Q. Is having a fling right after breaking up with my long term partner of almost 3 years a good idea? Or will I feel worse after the fling? I feel like reaching out to potential people I’ve been interested in… Will having someone to fall back on make breaking up easier?
A. Ah…the back up plan. We all tend to have more guts when there’s someone waiting in the wings. It’s true. Most of us, when it comes to breaking up, are pussycats. I think because in general, unless the person you’re dating is a complete a-hole, it’s hard to look them in the eye and crush their world. We get lazy, settle, make excuses for the inadequacies, make lists that find the good outweigh the bad—by one or two things, fall into habits, and most of all, fear being single or fear that we won’t find someone better. Until we do. Because eventually we always do. We don’t just lust, love, and find compatibility with one person out of the billions out there. And only until you’re out of the haze of your current half-assed misery do you get it.
I know, sometimes there are complications. You live with them, and have bought all the furniture together. You’re married so there’s all that paperwork, and all that explaining to do. You have kids or a house together, or maybe you’re unemployed and they’re supporting you, or maybe they’re the only reason you were able to make it through college and you feel this huge amount of guilt and responsibility to pay them back…somehow.
I have been there. I have even been the girl that was so scared of being single for more than a week that even when she found someone she construed to be a hell of a lot better, she didn’t want to rock the boat and chose to have an affair instead, which only fucked up the relationship she was in even more. In life, we are our biggest obstacles, trust me.
My advice: Until you really let go, you won’t get better. Until you tell the Universe you want to be more fulfilled, and make your actions speak louder than your words, you will continue to stew in your mediocrity.
And when you finally cut free of your mediocrity, you may fall into the arms of a fling, or a rebound, or a hook up. Or, you may find the love of the rest of your life. Or, you may spend some time alone, reflecting and visualizing and working towards what it is you really want out of your life and life partner. Whatever feels natural and not desperate is usually the right path.
And while having a backup plan does sometimes make it easier to get on that right path, it shouldn’t be the main factor in determining your fate.