For those of you who have ever listened to Dr. Joy Browne's radio show, you're familiar with the "one-year rule."
In case you're not, Dr. Joy Browne has one of the longest-running therapy radio shows today. She answers listeners' calls and gives the advice that she, as a clinical psychologist, has to offer. Often times, the call-in questions have to do with relationships. Dr. Joy has become known for her "one-year rule," something that she stands firmly by. Essentially, the "one-year rule" says that anyone whose relationship ends, be it from a divorce or a death, must wait one full year before dating.
According to Jr. Joy, it doesn't matter when the sex stopped, or when someone got sick, or when you fell out of love. All that matters is the exact date that the marriage ended, and then waiting one year from that day. Instead of attempting to understand Dr. Joy's rule through my paraphrasing, you can read why exactly she thinks this rule is so important. "One calendar year, first and most importantly, gives you the time to know that you can do it on your own.
You can use the time to figure out how what seemed so right could go so wrong so that you don't have to feel guilty about it anymore or feel terrified that it could happen again. A year without dating doesn't mean you have to be on house arrest You can have same-sex friends, work, work out, take courses, take walks, take seminars, and so on. This is the time to invest in your future. And when the year is up, you'll have your confidence and your equilibrium bac
k, and you can be your best self." -Dr. Joy BrowneUpon considering the "one-year rule," as logical and sound as Dr. Joy's explanation is, I can't help but wonder if it is a little too concrete
. Perhaps this rule doesn't apply to everyone. If someone truly moved on from their marriage during it, why should they have to wait one full year? Or maybe, for some people, the act of dating will help them move forward. And the case in which I am most turned off to Dr. Joy's rule is for older people. If someone loses their husband or wife of many, many years in their 70's or 80's, I think it's absurd that they unconditionally must wait a year simply to have a companion and partner in their old age. But maybe Dr. Joy is right that you do need a year to be your full self.
It's hard to know, as I've never been in this exact position, so I'm unsure as to how I'd feel. What do you all think about the "one-year rule"? Do you think it always applies? image source