How Long Should I Wait to Try Again After a Romantic Breakup?

BreakupsQ.

I thought I found my true love. We were happily in love. We both voted for the same presidential candidate. We both enjoyed classical music. We had season tickets for the ballet. We loved to ski and we even ice skated together holding hands. We both had similar temperaments. Sex was really great in the bedroom. I thought our love would last forever – but I was wrong. After two years of living together, everything came apart and we tearfully said goodbye. My question is how long should I wait before entering into another relationship?

A.

Before you ever begin another romance, you must first understand that romantic love is more than a simple human emotion that appears suddenly and disappears just as quickly. Romantic love takes residence in your brain.

Studies have been conducted of college students who described themselves as being deeply infatuated with their partners. As reported by The New York Times, researchers scanned the brains of college students and uncovered that the desires related to romantic love had a neurological profile very similar to the feelings of thirst or hunger, even the same mental craving as those who are addicted to drugs.

The Times quotes anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, who told the paper “When you’re in the throes of this romantic love it’s overwhelming, you’re out of control, you’re irrational … The drive for romantic love can even be stronger than the will to live.”

This deep passion can also explain what happens to you emotionally following a breakup, says Fisher. When love is suddenly withdrawn by a breakup, emotions intensify, and this explains why lovers go through an agonizing period of withdrawal, similar to going cold turkey from drugs.

So, to your question, how long should you wait after a breakup? The answer is very simple: Wait until you are healed.

Dr. John Gray, author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” writes that without healing, the pain, the craving and the depression that accompanies a breakup will linger and will disrupt any romance that you enter into prematurely. He is so right. You absolutely must wait until you have healed your emotional wounds!

There is another problem to be examined here, as well. Women wait too long and men don’t wait long enough. When a woman’s romance in shambles, she will protest for all to hear: “Men are no damn good, never again will I give my heart to one of those creeps!” Sometimes when you take on the role of a victim you forget your own worth. Women need to be optimistic about who they are and what they have to offer some lucky guy out there.

Now some men on the other hand, while on the brink of a breakup, are already thinking of how can I start a new romance? Ladies need to beware of the guy who just emerged from one breakup. If he has not healed, there are problems waiting for both of you down the road. And men, stop kidding yourselves – it may be over, but you are not stranded in a desert dying of thirst. Entering into another romance too soon will not relieve you of the pain you experienced because of the breakup.

At the end of the day, perhaps both the woman who waits too long and the man who wants romance immediately should heed Shakespeare’s advice: “To thine own self be true.”

Have questions of your own about love, life, romance or marriage? Let Rabbi Sol help! Email your question today and keep watching my blog for more advice and tips.

Has your relationship, on the other hand, been going great and you’re now looking to get married? Congratulations! As an ordained rabbi and interfaith minister, I can officiate your wedding and even offer Russian- and Spanish-language ceremonies. Learn more by calling me today at 561-350-8722.

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