My friend and I were recently discussing friends of ours that are always in relationships with no breaks in between. The remarkable thing about these people is that they string together many long-term, healthy (at least from the outside looking in) relationships back-to-back, while people like me find long-term relationships elusive and tough to cultivate.
But lost in all these relationships is the fact that, while someone is always in a relationship, they are constantly breaking up to get into these back-to-back relationships. So ultimately, these relationships are flawed in the end.
Remember the principal reason for a breakup is that you don't want/need the type of relationship or person that you're breaking up with. The best way to figure out what you want is to take some time to look inside yourself, take stock of your life, and figure out the type of person that's most compatible with you.
I'm trying to figure out if there's a rule about time between relationships. There are a lot of factors that dictate how much time you need before you get into a new relationship:
- How serious was your relationship?
- How long were you together?
- What was the nature of the breakup — was it "mutual," or was it messy?
- What else is going on in your world outside of your dating life?
I'm a proponent of taking a lot of time after a relationship. Now, I don't expect people to take this "time between relationships" too far like I have. In my last relationship, the girl was too serious, too fast and I've been scared ever since. I acknowledge that I've been single too long.
Here are some reasons to take breaks from long-term relationships:
You'll Never Figure Out the Type of Person That Matches You Best
What's the best way to figure out the type of person you like? Date, date, date. So, getting into another serious relationship right after a serious relationship will stunt your growth and prevents you from dating others to figure out what you want. It's not "playing the field," but it is meeting new people with the freedom to date them if you're so inclined.
You Must Conquer Your Fear of Being Alone
The fear of being alone is universal to humanity, but we react in different ways. Some of us assume we won't end up lonely, and some of us fight it by constantly being dating someone. This is the crazy irony of dating: in most cases, we are not capable of a healthy relationship with someone else until we are healthy on our own, and until we get over our fear of being alone.
You have to look inside yourself and determine if all of this dating is a way to stay happy, and if you're a fundamentally unhappy person on your own. Also, this constant need to be in a relationship might cause you to settle on a jerk, or someone who doesn't deserve you.
Too Many Long-Term Relationships in a Row Stunt Your Growth
You need to give yourself time to breathe, change, reflect, and figure out what life is all about. Of course there is freedom within healthy relationships, but nothing like the freedom you have when you're single. You can change your career, go back to school, or wake up one day and decide you want to live in another town.
When you're single, your roots are not planted as deeply because you have no one else depending on you. If that wanderlust is never satiated, that longing voice may never go away no matter how much you attempt to muzzle it with long-term relationships. We all take different amounts of time to grow into the person we're going to be.
Some say that we never stop growing and changing, so it's important to time relationships around times of big change in our lives to allow those changes to occur. You don't want to look back someday and wonder what you could have been if you had not given so much of yourself to other people in many different relationships.
Do you find yourself in relationships all the time, or know someone who is always in a relationship? Do you agree that it's imperative to allow time between relationships? Do you agree with me that people who go from relationship to relationship are cheating themselves? Or do you believe that you can't deny your feelings and you should always follow your instincts and heart, even if they lead you into being in a serious relationship all the time?