As much as you need. You need to find and redefine yourself, to gather the pieces of your Self and put them back together. With any separation that comes into our life we lose something of our identity and afterwards we need to rebuild it. We create and initiate relationships from our birth and learn how to separate from significant persons we interact with. All these relationships contribute to the creation of our identity because interactions and experiences with others are building what we are. After the emotional attachment is built, it becomes more difficult to separate from the one we got emotionally attached to. It is not easy to break up the habits we created altogether, to forget all the memories and to walk further alone.
Too often we hear that we need to heal in order to be available for another new person in our life. Is it not natural that we cannot be available after we break up? Maybe we need to think about ourselves, to get out of confusion, to cry as much as we need. It is far too demanding to start something else when we are not completely separated by what it was and we often put too much pressure on ourselves, because the society likes to see us as in a couple and not single. To be in couple – happy or unhappy couple, more or less functional, just not to be alone. Especially in a collectivist society, being alone is a form of differentiation, which takes us out of the herd of the extended and traditional families.
If we take a look at the statistics from Romania and not only, the functional couples are very few and it takes a lot of work and commitment to reach such a point. Moreover, statistics are pointing out domestic violence, abuse, toxic relationship and in this context we need to learn that staying single is much better and much heathy than staying in a relationship. Even though staying single is perceived not that positive by the society, in order to be healthy and happy, we need to become truly autonomous persons. Because when we use the term independent, it begins to sound pejorative in the societal landscape. It scratches our ears when we talk about independence, about an individual who wants to differentiate himself, to become himself, to define his own values and to build himself, beyond his group and the traditional family. But we need independence and autonomy the most, so that we can function optimally in one relationship with another one.
After a break up we are very often advised to find another person – like a buffer relationship that will allow us to heal, to forget and to reinvent ourselves. But this is the most terrible error that we can realize. We expect another one to be the healer for us, while we do not have the minimal energy to take care of ourselves, not to say that we do not have energy for being present in this relationship and to offer our attention to the other person. It could be only a flight from our suffering, in order to become detached for a short period, in order to repress the feelings of suffering, but in reality is remains a flight. It is a flight from us and our deepest feelings and authenticity. It is much more comfortable to find these short term solutions, but in the end the road that we need to follow has to be followed and finally we will realize that only by ourselves we will realize to heal the pain caused by the break up.
Besides any other reasons for remaining single after a break up, I consider that the most important one is the fact that we do not have enough energy for another one in order to be involved fully and to know him genuinely, as well as to expose us in a genuine way. The buffer relationships are very artificial and even though the initial scope of being something superficial, the risk of complicating things and entering a dysfunctional relationship is very high. In this state we are very vulnerable, not able to spot what might be a red flag and we do not succeed to know the other one. We rather need to pay attention to us, to our feelings and thoughts and search for anyone support than the one that could come from a lover. The most appropriate support for this period should come from a specialist and in the long run it will be the best choice we could have made.