Note: “Relationship” girls/guys are considered individuals who tend not to stay single long. They often are in a new relationship 4–6 months after a breakup.
This is the question I received for context:
“Hi Arnav, I consider myself to be a “relationship” girl. In my adult dating life over the past 5 years for example, I haven’t been single longer than 6 months. In that time period, I’ve been in 3 relationships (they lasted 6 months, 1.5 year and 2 years).
I’m recently going through a break up and one of my friends bought up my adult relationship history and said, maybe you should try to be single for a year. What do you think? Is it bad to be a “relationship” girl?”
First thing, I’ll say just from your self esteem perspective, is while you may be considered a “relationship” girl, I think you’ve done decently well in terms of screening your ex partners given that the shortest relationship was 6 months and the other 2 were more than 1.5 year each.
I think there’s a flip side to this where some people believe, they’re not good at being single and get into relationships that aren’t really meant for them so, you may see a lot of 4 month or 6 month relationships, because they’re just getting into relationships with people out of insecurity of being single.
The caveat to this is obviously, the knowledge you have. Advising people on relationships is sometimes tough because it requires a ton of individual self-awareness, where an outside party often can’t help.
So, in this case, I think you’ve done well, because they’ve been sort of longer-term relationships (shortest being 6 months), but I don’t know what your mentality was in getting into these relationships.
Did one of the individuals show one sign of maturity and you said, let’s start this relationship? Or did it, actually come from a healthy perspective of, I’ve healed from previous breakup and am ready to enter into a new relationship?
I can’t answer those questions as a third-party bystander. Only you know the answers to that question.
The main thing, from my perspective, is you should make sure you’re comfortable with being alone, being single, and loving yourself.
I think of the negative characterizations of “relationship girls/guys” comes from the fact that they don’t love themselves, they don’t think they have enough belief in themselves to be alone for a long period of time, and thus they quickly enter into relationships to cover up that wound and to feel loved by someone and not have to work on those aspects of yourself.
I think any person in a healthy and secure relationship would say is that, I and my partner, lived fulfilled lives beforehand. And that we, each just added more light to our fulfilled lives.
In terms of the time table for the breakup and how long you should be single, again, I’m not a big fan of timetables. I think timetables are meaningless if you don’t put in the work.
In other words, someone can be single for 2 years after a breakup and still not be in a great mental state for entering into a new relationship if they don’t put in the work whereas someone else in a similar situation can be ready for a new relationship in 8 months if they do put in the work.
So, what I would tell you, is to focus on healing from the breakup, processing the emotions that you are — the sadness of losing your partner, the emotions of feeling alone and vulnerable, and just sticking through that, and being comfortable gaining strength in being alone and finding a fulfilled alone.
And once you get to that spot, you can be ready to start dating again. Again, it’s really not about timetables for me, it’s about putting in the work.
Putting in the work is not fun. You have to deal with emotions, you have to deal with working on yourself, but in the long-run, that’s the best thing to do. Only by putting in the work, will you get to a healthy mental and emotional state for your next relationship.