Amy M. Spagnola


StupidCupid47: How to Detox Your Dating Life

If your dating life has hit the skids, or you're with someone who gives you caterpillars instead of butterflies, or you just feel paralyzed by the prospect of dating after divorce, kids, emotional baggage or a bad relationship, it might be time for a dating detox.

The idea of a detox is too clean out the cobwebs on your old habits and feelings. If you always kiss on the third date or you won't date a guy who likes ankle socks, it's time to refresh, reboot and revitalize your tired attitude and approach.

Here are 5 tips to give yourself a love cleanse:

1.) Take a Break
I've watched friends of mine jump from relationship to relationship--each more "meaningful" and "meant to be" than the next. Guy #1 = soulmate, Guy #2 = destiny, Guy #3 = love of her life. They CAN'T all be perfect and fated and feel right, sorry. Sometimes you have to do the hard work and dig deep and heal from all the past relationship trauma, disappointment and sadness. If you're on perms-rebound and go from guy to guy to guy, with a few weeks in between, this is going to result in bad relationship choices and cloudy judgement--remember everyone looks good during the infatuation stage!

Detox Strategy: Take at least two months off from dating, ideally more like six months! Embrace being single. Enjoy the company of friends and family. Try a new class or take a staycation. Savor some 'me' time.

2.) Reflect
Journal or have a few heart to hearts with friends and family and try and discuss patterns in your dating choices. Are you attracted to bad boys? Victims? Struggling artists? Distant dudes? Emotionally toxic or unavailable types? Spend some time sizing up your dating history and try and figure out your 'love addictions.' Now, do some meditation, energy clearing and soul searching to decide what you really want in a partner.

Detox Strategy: Write down your list of qualities you want and do something symbolic to make it manifest--take the paper and burn it (be safe) or leave it on the top of a mountainside under a rock (try and be eco-concious about it). Also, try daily affirmations and even do something physical to remind yourself of your new outlook, like using a habit breaker spray.

3.) Do You
You've suffered an epic breakup and you want to watch Meg Ryan movies and eat caramel corn and Oreos all day. Now is the time not to run into the arms of a new person, hop on the hormone highway and take a stop at sex station. After a breakup or difficult relationship, have some fun to encourage new and positive momentum to ignite in your life. Try to find nature-ceneterd activities to boost healing--ziplining, hiking or fishing.

Detox Strategy:
Go wild! Enjoy some outdoor air, new scenery and challenge yourself physically to crush some of those feelings of anger, hurt and sadness. If you're financially advantaged, consider a retreat or spa for some full Zen-ification.

4.) Men Diet
Don't try and hide, escape or vilify men during a detox. Exposure and platonic interactions with men is perfectly accpetable. The key is to break free from the merry-go-round of dating and take a period to recharge. Stay off the Internet dating sites, don't nudge anybody for a set-up or a blind date and stay away from exes!

Detox Strategy:
Cell away. Spend less time tethered to digital devices during this period. Don't email, text or reach out on Facebook to old flames or pin for attention in bars. Take a true breather and do fulfilling things outside of the romantic endeavors-try a new spin class, go to a religious service, volunteer, paint or join a team. Group actives can be ultra-refreshing and uplifting during a love reboot.

5.) Kill Your Heroes
Maybe you're always reading about Kanye and Kim or you can't get enough of the drama with Selena and Justin. Now is the time to severe those celeb obsessions and find true love role models. Learn and observe the married-for-more-than-a-minute couples. For instance, my grandparents have been married for over 50-years and my grandfather still checks on my grandmother, asks her advice and dotes on her. There are true lessons to be learned from the people who have gone the distance and made relationships thrive over many decades.

Detox Strategy: Escape the gossip and spend some time with those who have cultivated loving partenrships that have stood the test of time. Interview relatives and friends who have successful relationships about their secrets and the roots of a strong and lasting union.

When you've completed all the steps and you feel emotionally grounded, centered and revitalized, you'll know because you WON'T have feelings of desperation, bitterness or fear and you'll be ready to love again.

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