Q&A: Pursuing a lady who recently broke up

Q: How long should I wait before pursuing a lady who recently broke up with her boyfriend? I realise she probably needs some time and space right now, but I don’t want to wait around too long either. 

A: Time heals, but the amount of time that’s needed depends on many factors. For this reason, we can’t tell you, “Wait six weeks and then make your move.” Instead, you need to keep your eyes open and go slow. In particular, give thoughtful consideration to the fact that this woman has experienced a real loss, and that different people grieve such losses at different rates. You need to approach this situation with a great deal of sensitivity and compassion.  

Your level of familiarity with this lady will necessarily dictate the way you relate to her under the present circumstances. If you’re already friends, you probably have a good idea of how you might talk to her about her current situation. If not, you’ll want to think about slowly building a friendship with her while maintaining an appropriate emotional distance. 

When you’ve earned the right to do so, you might try asking her some questions about the recent break-up. What was this experience like for her? What did she learn from it? Who was responsible for ending the relationship? Factors like these are likely to make a huge difference in the amount of heartbreak she’s going through.

Whatever you do, don’t push her into some kind of “rebound” relationship. Remember, contentment and self-sufficiency are key factors in the psychological health of the individual, and it takes two healthy people to make a healthy couple. You don’t want her to jump into a new connection with you just because she desperately “needs” somebody. That will only lead to other problems down the road.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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