Quarantine has caused all of us to question aspects of our lives, and that includes our relationships. Host and online personality Renee Ariel has built her platform as a relationship expert, sharing her tips and advice on TikTok to an audience of millions–including when it’s time to walk away from a relationship and how to move on, as she shared on Ten Minute Talks with Meagan Lynn.
Renee says that when you’re thinking about ending a relationship, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.
“A big one is what percentage are they making me happy versus making me feel unsatisfied or upset,” she said on Ten Minute Talks. “Below consistently 80 percent happy I think that that gets to be a problem because a lot of people will live for these temporary highs. It actually becomes like an addiction where you just live for those short moments of when they are exactly what you need them to be…you just keep waiting for the good again. Make sure you’re never waiting for the good again.”
Getting through breakups
When a relationship does come to an end, Renee recommends surrounding yourself with friends to comfort you–whether the real kind or the ones from the TV show.
“Watch a comfort sitcom. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I swear to you having something that you can rely on like Friends is so nice in the beginning,” she shared.
Beyond initial comfort, Renee says it’s important to create a new routine for yourself that doesn’t allow you to dwell on the past.
“Plan everything to the hour. Don’t give yourself more time than you need to sulk and feel sad,” she said. “Give yourself a routine that will make you feel good, that will keep you energized and focused as much as you can. But also sometimes you need those days where you just cry and stay in bed all day. It’s a balance.”
Stop romanticizing them
Renee says it can often be hard to let go of someone because it’s common to romanticize them rather than accept them as they are.
“I think what it is is you see this potential in them, right? When they talk about their nephew and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, he’s so good with kids. He would be so good with our kids.’ Stop it. He’s good to his nephew. He may be really good to his friends. That doesn’t mean he’ll be good to you,” she said.
“Often what we’ll do is instead of focusing on how they’re treating us, we look at how they’re treating other people and things in their environment, and then we build this idea in our head of what it would be like to be with them,” she continued. “If you have to put in your head what it would be like to be with them, you’re romanticizing them.”
Renee says this is why it’s important to keep low expectations in the beginning as you don’t have enough information about the person you’re dating to know if you’re truly compatible and could have a future. Conversely, if the relationship was good in the beginning but has gone downhill since, Renee says it’s important to not project who your partner was in the past onto who they are now.
“A lot of the reason we get into very toxic situations or we don’t let go of people is because we hold onto this idea that it’ll get back to a point in time where we thought they could be the person we end up with,” she said. “If I ever feel like it’s getting to a place where I don’t feel as satisfied, or I’m not sure if it’ll work, I have to really talk to myself and be like, ‘Okay, if this is something that’s leaning towards not working, is this something I want to keep investing in?’”
“You can’t pay attention to how much you’ve invested, because at the end of the day, you’re not leaving with nothing. You’re leaving with more knowledge, and you’re leaving with lessons that now you can put into your next relationship or your next situationship or whatever it is that will only make you a better and smarter dater.”
The silver lining
All in all, Renee has one piece of dating advice she always keeps in mind.
“If someone’s into you, you’ll know; if they’re not, you’ll be confused,” she said. “When you’re asking your friends, ‘Oh my God, I feel like he’s not that into me because he doesn’t really text me a lot and he doesn’t give me that much attention, but he did say I was pretty…’–if you are in that train of thought where you’re trying to justify or make sense that they could somehow still like you even though they’re not doing what you really would need someone to do to feel like they like you, you’ve got to accept the hard truth.”
In that hard truth, though, Renee says there’s a silver lining.
“We often try to make sense of things that there’s no point in making sense of. It doesn’t matter why they’re not texting you or why they’re not that into you or why they’re not trying to make plans. It matters that they aren’t making plans, that they aren’t texting you, and that they aren’t that invested in you,” Renee said. “And that just means you get to find someone who is all about you and obsessed with you, and that’s going to be so much better than getting half-love.”
For more advice from Renee, you can follow her on TikTok @reneeariel and Instagram @reneeariel, and check out her dating blog, Sexting, and the City.