To answer the question from the get go, there is no scientifically proven time that one should leave prior to entering another relationship. However some queries arise as someone poses this question, such as:
- What’s the rush?
- Did you take time to process the previous relationship?
- What is your relationship with yourself?
What’s the rush?
It is interesting when individual’s want to jump from one relationship to the next. What does this say about them? Do they feel okay being by themselves? If not then what is this the reason that one wishes to enter another relationship? These are essential questions which individuals need to ask themselves in order to make sure that they are ready for another relationship. This is because a relationship is co-created between two individual’s. Therefore in order to prevent hurting the other partner and/or yourself it is one’s responsibility to understand one’s own needs and what expectations does each partner have from this new relationship.
Did you take time to process the previous relationship?
During the previous relationship, whether one acknowledges it or not, this taught the individual something. Different kinds of lessons emerge from past relationships such as; what one like or dislikes in a partner, lifestyle choices, mistakes, routines, personal insights about individual’s, new skills which the partner taught you, and an altered perception about life amongst others. These are important new lessons which one needs to be aware of, and assimilate into their current state of being. These lessons are important to be aware of in order for the individual to understand what qualities one would desire in a new partner. Besides gaining insight into new understandings of oneself, the individual should also allow some time to grieve the previous relationship. This should be done irrespective of whether it ended on a positive or negative note. Grieving is a natural human process, in which the length of time of the process of grieving varies from one individual to the next. Grieving can be painful, however we should not avoid pain as it teaches us something about ourselves. Grief explains to us that the person meant something to us and helps us appreciate the things we still have. It’s almost like it is life’s way of reminding us not to take anything for granted.
What is your relationship with yourself?
My main concern is that some individuals tend to avoid spending time by themselves at all costs. Therefore my question is what is your relationship with yourself? Does the individual enjoy their own company? If not then there are certain issues which need to be discussed with trained mental health professionals in order to get to the root of this problem. Rather than trying to merge with another individual by jumping from one relationship to the next. It is natural for the individual to spend some time in reflection with oneself in order to process what the person wants from their life. So I encourage this behaviour in order to help the individual find out exactly what they want from their lives, and in order to minimize the other partner getting hurt. This might be caused due to a lack of introspection from one of the partners which might lead to an incompatibility within this couple dynamic.
Karl Grech is a counsellor. He offers counselling to both individuals and couples within Willingness. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.