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If you are recently separated from the parent or step-parent of your child or children, the first tip to consider is simple, but not easy: Take a break before getting into another relationship. Even without children, most experts recommend that folks who are recently broken up have too many emotions stirred up to enter a new relationship without it getting messy. Rebounding into something new is seductive because it's a band-aid over the pain and loss of a breakup. It's much easier to focus on the positive, exciting, sexy, warm and fuzzy feelings of a new involvement than the yucky feelings brought up by yesterday's breakup. But those feelings are still in there. They will come out eventually, and they'll affect the new relationship. Better to wait, grieve the old, and let it go before entering into the new. Six months to a year is a reasonable break to shoot for.
Everything -- except one crucial thing -- seems right on in terms of the advice offered here. After being in a divorce support group for about a year now, listening to others stories, and discussions, this seems to be validated. However, the "six months to a year" timeline appears to be too soon, and it's been argued that the 1 year of healing for every 4 years of marriage formula (Divorce Care Program) is not necessarily right either. So, how much time is reasonable? Well, what's really reasonable, is whatever time it takes to do the work necessary to start becoming a "whole" person, perhaps for the first time in your life. And, how do you know when that is beginning to happen? When you feel, truly feel peace inside versus anger, grief, etc -- when you are coming from a place of joy instead of a place of pain. Then you have given yourself what you needed to heal yourself, and then can truly GIVE yourself and share this joy (verus pain) in a new relationship. And the key word is give . . . not what can I "get' or "take" from this relationship. Thanks for listening, hope that helps!