When I work with people who are just getting out of a relationship, I watch them make the same mistake time and again. The person is eager to get into a another relationship. On the surface, this seems to make sense–something is now missing, so it seems like you should replace it. However there are several problems that can occur from getting into a relationship so soon.  Because people are not replaceable, these same individuals are left either looking for something that they are not going to find, or filling in spaces of emptiness with new partners.

Relationships are tough work. The beginning of a relationship disguises that. Two people get together and are getting to know each other, which is exciting. The attractiveness of one to another can overshadow the incompatibilities, and it often does. After leaving a relationship, the excitement and enjoyment of the early phase of a new relationship can be addictive. It becomes a natural medicine to the pain endured from the breakup. Like any substance that is unprescribed, the benefits are only short-term, and they don’t overcome the sadness and anger from coping with a loss.

The only way to deal with such a loss to give it time. I recommend that people wait at least six months before entering into the dating world again. Ideally, you would even wait longer. This gives you time for the open wounds from the past relationship to heal. It also keeps you from getting diluted in the sexiness of a new person. If the new relationship has hope to continue on successfully, then time apart will not ruin this.

If you don’t wait for your wounds to heal, you are likely to look for who you last partner was not, instead of what is most compatible. You’re much more likely to choose extremes. If your past partner was a slob, you might choose a “clean freak”. If he was loud, you might choose someone who doesn’t talk much at all. However if you give yourself adequate time, you’re much more likely to know what you want and why you want it. This will increase the odds that who you are choosing will be an enhancement for your life, rather than another person who you have to cope with losing.