Did I mention that I save everything? Including a note a friend wrote me February 8th, 1999 regarding mourning times:

For the “proper mourning time” it depends on whether you are the breaker (the one who broke it off) of the breakee (the one who was dumped – for lack of a better term). The breakee can take as much time as they feel they need. However, they need to make sure that the next person they start going out with is not, in their mind, a replacement for the ex and therefore they are just going out with the new person to get over the breaker. (As one of my favorite quotes says “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else” no that I would recommend living that way. I just like the quote.) I realize that some people feel the need to always be going out with someone lest people think there is something wrong with them. So for the breakee, I don’t think there’s a “proper” timeout.

Now for the breaker, I would recommend at least a month before “publicly” starting to date someone else, especially if both parties go to the same church, have mutual friends, etc. The reason for the month would be for the most part courtesy’s sake. Although obviously the breaker had a reason for calling off the relationship, it just doesn’t look good for them to the next week be all over someone else. And, like you stated, everyone likes to jump to conclusions about everything that isn’t their business to start with. I think they also should take a timeout to get themselves together before they start pursuing someone else. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just hangin’ out with members of the opposite sex, but it should be done quietly and probably with someone known for a while and probably not with someone that would be considered a close friend of the breakee (that just leads to conflict of interest and could start a whole other mess). … of course, these are my own judgment calls and I wouldn’t recommend them to everyone since everyone doesn’t exactly know how to handle themselves.

As far as getting involved in the next relationship, I would say there’s no real time limit for either parties, it’s just when they feel they are ready. However, I would strongly suggest a good month or two, possibly more depending on the person, timeout from any type of “serious” relationship. If handing out with the opposite sex, I would steer clear of conversation re: the most recent breakup. The timeout should be used for discerning God’s will, growth, reflection, etc.

I think a huge sign should be put up in Sunday School that reads “WE’RE NOT IN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL ANYMORE, SO LET’S ALL ACT LIKE ADULTS, PAINFUL AS THAT MAY BE.” Some people just never get it, no matter what is done.

I think I’ll spend the next couple of Friday Night Date Place weeks on mourning times and break ups.

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