How Long To Wait Between Relationships?
In 2012 I went through a difficult break up. I don't talk about it much because it was painful and I was hopeful we would stay friends but it became apparent that wasn't possible. So I cried for about a month straight and then came up for air. On the urging of a friend who'd met her then-fiance on eHarmony, I signed up. Fast forward about 4 months later and I was on a first date with my now-husband.
The first few weeks were interesting. Three weeks in, he tells me he's going to marry me which shook me up in an unexpected way. I began thinking whether it was too soon for us to have this talk, and moreover, whether it was too soon to get serious with him. The funny thing is that I loved him almost instantly but I fought it HARD. I would chant to myself in the shower - I WILL NOT GET SERIOUS, I WILL NOT GET SERIOUS. My reasoning? I didn't want to have two boyfriends in one calendar year - as if that really means something. Ironically, I thought I was being slick when I slipped him a note at 12:01am on January 1, 2013 saying, "yes I will be your girlfriend" as if one minute into the new year was relevant. (I literally just rolled my eyes at myself - how ridiculous was I?)
So how soon is too soon to jump into a new relationship?
Many of our first relationship tiffs were spurred by me having a serious Alamo-sized wall up. I was skeptical of every sweet thing he said. I carried serious baggage with me into this relationship which sometimes makes me think that I should have held out a little longer than 12:01am. We eventually got through (a key word - more on that below) my "stuff" from the past relationship and I'm lucky enough to have found someone who was patient enough not to tell me about myself and move on!
What I've found is that we all have baggage, triggered by different things. I've also given myself enough grace to feel what I am going to feel. You see - I said that we got "through" my stuff. That's not to say that I got "over" it completely, but that it doesn't control or guide me anymore, it's just there. So while I'm on this side of things, I recognize that sometimes you hold on to stuff that serves as a point of reference or point of growth that you have in your life.
So back to the initial question - when is a good time to make the leap? It's entirely personal. I think there is no real length of time that you can give yourself between relationships. For me, I had to give myself enough time to feel whole and worthy again. I went through ALL the phases of grief, even the ugly ones. And by the time Hassan came along I felt there was room for someone else - maybe not a whole house of space, but at least a drawer, which was enough for me. So I let him in.
What's your perspective on the matter?
Photo Credit: William Stitt