How To Deal With Loneliness During The Holidays

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The holidays are a difficult time of year. Although there’s lots of celebrating and time spent with friends and family, the holidays can also feel lonely for those who don’t have a partner. Especially when you look around and see many of the people you know all cozied up with a significant other.

Dating app Coffee meets Bagel surveyed 800 of their members early this month to see how they feel about their relationship status during the holidays. What they found was that 61 percent think about dating more this time of year, 46 percent reflect more on life during the holiday season, and 43 percent find that spending time with loved ones makes them think about dating more then usual. For all its merriment, it can be a somber time of year for some.

“When you are not in a relationship or getting over a relationship, the holidays can be a challenging time of the year,” Behavioral Scientist, Clarissa Silva, tells Bustle. “Each relationship we go through really teaches us about what we need or what we needed to overcome to set us up for a healthy relationship. If you’re currently struggling to get over a relationship, there are a few things you can think about to help overcome some of the pain associated with the break up.”

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Because it can be a rocky time of year for some folks, here are seven things to think about to help you get through it and make the right choices for your next relationship, according to Silva. But, I’d like to point out, the first step in getting through it is realizing you’re not alone.

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1Think About What Led To The Relationship You’re Getting Over

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The why and how we end up in a relationship varies from person to person. Some people end up in a relationship because we just fell into it. Other seek out a specific type of person, find them, and wiggle their way into a relationship. What Silva suggests you do, in order to get through the holidays with your heart in tact and move onto a healthy relationship in the New Year, is think about how you ended up in your last relationship and if that’s how you want to end up in your next relationship.

2Think About What Attracted You To Your Ex

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Was it looks? Charm? Ambition? The fact that they had the best dog who made for the greatest cuddle buddy of all time? Think about it and if the reasons you were attracted to them were good reasons or bad reasons.

3Think About How Your Ex Made You Feel About Yourself

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"One of the key elements about a relationship is that it should make you a better version of yourself," says Silva. "When you find someone that enhances you in ways that you were always hoping for, that is the beginning of a long-term successful relationship."

You want to be in a relationship where you feel good about yourself. Plain and simple. If you look back at your last relationship and realize you didn't feel good and didn't like the version of yourself that your partner and the relationship made you, then you want to make sure that doesn't happy again.

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4Think About What You Were Looking For Before Your Last Relationship

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Did your last relationship live up to what you were looking for before the relationship began? Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships and all our standards go out the window and we end up settling, but not realizing it until it’s over. If we can pinpoint now that we settled in our last relationship, we can, ideally, avoid it next time around.

5Think About What You Experienced With Your Ex That You Hadn’t Experienced Before

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Were these experiences good? Did they strengthen you as a person, as well as your relationship and create a deeper bond with your partner? Would you want to have these experiences again? Or were the majority of your experiences with your partner not good and even forgettable? It's important to look at what you experienced and realize if you want to experience it again with someone new or if you want to make sure those experiences never happen again.

6Think About What Fears You Had Before Your Last Relationship Started

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Whether it's fears about yourself, the direction your life is heading, or anything else, fears are a normal part of life. But what should happen in a healthy relationship is that those fears should be soothed — meaning, they definitely shouldn't be increased. If they are, then you really need to think about what that says about your relationship and why you shouldn't be in a relationship like that again.

"Think about the fears you may have had before you got into the relationship," says Silva. "When you are in an optimal relationship, those fears are reduced."

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7Think About Whether You Could Have Pictured Yourself With Your Ex Before You Met Them

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For example, there’s no way in hell I could have pictured myself with my ex before I met him. An older, divorced man with two kids? Are you effing kidding me? This was not what I was looking for or could have even fathomed being with in a million years. And, when it didn’t work out, I shouldn’t have been completely surprised. If your ex isn’t the type of person you could have pictured yourself with, then that’s definitely saying something. Actually, it’s not just saying something, it’s saying a lot and should really highlight choices you make for your next relationship.

“Once you have identified the reasons for some of these questions, you’ll have the answers to help propel you to the next relationship,” says Silva. “Sometimes we keep carrying unnecessary burdens into new relationships. You possess the answers to all that you are feeling; you just have to look at the situation from a different angle. The answers are all within you. You can harm or heal yourself. Returning to the point of who you were before the relationship; puts you in a place of empowerment rather than psychological persecution.”

The holidays aren't just about getting through them in one piece, but looking forward to what's on the other side. What's on the other side, for many, is a new relationship, with 46 percent of Coffee Meets Bagel users stating that finding a new relationship is a resolution for 2018. That being said, it's important to examine and think about your last relationship. That way, when you enter into a new one, you're ready to make it your best — and healthiest — relationship yet.

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