Blake and Gwen don't represent most people's journey to healing after divorce

Aug 1, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. ET
Image: John Shearer/BBMA2016/Getty Images

Blake Shelton has recently credited his relationship with Gwen Stefani for getting him through his divorce. While Blake and Gwen seem to have a great relationship that developed and grew that worked out for them, it is not necessary to have another relationship to feel better after a loss.

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Replacing one relationship with another isn't always such a good idea. The timing seems lucky for them, but it's important not to jump into a new relationship to replace the old one because it won't necessarily heal you after a breakup or divorce. It can be part of the healing process, but it is by no means a foolproof method.

So much emphasis on social media goes into whom is dating and marrying whom, but being single is really a time to understand yourself and prepared for future relationships. I understand that most people like to be with a partner and try to replace an old relationship with a new one as fast as they can, but there is nothing wrong with taking the time to learn about yourself as an individual instead of a couple.

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The time for healing after a relationship ends can be invaluable. Being alone is a great time to focus on individuality and self-care. It's a useful time to figure out what relationship patterns you need to shift for the next one. Being content without a relationship is much more valuable then always being in a relationship.

Yes, new relationships are exciting and fun — much more appealing than feeling sad and lonely — but as a marriage and family therapist, I would recommend learning to accept the uncomfortable feelings of being without relationship. You cannot heal or grow by ignoring negative feelings. It’s a time to put yourself first. Figure out what you want and what your values are after such a huge transition before you jump into a new relationship. It'll help the next time around be much more successful.

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