As I’ve mentioned before, one of the biggest mistakes people make in relationships is to rush and move too fast. There’s another similar mistake that singles make in regards to their dating lives: getting a new girlfriend/boyfriend immediately after a breakup. This is often called a “rebound” relationship. Sometimes we are tempted to try to immediately fill an emotional void with a new boyfriend/girlfriend (one of my friends called this “panakip butas”—which roughly translates into “covering the hole”).
Generally speaking, rebound relationships do not work out so well. We usually do not make good decisions when we are still vulnerable from the pain of a breakup. Sometimes we bring the “baggage” from a past relationship into the next one. This can lead to a vicious cycle of failed relationships.
Here are a few things you should do to avoid rebound relationships:
After a breakup, take some time to evaluate the past relationship. See if you can learn some lessons from it. Were you too young to have a girlfriend/boyfriend? Were there warning signs that you ignored? Did your ex have good qualities that you hope to find again? These are questions that you cannot process if you jump into another relationship. These important questions may prevent you from repeating mistakes.
It is also important that you take some time to heal emotionally. Do not enter a new relationship if you are still hurt, angry, bitter, or upset with your ex. This simply makes you vulnerable to really bad decisions. How much time should you take? I cannot give you an easy answer for this. Generally speaking, the longer and more serious the relationship, the longer it will take to heal. There are other factors (the way in which the breakup happened, etc) which may also affect healing time.
Finally, it may be a good idea to learn to stand on your own for a while. Some young people start dating very early and never go without a girlfriend/boyfriend. I believe that this causes an overdependence on romantic relationships for fulfillment. Learn to depend on God for your sense of wholeness and security. If you can learn this important lesson, you will be prepared for a healthy relationship.
Solomon wisely stated that there is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). If you have experienced a breakup, pray for wisdom before starting a new relationship. Pray that God will lead you to the right type of person at the right time.
This is one of the many articles that you’ll find in my book: Basta Lovelife: Making Wise Relationship Decisions.
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