After a year of cringe-worthy dating trends, we can enter 2019 with a new one that you’ll actually want to get on board with. Originally coined by dating website Plenty of Fish, Grande-ing is a dating trend that involves being thankful for — rather than resentful of — your exes.
The trend is based on the humble message conveyed in singer Ariana Grande’s song, “Thank U, Next.” What was initially expected to be a kiss-off track turned out to be an introspective look at the lessons one can learn from previous relationships and how compassion lends itself to personal growth.
It is perhaps this unique message that made this song skyrocket to number one on the Billboard charts, given that so many breakup songs are fixated on resentment and the blame game.
For us singles out there, what can we learn from the message in “Thank U, Next”?
Forgiveness is Healing
It’s natural to feel hurt and angry after a breakup. And in many cases, anger is completely justified. However, harboring anger and sadness once a relationship has ended is both physically and emotionally damaging.
When you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean that you’re giving them a pass on any of their indiscretions. It simply means that you are releasing your anger and resentment and moving forward. Always remember that forgiveness is something you are doing to benefit yourself — it isn’t something you’re doing for the other person’s benefit. In fact, you can forgive without ever contacting your ex.
Case in point, my last serious relationship involved a lot of verbal and emotional abuse. My ex had several issues leftover from childhood that led to a short temper and a series of unexpected outbursts. Initially, these outbursts were a part of venting about his work or family situations and weren’t directed at a particular person.
After several months, I became the target of his anger and found myself in a vicious cycle that involved verbal and emotional abuse followed by profuse apologies and tenuous promises of getting help and never hurting me again.
The promises never held up and I eventually got out of that relationship.
For a long time, I felt weighed down by my anger over the situation. In retrospect, I couldn’t believe that I had been blinded by my feelings for my ex in a way that kept me in an abusive situation for so long. But the truth is, abuse in relationships is extremely insidious and difficult to come to terms with, particularly if you’ve never encountered a situation like that before.
I eventually came to the realization that holding on to anger and resentment kept me trapped in the pain I’d felt during that relationship. Although my ex’s behavior was inexcusable, I learned to forgive because I knew that he had endured his own pain and heartbreak, which colored the way he treated other people.
Adopting a trend like Grande-ing to forgive rather than condone allows you to move forward from a painful relationship without the toxicity that comes with anger and hate. Grande-ing also teaches you to take inventory of the different lessons you learned in relationships. This is extremely helpful when it comes to future relationships.
Grande-ing Helps You Spot Red Flags
Since Grande-ing is all about learning and being thankful for previous relationships, adopting this trend is a great way to spot red flags.
When I go on dates now, I’m keenly aware of things I wasn’t before. I can spot when a guy may have a problematic temper, if he’s emotionally unavailable or if there are other facets of our relationship that would make us incompatible.
Grande-ing Promotes Self-Love
One of my favorite parts of Grande’s song “Thank U, Next” is when she talks about how her past relationships have led her to work on developing a stronger, more loving relationship with herself.
The truth is that self-esteem is an inside job. If you want to work on your confidence, you need to start with yourself. Once you’ve done the work, you’ll be emotionally available and able to connect with someone in a positive, healthful way.
Hopefully, 2019 has plenty of positive dating trends in store, so that we can continue to say “Thank U, Next” to the negative trends of yesteryear.
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