In the wake of a painful breakup, a new relationship may seem alluring. However, if you take the relationship at too quick a pace or fail to carefully vet your new romantic interest, you could end up with postponed emotional healing and further heartbreak. Giving yourself time and getting to know yourself as a single person again will help you get ready to move into a relationship in a healthy way.
Getting to Know You
Breakups can affect your sense of self, leading to feelings of uncertainty. Therefore, it is important to resist jumping into a new relationship in favor of concentrating on yourself, according to psychology professor Gary Lewandowski and peer adviser Miranda E. Bobrowski, both of Monmouth University, in the article “Relationships 101: Having Healthy Relationships in Your First Year of College” for "Science of Relationships." Particularly if your previous relationship lasted for years, you may find yourself initially feeling like half of a whole. Recover your individual identity by engaging in the hobbies you enjoyed before your relationship or by trying new ones.
The most stable relationships are those in which participants are firmly committed to one another, according to study results found by University of Missouri and University of Colorado researchers Mark A. Fine and Jennifer A. Sacher, respectively. The “Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology” article “Predictors of Distress Following Relationship Termination Among Dating Couples” outlines that commitment requires that both individuals want to keep the relationship alive and feel deeply attached to one another. Hurrying matters with someone new will not enable you to develop a healthy attachment to the new person and will undermine the new relationship's stability.
Attracting the Wrong Person
Barreling full speed into a new relationship can mean that you end up with someone who is also struggling emotionally. Therapist Michele O'Mara points out in her website post “Dating Again, After a Breakup" that, against the well-known aphorism, likes tend to attract. If you are still healing and out of balance emotionally, you are likely to attract someone in a similar state. O'Mara advises against dating someone who is attracted to you when you are at a low point, as this individual may not be supportive of emotional progresses you make.
No Time to Grieve
No matter who called things off, you need to grieve your lost relationship. O'Mara suggests that dating too quickly post-breakup can rob you of much-needed time to process your sadness, confusion and other distressed emotions. This delay can mean that you deal with your grief in the context of your new relationship, bringing irrelevant issues into it. Any future relationships will stand a better chance of success if you have dealt with your feelings from the previous one.
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