The Modern Rules of Rebound Relationships
A new study suggests that rebound relationships may be healthier than previously thought. However, the headlines ignore a fact that the researchers acknowledge.
The study found that people who started new relationships less than 7 months after their old ones broke up said they felt better about themselves compared to those who waited longer. Unfortunately, these may be only short term effects due to being distracted from deeper issues.
You can heal from a past relationship and find love again. These steps will help.
Steps to Take Outside of Dating:
1. Process your feelings. It’s natural to feel sad or angry soon after a romantic relationship ends. Get in touch with your emotions. Be gentle with yourself while you’re establishing a new routine.
2. Build your self-esteem. It’s easier to keep relationships in perspective if you have a stable sense of self-worth. Remind yourself of your talents and accomplishments. Find comfort and wisdom in your spiritual practices.
3. Spot patterns. Use your breakup as an opportunity to look back in time. See if your relationships share any common patterns that you would like to change or develop further. It may be time to look for someone closer to home if long distance relationships keep fizzling out.
4. Accept objective feedback. Your loved ones may see the situation more clearly than you do. Consider constructive advice about your love life. Maybe you want to become more assertive or date someone who shares your goals of getting married and having children.
5. Spend time with friends. Compassion and support will make the transition time more comfortable. Plan a weekend outing or sign up for volunteer work together.
6. Clarify your current situation. You may decide to remain friends with your ex. However, you both probably still need some time apart to adjust to your new arrangement.
Steps to Take While Dating:
1. Pace yourself. Let things develop gradually and naturally in your next relationship. After a breakup, you may tend to have intense feelings that distort your judgment. Ensure you’re really attracted to the individual you’re dating now, rather than just feeling pressured to be part of a couple again.
2. Broaden your conversation. You and your date will have a better time if you remember to talk about subjects other than your former relationship. Discuss your hobbies or share an interesting story about work.
3. Resist comparisons. Of course, it’s easier to avoid talking about your ex if you’re not thinking about them. Appreciate your date for their own merits instead of measuring them against someone from your past.
4. Be honest with yourself. Determine whether you feel emotionally available for a new love interest. Ask yourself if you still want your old partner back. Do you feel stable and consistent? Can you accept your past and allow yourself to feel vulnerable again?
5. Open up to your new partner. Rebound relationships sometimes end because people are still conflicted about their old relationship. It’s difficult to communicate with someone else until your own thinking is clear. At some point, it’s reasonable for your partner to expect you to share personal information.
6. Ignore the calendar. Forget about finding any “one size fits all” interval for when it’s okay to start dating again. Take whatever time you need to grow and learn. In the long run, you make faster progress when you build on a strong foundation rather than repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
You’re the best authority on when you’re ready to move on from one relationship to the next. Give yourself time to recover and prepare for a new, healthy, loving relationship.