‘En­joy­ing your­self with some­one on a ca­sual ba­sis can be a god­send af­ter a bad break-up’

Cosmopolitan (South Africa) - - LOVE LUST -

WHAT IS TBP?

Like the first pan­cake you try to make – a smooshed dough ball of noth­ing­ness – TBP is the first per­son you date af­ter a se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ship, des­tined to end in fail­ure.

‘A bad pan­cake never turns out to be a real re­la­tion­ship,’ says Molly Bernard’s char­ac­ter, Lau­ren, to Hilary Duff’s Kelsey in Younger. ‘It’s pre­des­tined to fail.’ So you put your good guy on the back burner in order not to squan­der a di­a­mond in the rough – and you get your­self a bad pan­cake. Easy, no? Be­fore you rush to a re­bound, Love­honey’s re­la­tion­ship ex­pert Annabelle Knight re­minds us that we need

‘Ca­sual dat­ing is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to se­ri­ous dat­ing, and can be use­ful for some­one want­ing to move on from a re­la­tion­ship be­cause it can re­build con­fi­dence both in your­self and in dat­ing,’ Knight says. ‘En­joy­ing your­self with some­one on a ca­sual ba­sis can be a god­send when you’re feel­ing low af­ter a bad break-up, but it’s ad­vis­able to be cau­tious about jump­ing in the deep end too soon as this can dam­age your emo­tional state.’

THE FLIP SIDE

Do two bad pan­cakes make a stack? To an ex­tent, the ol’ adage that the eas­i­est way to get over some­one is to get un­der some­one else rings true in the the­o­rem of bad-pan­cake law when you’re both in a sim­i­lar frame of mind.

‘If you ended it, you might be ready for new love, be­cause you’d have had one foot out of that re­la­tion­ship for a while be­fore mak­ing the de­ci­sion,’ sex ther­a­pist De­siree Spier­ings says. ‘By the time you leave, you are of­ten more ready to meet new peo­ple – you’ve al­ready had a griev­ing pe­riod.’

Knight agrees but warns that, at some point, you’ll need to ad­dress and process why your re­la­tion­ship ended so you can learn from it. To be hon­est, that’s where a bit of bad pan­cake could come in handy. To move on faster, pass your bad pan­cake and collect R500. It’s about set­ting lim­its for your­self. ‘Iden­tify what’s work­ing for you and what isn’t,’ says Spier­ings. ‘Of­ten you’ll see peo­ple still con­tact­ing an ex af­ter a break-up or stalk­ing them on so­cial me­dia. [Note: guilty.] If they’re hon­est with them­selves, this might make them feel worse. Once you’ve iden­ti­fied what’s not work­ing, set lim­its for your­self – such as, “I will not con­tact my ex un­less it’s about unfi nished hous­ing or fi nan­cial busi­ness.”’

Be­fore you think get­ting your­self a bad pan­cake is the se­cret to re­la­tion­ship bliss, know that re­bound flings are sel­dom des­tined to last. You can limp along, but ul­ti­mately you’ll need the head space that only comes with be­ing on your own for a bit.

‘If you meet some­one you like and want to pur­sue af­ter com­ing out of a se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ship, do your­self the cour­tesy of giv­ing your­self some time,’ says Knight. ‘The re­la­tion­ship stands a much bet­ter chance if you both en­ter it as happy, emo­tion­ally healthy in­di­vid­u­als. Re­mem­ber: the only bag­gage you need to take with you when you start dat­ing is your clutch bag.’ Filled with pan­cakes.

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