Backsliding: We’ve All Done It and Why You Shouldn’t

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So you’ve just recently ended a dating situation, relationship, or something that deserves an “It’s Complicated” status on Facebook. I truly am sorry to hear that. We’ve all been there and it’s no fun. (If you want empathy, support, or advice, I’m here for ya, just leave a comment or email me via the contact form.) But you know what would be less fun? Backsliding. Girlfriends, resist it with every ounce of your being. Trust me on this.

Backsliding, the act of sliding back to the person you were dating/spending time with/banging before the dude you just dumped, always seems like a great idea. It takes the sting out of the recent split and allows you to avoid processing the fresh hurt. Not to mention, it can fill those quiet Sunday evenings with cuddles and coitus. I mean, how could this possibly turn out poorly?

Because it prohibits you from moving on to where you need to get to. You ended things with the backslider for one reason or another. No use in drudging up and dragging out those old issues. Besides, misdirecting unaddressed pain from the most recent relationship leads nowhere. Also, on a more moral-compass level (in case you’re into that sorta thing), you’re essentially using your backslider to assuage your ailing. Definitely not fair to the other person (and bad karma points!).

Ways to avoid backsliding:

  • Join a committee or find a cause. Having a new outlet to which to dedicate your attention and care is always a plus. And you never know—you might just meet a special someone in the group…
  • Develop a Pinterest addiction (for you social media savvy).
  • Take up kickboxing. It’s extremely cathartic.
  • Schedule a series of platonic lunch/drinks dates with your girlfriends, potential business partners, or acquaintances in your life who you want to get to know better. Aim to have 3-5 a week.
  • Learn a new language.

Unless you truly think you messed up with your backslider and there’s something more to be explored, this is just a less than desirable situation to get your sweet little self into. If you’re not sure, give it some time—if your backslider is really where it’s at, you’ll still feel this way in a few months and you’ll have a clearer head about it, making better decisions from a more grounded place.

Otherwise, allow your heart to air out a little. Always be looking forward. And have faith that the next romantic adventure is just around the corner.