back in the game, it’s when you know you feel ready. However, it’s going to take time to get to that initial point, so it’s important to give yourself as much time that you need.
Otherwise, then you’ll relapse and those same feelings came to haunt me.
So, I deleted the app, and began to focus on all of the emotions that I was feeling, allowing myself to feel them instead of repressing them. One day, I’ll be able to take on the world of Tinder, but for now, it’s just too big of a step.
When going through things, whether it’s grieving the death of a person or a relationship, it’s important to not jump back into the way of life beforehand. For relationships, it means taking a few weeks off from the dating world before going into the treacherous seas of Tinder. For grieving a death, it means allowing yourself time to really come to terms with the loss, without the people telling you what you need to feel. At the end of the day, it will be the only things that can truly prevent an emotional relapse such as the one that I experienced.