Girl breaks up with boy. Girl and boy now alone find being alone too stark. Without thinking both commence a search again for that partner of their dreams; certainly nothing like they’ve just had, or perhaps everything they just had! It happens everywhere all the time, whether it’s planned or unplanned.
None of us likes pain, especially emotional pain. When the void of a relationship failure pervades over our lives we’re often sorely tempted to assuage the pain the best way we know how—that is by getting straight back up on ‘that’ horse.
But, this is one area of life we’re best placed to ride out the wave of desolation such that time is allowed the privilege of rebuilding our fractured identities.
When this happened to me over six years ago now, rebounding was the last thing on my mind and heart as I strove to not give up on that marriage—that was my difficulty. I didn’t want to, indeed couldn’t, let go at the time. It took nine months to be released from that yearning.
During the latter part of this journey I did a group course called DivorceCare. In that course it was suggested that new relationships shouldn’t commence without a one-in-four time latency period of being single taking place.
For me, having been married thirteen years, that meant I had to wait at least three years and work through ‘my stuff.’ I didn’t like that one bit, I can tell you. The truth was I did develop an infatuation for two of those three years which was never going to develop into love—I’m very thankful for it looking back because it kept me from ‘scanning the field’ and being available.
I know of several couples over my recent past that’ve grappled with this issue; and for the main part I see more often than not people rushing headlong into relationships prematurely—I know I did. It’s an issue of ‘singles beware.’
So, what advice would be appropriate to give having learned from others’ and my own mistakes?
è We should take the time as singles to really get to know ourselves... our real core selves. We’re good people and there’s such a mystery about ourselves which hardly any of us truly explores—especially when we’re in a relationship where at least half our identity is shared with or founded in another person.
è We shouldn’t rush anything. We can find time to develop a good living routine. We find peace this way.
è We could get to know our parents, siblings and children. This is a basic thing many gloss over. The truth is we’ll miss them terribly when they’re gone; we never quite know when this will happen.
è We should also know that in this context time always moves too slowly for us. We can accept that and pray for an embracing of the concept of delaying our gratification.
è It takes time to deal with our ‘stuff’ for we all have it—unresolved issues. We place ourselves (and the other party) in a good position, in terms of a future relationship, if we’ve dealt with our emotional baggage and we therefore know positively what we want in a relationship, and not simply what we don’t want.
Rebounding in relationships can make things for us and the others involved a lot worse, overly complicated and a chore compared with investing in a relationship at the right time.
We must also be prepared that if we resist the ‘abounding rebound’ phenomenon we go against the grain of the world—and we may not find much encouragement to continue. We’re well placed to simply acknowledge and accept this fact.
We call upon true wisdom, however, in remaining steadfast in slowing down the process of re-mounting that relational horse called “romance.”
© 2009 S. J. Wickham.