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How soon can I start another relationship after I come out of one?

By Pastor Taiwo Odubiyi

Answer:

If you have just come out of one relationship, don’t start another until you have fully broken free from the last, and you are healed of your past.

This process takes various lengths of time depending on a lot of things. A person might need five months to get over a traumatic breakup while another person might need two years to properly heal.

The reason to wait is so that you can learn from the past, forget the hurt and pains, and prepare yourself for the new relationship.

I dealt with this issue in Oh Baby, one of my novels.

In the novel, Pastor Richard told Helen, “Well, if you want my candid opinion, I don’t think you should start a relationship now. You’ve just had a divorce.”

“I know but my ex-husband has moved on since then. And sometimes … I’m tired of being alone. Why can’t I move forward myself?”

Richard nodded in understanding, “Of course you’re moving forward. That’s the only way you should go. But moving forward does not mean you have to start a relationship now, just because your ex has. What you need now is a good friend, not a lover.”

Helen opened her mouth as if to talk and shut it again.

Richard continued, “If you start a relationship now, it may be on the rebound. You’ll be in it for the wrong reasons.”

Helen nodded, “I think you’re right there. It’s going to be on the rebound.”

“And that’s not going to be too good. You’ve just come out of marriage … a deep relationship. Your feelings are still raw and fresh, and you’ll be vulnerable to many things. Most people who have just had a divorce or separation experience rapidly vacillating high and low feelings. They may even feel confused at times. They are angry at one time and feeling guilty or sad the next -”

Helen nodded again, smiling, “Yes, I’ve felt like that many times.”

        Richard went on, “There’s the tendency to also over react and feel off balance and because of that, they can easily make wrong decisions. Many people who start a relationship soon after coming out of a serious one, end up with another break up soon.”

“Hmm, you’re right and I can’t afford to make another mistake. It’s just that sometimes I miss the presence of a male in the house. I feel lonely.”

“I know but you have to take it easy. The starting point is to work on your feelings. Allow your heart to be properly healed first.” He touched a finger to his chest. “And while you’re doing that, spend time to find out all the things that went wrong with the marriage. Find out where you in particular missed it.” Richard lectured her.

“Oh I know where I missed it.” She said immediately. “So many things were wrong with the marriage right from the beginning. I was in a relationship with an ungodly person. He told me he was a believer. By the time I knew he was not, we were already planning our wedding.”

“But you could have stopped.” Richard pointed out.

She agreed, “I know but I didn’t want to. I was like … we were already planning our wedding; why should we stop? Besides, we were already living together, which was another mistake I made. So, I just continued in it.”

“You shouldn’t have. That was when you should have stopped the relationship. Doing that would have prevented a broken marriage. You wouldn’t have gone through all the problems that followed later. A broken relationship before marriage, though painful, is still far better than a broken marriage.” He explained.

“I didn’t want to stop the wedding plans. I was like … what will people say?” She confessed.

“Some people make that mistake. But the truth is – you can’t live your life based on what people will say. What’s important is making the right decision.”

“I know that now and I’ve paid dearly for my stubbornness. I did so many wrong things in the marriage as well, but now I know better.” She paused before she continued. “I know the kind of man I should have and the qualities to watch out for.”

“Hmm,” Richard took a deep breath. “Another thing is that – as a Christian, you have to know what the Bible says concerning divorce. What is God’s will?” …

It’s important that your heart gets healed and ready for another relationship, and only you can know when you’ve reached that level: recovered and ready.