As Ariana Grande vows to take a dating break – these are the benefits of doing the same, according to an expert

It’s been a year of pretty extreme highs and lows for singer Ariana Grande.

While she became Spotify’s most streamed artist worldwide, broke the internet with her single Thank U, Next and was named Billboard’s Woman of the Year, she also went through a tumultuous split from her fiancee Pete Davidson alongside mourning the death of her ex-boyfriend Max Miller.

“It’s been the best year of my career, and the worst of my life,” the singer said during her Billboard acceptance speech, so it’s no big surprise that’s she’s decided to take the pressure off by taking a break from dating.

Responding to fans asking: “Who is Ariana dating now?” on New Year’s Day, the singer jokingly tweeted in reply: “Can they tell me too?”

Setting the record straight, the hit-maker said: “Spoiler for the rest of this year / probably my life: it’s no one. please refer back to this tweet for future questions.”

When you’ve gone through a series of difficult break-ups, it’s often the case that you need to take some time to recover.

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Aside from being traumatising in themselves, difficult break-ups can trigger memories of previous traumas and encourage the addictive pattern of moving on too quickly to avoid dealing with deep-rooted pain and the fear of being alone.

“Relationship hopping is not good for an individual, as you are not recovering or dealing with issues from past relationships, so you end up carrying them forward into your next relationship,” says relationship expert Lianne Young (houseofardent.com).

“If you don’t wash your clothes, you’ll eventually be left with nothing to wear and it’s the same with relationships – if you don’t keep on top of your mental admin, you’ll have nothing to give to yourself, let alone others.”

If this is a pattern you’ve repeated in the past, Young says it’s a good idea to self-enforce a period of time where you vow to stay single. Delete dating apps, refuse blind dates and don’t actively ‘look’ for a new partner.

Not only does this foster resilience, says Young, it’s also a good time to work on any anxieties about being alone.

“Relationships are both emotionally and physically draining. When you encounter a break up, it is best to use this time to reset boundaries and limits that you let slip during the relationship. This will help build your self-esteem as an individual, and not as the other half of a relationship.”

Being caught up in the trauma of dysfunctional relationships can often distract from what is important in life too. When a relationship isn’t working, all of our energy is funnelled into efforts to ‘make it work’ with someone ill-suited, leading to desperate to attempts to avoid a break-up.

While Grande managed to have a knock-out year amidst personal troubles, the same can’t be said for everyone. Being single is a good time to replenish your resources, focus on yourself and foster personal growth – this will help you figure out what it is you want from both a relationship and life.

“During the break-up do your best to be social and not to wallow in self-pity, otherwise what is the point in taking a break?” says Young. “Use this time to enjoy time with your friends and invest in yourself for a while.

“This is the time to breathe, catch up on sleep, refocus and re-energise mentally. It’s also mentally good for you to reflect on previous relationships from outside the situation, which you would have been unable to do while living in the relationship.”

Sleep, mental health, diet, self-confidence and mood can all take a knock when we’re in a bad or unstable relationship. Once you feel any areas of depletion are back on track, you can start thinking about returning to the dating world, armed with new ideas about what you will and won’t tolerate in your next relationship.

“You know it’s time to start dating again when you start seeing and looking at yourself as an individual again,” says Young. “Yes, occasionally you will look back and feel that moment of, ‘What if?’ but this is perfectly normal.

“When you start thinking forward instead of in the past, it’s also a sign that you’re ready to move forward.

“Feeling that you’re an individual again, rather than half of a relationship, is often when you realise your self-esteem is back on top. Your wants from a relationship will be clearer, making you ready for a new partner.”

- Press Association


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