• Muyiwa Afolabi
  • Wed, 25 November, 2015 10:54:58 AM



Grief can have devastating effects on the type of person you choose while you are still actively grieving. Many people do not realize they are grieving so are at-risk of choosing dangerously while being impaired by their grief. Some assume that grief is related only if your partner has recently died and if you are currently still saddened by the loss. But actually grieving occurs when any relationship ends-whether it is anticipated, desired, prepared for, or not. The longer the relationship existed, the longer the grief normally takes.

Persons are often distressed to learn that there should be a 'time out’ from dating or future relationships when one relationship has ended. The rule of thumb is 6 months time-out for every 5 years of relationship. So if you were with someone (married or not) for 10 years that would suggest you take 1 year off from dating. I get horrified reactions to that because most people think 'just get yourself back out there. The best way to get over someone is with someone else.’

Many of my clients ended up in counselling with me because they did exactly that. While still grieving, they hooked up and made some bad choices which caused them even more problems and pain. When you are coming out of a relationship, you are in pain even if you aren’t acknowledging it, even if you wanted out of the relationship, even if you had planned for the ending of it. When we are in pain, we are not in our best decision making mind. When issues of the previous relationship are not resolved, many people go on to choose someone just like the relationship they just ended. Subconsciously they are trying to work out those issues-but with a new person instead of the one they just left.

Drastically, many people jump from one relationship to the next to avoid being alone. Alone does not necessarily=loneliness. In these cases, people don’t really care about the quality of the next relationship they only desire to avoid themselves. These are issues for the person to work out with a professional. People who cannot be alone are at a significant risk of choosing anyone to avoid being alone.

The baggage we carry from the last relationship has the ability to impact current and future relationships. Ideally, none of us want to hurt new relationships with our old issues that are unresolved. That’s why time off relationships help us get some distance where we can assess the good and bad things of the relationship, our part in it, the types of people who we tend to select and whether we need to make some changes. These insights do not happen overnight or even within a few weeks. That is why following the formula listed above protects you from your own impaired choices. Sometimes it allows enough time that, you see you might need a few counselling sessions to work out your anger, fear, or look deeper at your dating selection patterns.

The longer we wait and the more we work on ourselves in-between relationships the better chances we have of bringing a more healthy self to the next relationship and being able to spot potential bad dating choices.


Derivative from evelorgen.com




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