Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Breaking Up Gracefully: Part Four

Here we are at the last of the four essays on Breaking Up Gracefully. We have already talked about why breakups are psychologically so upsetting, covered tips on what to do after a breakup, and focused on resisting blame of our ex for the reasons the relationship failed. This last essay will focus on how to approach the future as it relates to finding a better relationship. No relationship was a waste of time if you learn from it.

One of the easiest things to do post-breakup is to go and find someone else to fill the void. I worked with an older man at one of my first jobs (washing dishes at age 17) who told me about a breakup he had. He said succinctly, "I gotta git me a new baby started." The point of this last essay is that this is the last thing he needed. What he needed to was to take time off and learn how to be comfortably single.

The best way to carry your old issues into your next relationship is to start another relationship too quickly. Is there a length of time one should wait? Not necessarily. However, I can tell you that it depends, in part, on the length of your previous relationship and how upsetting or bitter the breakup was. If your relationship was at least a year or the breakup was incredibly upsetting, you need time to heal. At least a year! Otherwise, give it 6 months. The point is that your next relationship will be better if you are better at the time you start it.

The goal cannot be to find someone. The goal must be for you to get yourself together and to build up a strong self so that you can be a vital 50% of your next union. Being single is the best time to take up new activities and to grow emotionally in ways your previous relationship did not allow.

I know breaking up is painful. But if you can work on learning how to do it gracefully and work on seeing things in perspective, your next relationship will bear the fruit.

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