"Take your time, don't rush into anything."
"Maybe you just need a break."
"Take care of yourself."
That's some of the advice you might hear when you tell people you're going through a breakup. It's sound advice. Many of us want to find love so badly, that when one relationship ends, we rush right into the next.
That's usually a mistake. It's one I made after Big. After the guy I started dating soon after (who, by the way, lived in the same apartment building) broke things off, I decided enough was enough. I decided to do a "love cleanse." Not sure what that is? It's not as intimidating as it sounds, believe me.
I first learned about it from The Single Woman. She wrote about it at her examiner.com relationship blog. She actually got it from Mastin Kipp, who has written about it over at Huffington Post. In case you don't feel like clicking those links, I'll sum it up.
A love cleanse is a thirty day commitment to yourself. No romantic entanglements - no sex, no kissing, no flirting, no dating, no trolling dating sites (or your exes facebook page). It's basically a time to just focus on yourself, get to know what you want, what makes you tick, and what makes you happy.
It probably sounds unnecessary. Like, does it really need a name? Can't you just call it a break from dating?
I don't think so - and here's why.
We don't just wrap ourselves up in others when we're dating. We do it when we're flirting, we do it when we're working on our online dating profile, and we even do it when we're having "casual sex" with our friend with benefits. Those are all situations where another person's feelings and opinions take precedence over our own.
A love cleanse eliminates those other entanglements. It sets firm guidelines, with a firm time limit, and firm goals. There's no wishy-washy, "Well, it won't hurt if I just peek at his twitter feed...." Yes, it will. Why? Because you promised yourself you wouldn't - and you're more important than him. And if you do that now - you have to start all over at day one.
A love cleanse takes all the energy you would give to someone else, and redirects it back to you. For thirty days.
Who can't devote at least that amount of time to herself?