Rebound Relationships

November 30, 2014

I used to tell clients not to rush into a new relationship immediately after ending an old relationship. My thoughts were that people need time to heal and to figure out what went wrong. I’ve always thought that it takes time to understand the dynamics of the one you’ve just left so that you don’t make the same mistakes the next time.

Over the years, I have seen the positive and negative effects of rebound relationships and they are heavily weighted on both sides of the issue.

One of my first rebound relationship clients involved a woman who had been married for ten years to an abusive man. Immediately, following her divorce, she met someone else and they got married within a few months of ending her ten-year marriage. I thought she needed time to figure out what she wanted to do with the rest of her life, and with whom she wanted to do it. When I saw her a year later, she was still bubbling over with happiness with her new husband.

On the other hand, another client kept rushing into rebound marriage after rebound marriage and when I tried to tell her that she kept marrying the same man, just with different names and different physical appearances, she couldn’t see it. Shortly after we had that discussion, she filed for divorce from her fifth husband and she still couldn’t see that all five husbands shared the same characteristics.

I think the turning point for me came when I heard one of my clients tell her friend that the best way to get over a relationship that just ended was to get involved in a new relationship immediately. She told her that her depression would disappear as soon as she had a new boyfriend. My client kept going into relationship after relationship without suffering from depression or feeling vulnerable, so maybe she had a point.

What I’ve come to accept is that it’s different strokes for different folks. Some people need a new relationship immediately; they don’t like being alone, and they get depressed and lonely until they find someone new. Others are too bruised emotionally and need a long time to get over their hurt and anger before getting back into the dating game.

Some people are better off taking a risk and letting the chips fall where they may and some people are not. It’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all formula for everyone.

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