Counselling

A bad breakup has left me wary of dating again. How do I snap out of it?

After a bad breakup I'm afraid to date again. How do I get back into dating?
Guy on Seaside

Question:

I’m a 35-year-old man. I went through a bad breakup a couple of months ago. I am in a state of look-the-other-way when I see a girl now. How do I snap out of this? How do I get back to normal life?

Related reading: 10 ways to deal with heartbreak

Deepak Kashyap says:

Normal is one word, which when expressed as a desire, can become a single most important reason to feel inadequate and hence face a bit of low self-esteem, stress and confusion. You haven’t mentioned how long you had been with her, I’d imagine that it was long enough and you invested enough, for it to have the profound effect that it did, on you. So right off the bat, I would say it is normal for you to lament the loss of something that was so dear to you.

Now let’s talk about a possible plan for you to move on and restructure your romantic life. Normal as it is to experience sadness, one can easily spiral into a dysfunctional state that could have been avoided after the necessary time devoted to grieving and healing. In your case, you seem to have developed an irrational fear of dating again.

Learn to accept

You will have to ask yourself few questions, after you have fully accepted your emotional and behavioural condition. By that I mean — going from ‘why is it me?’ and ‘why is it the way it is?’ to ‘it is me.’ And ‘that’s how I am feeling at the moment’. Acceptance doesn’t mean agreement or lack of desire to change things that are not working for you. For that change to happen, ask yourself the following questions, but please remember the non-judgemental and compassionate tone of the question is as important as the questions, if not more.

Am I still waiting and hoping she will come back?

If yes, what are the chances of that happening and is it even a wise choice given the reasons for breakup?

Are you afraid of being single and want to get back with her or the next girl that comes around for wrong reasons?

Are you afraid of dating again and repeating the same fate of a painfully hard breakup?

All these questions have to be answered, and I can’t repeat enough, with a compassionate and non-judgemental tone in the privacy of your heart. If needed, do talk to someone you can trust or a counsellor you find a therapeutic relationship with. All the best!

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