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.

I thought that I’d return to the idea of “mourning periods” after the end of a relationship. A lot of us, myself included, are often guilty of following the sage wisdom once pronounced by that great television philosopher, Ally McBeal: “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” It’s why so many of us go from relationship to relationship without sufficient time to “grieve”.

There is something to be said for healing times, times of transition and recovery, after a break up. That being said, there’s another type of person who goes from relationship to relationship, and those are the people who I am calling “dating addicts”.

When we asked the question “why date?”, we answered it by saying that we might as well ask why form friendships or any relationships at all. Everyone wants to be loved and be loved by someone. Everyone wants to know and be known by someone. When people speak of intimacy–trying to define what it is they are wanting–they talk about genuine trust, vulnerability, and transparency. They want to feel connected to someone. This sense of connectedness is a characteristic that we want in all of our close relationships. We want to share our lives, be accepted, and be intimate with others. Especially an other. We are hard-wired for intimacy; we’re relational beings.

Like with anything else in our lives, we can take something good and twist it. By “filling an addictive need”, I’m referring to the draw of intimacy. We crave the affection that comes from being in a relationship, the sense of intimacy of being with another, that connection. Sometimes it’s as simple as we love the attention from another (thus a reason why some folks are so hesitant to define a relationship for fear of losing the illusion of being in one).

We often exist in a state of perpetual longing for intimacy (the longing is good; however, when it rules you, it becomes bad). So some folks bounce from relationship to relationship, feeling the need to meet someone else in order to sustain their high or fill whatever intimacy void they may be experiencing. Thus they end up never dealing with their own crap. They fail to realize that sometimes saying “no” to someone who is obviously not right saves both of you time and potential future heartache. Their need to quickly fill that longing too often leads to a lowering/compromising your standards. And then where are you?

Sometimes the desire to be found attractive by prospective partners is great. Many of us have a need to be validated through the attentions of others. As much as I understand that, we can’t start seeing or defining ourselves through the eyes of potential dates. There is nothing wrong with a time to be alone. Learn from the situation, give yourself time to heal, and move on. Deal with whatever issues you may have that might have led to the break up. Enjoy your time with you and your friends. Don’t let any addiction rule you or else they will only fuel poor decision making.

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