I was a basketball a couple times last year, and as much as I love the game, it wasn’t fun. We’ve all been there before. Either we’ve been dumped, we dumped someone, or we’re in the process of trying to figure out how to get out of the crappy situation that we are in. And so we find ourselves rebounding or being the rebound.
Breakups amplify all the things that we’ve done wrong in our life, and they also amplify our loneliness.
“Feel the pain, and learn how to be comfortable by yourself! Take yourself out on a date! It’s empowering!” — Say all the people in your life who aren’t in your shoes.
You know the people. They tell you things like “embrace your singlehood” and “there’s a lesson in all of this”. You want to kick them in the jugular, but you know that they (hopefully) mean well. I was one of them once, and I know I meant well when I said those things.
So we nod, smile, and agree just to shut them up, but deep down inside we are planning how to be with someone else; not how to embrace being alone. You know the saying…“the best way to get over someone, is to get under someone else.” Well, it turns out this is NOT TRUE. The truth is yes, being alone sucks sometimes, but “embracing your singlehood” is important, and it doesn’t have to be lonely.
Our brains are naturally prone to find relief when we’re hurting, whether it’s in the form of a person (a new boo, an old boo, a Tinder boo), a place (a vacation, your mom’s house, or a strip club), or thing (alcohol, drugs, all the food in your fridge). But the longer-lasting solution is to sit still for a minute and come back to yourself.
For me, I’ve found that the best way to come back to myself is solitude, meditation, or hanging out with healthy friends who tell me the truth.
The last rebound situation I was in hurt a lot because I was not the person rebounding; the other person was, and it was a friend that I knew for many years. While I was out of my rebound dating phase, they weren’t, and that led to a lot of hurtful interactions. I had to get a few “second opinions” that I was actually the rebound, but once I did, the one piece of advice that stood out the most came from a mentor:
“You need kinder people in your life.”
Wow. That was like a smack in the face, but a good one. He was right. I was ready to be in a healthy, giving, loving, non-ego driven, clean, respectful relationship and I wasn’t going to find it by being a rebound.
Hell, I just wanted to have friends that fit into this category and I wasn’t off to a good start. So I decided to cut the cord and focus on coming back to myself. This resulted in about 45 deleted numbers, 15 blocks, removing myself from 5 dating sites, removing myself from 3 social media sites and creating a rocking to-do list that focuses on the building of myself. Because not only do I deserve kinder people in my life, but I also deserve to be kinder to myself.
And this is when you take out your scissors and make yourself one of those dream boards.