Friday, January 18, 2008

See What Had Happened Was....

The aftermath of the end of a serious romantic relationship is always difficult to navigate at best. From publicizing the break-up to others, to dealing with the surprise and condolences offered as the word gets around, to deciding when one is at a point that dating again makes sense, there is nothing easy about this predicament.

In the worst-case scenarios, one or both parties can't seem to stay out of each other's lives which only adds to how problematic managing this time in one's life can be. In my case, when I say goodbye to a romantic liaison, I say SO LONG, FAREWELL, AUF WIEDERSEHEN, GOODBYE! I typically am not the type to continue the "friendship" or meet for lunch or any of those types of things (with the exception of one case). I'm not sure why this is unless it is that though I have typically been the one to ultimately fire the bullet that put the injured horse [that was the relationship by that point] out of its misery, I was almost NEVER the one who actually wanted the relationship to end. By forcing me to end something I still wanted to flourish, many of my ex'es wrote themselves off my radar screen, just like that.

I have found that in my own dealings with the opposite sex, even when they want out of the relationship, the men in my life have been unable to simply END IT. I call it the "Good Guy Syndrome"; none of them wanted to be the bad guy, the one who ended it. Even so, most of them found no issues with coming out of the bag on me in ways that left me no choice but to call it quits; effectively avoiding being the one to break it off a.k.a. the bad guy. Nevermind that the shit they did to piss me off enough to let go was worse than simply ending it could ever have been. Yeah, as I think back now, I can not recall even one relationship that was terminated by the man with whom I was involved stepping forward and simply saying "I no longer want to be in this relationship." or any other words to that effect; not even when that was exactly what he wanted.

Anyway, I digress...
What I came here to toss around today is the idea of how long is long enough for someone [man or woman] to get over the emotional trauma caused by the break-up of a serious relationship and start dating again? AND, is it ALWAYS necessary that the individual in question take that time?

As you heard in the audio introduction to this post, one of my ex'es suggested to me a few weeks ago that I had not given myself enough time to get over the PO before considering the option of dating again. My impulse upon hearing his opinion was to tell him to "Kiss My Black Ass", but he might have been pleased by that suggestion so I opted to just get off the phone. LOL.

That was almost 3 weeks ago, but today as I sit isolated in the house with an ear infection and some really funky stuff happening with my throat as evidenced by that extremely "sexy" voice recording I left :), I got to thinking about what he'd said. I found myself wondering whether he might be right on any level or was he just being a typical hater and doing what haters do best:

As I rolled this question over my brain cells until they were well saturated with the issue these thoughts started to take shape.

1. I suppose it could be said that there is a period of time necessary to "mourn" the death of a relationship that at one time was the primary focus in one's life.

-However, it is my opinion that only I can decide for me how long that time period needs to be. For some external force to try to dictate for me how long I should wait when that individual has no real clue of whether or not I am ready to move on, stay still, or heaven forbid even go back and re-visit what I just left behind is absolutely ridiculous.
-Furthermore, I personally don't feel that every break-up even requires a mourning period at all. I know that in some situations what is being left behind was so worthless, meaningless, and shallow that getting out of it is in many ways a relief or cause celebre'! When this is the case, the individuals leaving this train-wreck behind may be ready to become involved [maybe even seriously] immediately thereafter.

2. It seems that most people believe that it is necessary to have a significant "break" from dating following a serious break-up.

-Perhaps, but here's the thing...
I believe in carpe diem....seizing the day, though I don't believe in one single "soul mate" for each of us because I think GOD loves me much too much to make finding happiness so unlikely considering the size of the planet and the sheer numbers of people on it [but this is a post for another day huh-LOL]. Anyway, carpe diem applies in my book no matter what is going on. So imagine a situation where you have recently ended a serious relationship that was everything but good for you. Shortly thereafter, you meet someone who possesses all of the traits you value in a significant other and who wants to be good for you and to you but because of the proximity of meeting him/her to the end of your last relationship you decide that you cannot investigate what could potentially be exactly what you have been dreaming of all along. I say "To hell with that nonsense!" In my opinion, meeting someone who has the potential to make you happy and letting him/her go by because you took longer than you should have to figure out the last person you were with was not good for you is just compounding your mistake. I've said this before, but it warrants repeating again here:

Letting a person who might be capable of making you happy go by without taking the time to investigate is tantamount to being given the POWERBALL numbers the day before they are picked and deciding to wait to play them next week.

People the thing to understand is that sometimes TIMING IS EVERYTHING! So understanding that sometimes a break from dating is needed, I still say no matter what, don't forget to seize the day!!!

3. Rushing too soon into dating again or another relationship means you are on the "rebound".

-Maybe, maybe not. It is that simple. The key is to make sure that whatever you went through that led to the break-up has been as fully resolved as possible. The fallacy in waiting for "total resolution" of previous issues is that most of us never completely resolve the issues with which we are confronted. Sometimes we don't even know what the issue was that led to the demise of the relationship because we were blind-sided by a partner who seemed to do an about-face for no clear and apparent reason. In those cases, I believe the best we can possibly hope for is that we are able to accept the end of the relationship and take the fact that we don't truly understand the how or the why in stride. I have known people who when faced with this situation have spent unimagineable amounts of time just trying to figure it out. Sometimes, (and please understand that this is only sometimes) the thing to understand is that sometimes you don't get to understand much if anything and sooner or later it is time to just move on. Time is not promised and as such should never be wasted.

-The other point to keep in mind here is that you should never feel you have to explain or justify to anyone other than yourself your readiness to step back into dating. I have heard so many people explaining all that they have done to "get their heads together" or why it is "not too soon to be dating again"; when in actuality those things are no one else's business but their own! In my opinion, it is not for me or anyone else to question another's readiness to "get back on the horse" so to speak. So to those of you who find yourself explaining AND those who find yourselves criticizing....STOP!

So if you haven't figured it out yet, my perspective is what it always is...DO YOU! Whatever that is; and you can best be assured that I'm gonna DO ME!

Don't forget, I want to know what you think, what your typical death of a relationship mourning time period is, and when you decide to get back in the game how you go about it....ease in, jump in with two feet and sink up to your neck, or dive in head first and let it flow!


Serenity3-0 said...

I don't think there is a magic number or formula for determining how long it will take one to get over a relationship. Sometimes we have let the relationship go long before we ever uttered the words to our significant other. Also, I'm a firm believer in not wasting a day. If the end of the day goal is that you want some companionship, why are you sitting around wasting time? Now if you have reflected on your own mistakes in that relationship and have learned from them, then I see no point in continuing to stew in the aftermath... I sure hate to say this one, but you know that saying, "The quickest way to get over a man is to get under a new man.." LOL! Don't take that literally.. :)

Anonymous said...

I think for each person it's different. Who am I to say if it's right or wrong for someone to date quickly after one relationship has ended and another one begins? What works for you may not work for me.

DJ Diva said...

As long as it takes...some take longer than others...When I broke up with my exhusband it didn't take no time....with my exboyfriend after him ...a hell of a lot!

You know how much you have emotioaly also know what you want. Someone once told me it takes half the time you put into it to gt over it. I'm not so sue she was totally wrong.

Safa said...

I agree with the previous commentors. I remember when I broke up with my high school swwetheart after 4 and a half years, I NEVER thought I'd get over it. It took a while. Even though I jumped back into dating, I think it was more for the distraction. Take as much time as you need or as little. You'll know when the time is right. Also, keep in mind that being ready to date and being over an ex are not always connected. We can be married for years and still not "over" an ex.