Is it time to go on a dating detox?

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The New Year is the time when many people consider going on a detox diet to rid their body of all the toxins and impurities that have built up over the holiday period. This is a healthy and often necessary part of our physical wellbeing but what about our emotional wellbeing? A history of failed relationships; a bad break-up or months of unsuccessful attempts at dating can build up negative beliefs and attitudes that would benefit from a detox as well. Here is a ‘Do it yourself dating detox’ which anyone can follow, whatever their dating history.

Take some time away from dating

This is the first and most important step in a successful dating detox – stop all dating related activity online and off. Put your eHarmony account on hold; postpone any planned dates and explain to matches that you will be going offline for a while. How long you decide to detox will depend very much on your history. Patti Stanger author of ‘Become your own Matchmaker’ recommends a dating detox of between 30 and 90 days depending on the length of your last relationship ‘If your most recent relationship lasted less than a year or if you’ve never had a serious relationship, detox for thirty days. If your last relationship lasted for two years, detox for sixty days. If it was a marriage or a relationship that lasted three or more years, detox for ninety days’.

Spend that time with yourself

The relationship you have with yourself is the only one that you will definitely have for your whole life, yet it is the one most of us spend little time nurturing and developing. Often we treat ourselves far worse than we would treat anyone else – criticising, controlling, reprimanding and denying ourselves the things we enjoy most. This has often gone on for so many years that we have forgotten what really makes us happy or the things we used to enjoy when we were younger.

Your dating detox is the time to get to know yourself again. There is no point waiting for someone else to come and make you happyif you have no real idea what it is you want, need or desire. This is the time to find out – do nice things for yourself – reconnect with friends and activities that used to bring you happiness. Cook yourself delicious meals; buy yourself flowers or chocolates and generally treat yourself as you would like a partner to treat you. This is particularly important in how you talk to yourself – enough of the criticising and complaining, it is time to learn to be kinder to yourself and get in touch with a softer, more understanding part of your nature.

This may all feel very uncomfortable in the beginning, especially if you have spent a long time avoiding being on your own. Iit is an important and necessary part of the detox process. Once you get used to it many people want to extend the detox period because they enjoy this new relationship with themselves so much. Afterwards you will find that you consider having a relationship with someone else simply because you want to share your life, rather than because you are terrified of being on your own.

Get in shape

To really feel good about yourself daily physical exercise is vital even if it is just a brisk walk around the block. A good way to motivate yourself is to imagine that you are in training for a new relationship – the one you have been waiting for – surely you will want your new partner to come into your life when you look and feel good about yourself rather than when you are out of shape and feeling low. Exercise is an important part of the new relationship you are building with yourself so give it the time and attention it deserves.

Let go of the old and welcome in the new

Detoxing is all about clearing out toxins and impurities. When it comes to dating these can be in the form of possessions that keep you attached to old relationships including photographs and letters. If you are really serious about wanting to move on it is time to clear it all out.

Emotionally we also need to have a clearout because bitterness and resentment will not only block you from moving on but can also prevent you from being able to trust and commit to someone new.

Once you have let go of the past use the rest of your detox time to really envisage the kind of relationship you want in the future – after your detox you will have a better chance of it becoming a reality.


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