Post Traumatic Dating Disorder (PTDD)

By the time you reach your 30’s, it’s sufficient to say that you have been dating for at least 15 years! Isn’t that crazy?!? We’ve spent damn near half of our lives chasing someone or being chased. Do you remember that scene in SATC when Charlotte says “I’ve been dating for 15 years… I’m exhausted”? Who wouldn’t be? Forget running a marathon—dating is the most draining and thoroughly frustrating sport there is!

Magazine column after column “teaches” us (and I use that term loosely) about how to “snag” that special someone…yet we rarely talk about all the baggage we have been loading on our psyche wading through all the “un-special” coupling we’ve done.

Each bad relationship we’ve entered and tried desperately to escape— wits intact… stays with us like a spray tan on the Jerseylicious! Although we commiserate with friends and cocktails about our stories of woe…we never really let go to the pain that opening ourselves up and being unceremoniously rejected causes. We carry it with us and with each relationship the load gets heavier…and suddenly before we know it…all we ARE is our baggage.

This my friends is called: Post Traumatic Dating Disorder

The following symptoms may occur if you are currently experiencing PTDD:

• Nausea: due to the announcement of yet another friend’s upcoming “special freaking day”!

• Rapid yet steady weight gain/or loss: Hagen Daaz is ice cream it is NOT your friend!

• A chronic case of the “what ifs”: What if I wear heels more often maybe s/he will come back (and other insane things we tell ourselves).

• I’mrunningoutoftimeitis: Constantly inserting your age into every conversation. Salesperson: “Ma’am that will be $40” response: “OMG, I’m going to be 40 soon”!

• A stash of voodoo dolls in your closet…dating back to high school

• FB/Tweet stalking exes followed by the excuse: “What? We’re still friends…I was just looking to see what that dirt bag was up to”.

If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms please consult your nearest group therapy center… i.e. get together with a bunch of your trusted “tell me like it is” friends…and do the unthinkable—ask them to tell you the truth.

PTDD happens to the best of us but there is a cure—Responsibility and Pattern Behavioral therapy!

You see, often times when our relationships go down south, we play the blame game. We blame everyone else for what went wrong…down to the delivery man. But we rarely take a hard look at how we may have contributed to the demise of our romance. Sure, there are people that you meet that are just a$$holes…but guess what? You chose them…they didn’t just pop up on your front step one day.

First, we need to grieve the loss of the future Mrs./Mr. “The One”, and then we have to take a look back at what part we played in the breakup. An old colleague once said “in order to have a breakthrough you need to have a breakdown”. My nuanced version is this “each breakup provides a breakthrough— to what we really want and who we really want to be”.

We learn something from each relationship…whether it’s intimate or not. The key is to not allow each bump in the road to throw us off our path…s/he is out there, but finding them will be a lot easier without all the extra baggage weighing us down on our journey. Here’s to a quick PTDD recovery!

Cheers to finding someone who will upgrade you…emotionally and spiritually!