THE romance has ended, the divorce papers have been signed, and you just want to get on with your life. This may involve wanting to hit the dating scene again, and while it may seem like a great idea as your body, mind and heart scream for some attention, relationship counsellor Wayne Powell said that it is important that you first go through the five stages of grief before allowing someone in your romantic space because you could end up hurting even more or inflicting great pain on someone else.
“A failed relationship can be a traumatic experience for one or both partners, whether they want to acknowledge it or not, and often when children are involved this can be even more devastating. It is therefore important that in order to ensure that you can move on and lead healthy romantic lives, you allow yourselves to go through the five stages of grief — shock, denial, anger, sadness and acceptance,” Powell encouraged.
To fully exhaust the grief process and to prepare yourself for another relationship, Powell suggests that you give yourself at least a year. He said that this way you will be able to fine-tune many aspects of your life and work on bringing a better you to the table.
“Separate from the grief process. I generally recommend that before you start another relationship that you do an honest self-evaluation. Ask yourself, 'Is there something I have done or never did that prompted this action?' In addition, as you work on rebuilding yourself, you also want to avoid sharing your hurt with someone who may have a vested interest as he or she may take advantage of your fragile emotional state as is the case of many relationships we see formed too quickly after a failed relationship,” Powell said.
Instead of giving in to feelings of loneliness which he says often drives newly divorced people into the arms of other people, Powell said you should work on your relationships with other people in your circle who are always supportive, and use the opportunity to explore new hobbies and creative activities.
He advised that it is important that whenever it is you decide to re-enter the dating ring, that you must be rational, level-headed, free of the bitterness and resentment of your past relationships, and prepared to give someone else a chance.