Are You Ready or Rebounding?

Credit: Nicolas Raymond (Flickr)

Credit: Nicolas Raymond (Flickr)

By Ashley Parsons, Lead Writer

Whether you’re the home-alone-with-Ben-and-Jerry type or prefer to hit the ground flirting, getting over a break up is tough. When you feel an absence of anything in your life, it’s natural to want to replace it. Unfortunately, the vulnerability that usually follows loss can make it difficult to think clearly about your next relationship. Not all rebound relationships are DOA though, despite the negative connotation they may have. Although they’re not for everyone, you shouldn’t sabotage a good thing just because it’s soon after your last. And even if you do spend a little more time on the market than you meant to, being single definitely has some perks! Here are some things to consider before you dive back into the dating pool:

Maybe you’ve been “single” for longer than you think
Breakups have so many variables: who initiated the split, what was the final straw, or why it couldn’t be worked out. A question many forget to ask themselves is how long has this been coming? Especially in the case of a long-term relationship that fizzled out, there’s usually a period of winding down that comes before the actual breakup. If you’re the one who ended things, you may have felt single before your status officially changed. Even if you didn’t deliver the final blow, you may have sensed that things were winding down, and been bracing for the emotional impact. Coming out of a LTR can be exhausting because you need to readjust the many habits you fall into after being with someone for so long, and you should definitely take a little time to regain your balance; however, if you’d been disconnected from your previous relationship for a while, trust your instincts, and date accordingly.

Have you considered spending time on your own first?
Let’s preface this section by saying anything in excess is a bad idea. But when you’re part of a pair, everything’s divided down the middle: costs for food, drinks, fun; the bed; Netflix choices. No matter how amicable your last relationship was, there was probably at least one thing that elicited an eye-rolling “ugh, really?” Yes, really! Whether it’s that embarrassing artist you’ve always wanted to see live (Celine Dion just renewed her residency in Vegas), a classic car show, or playing hooky from work to spend a day at the beach, doing things on your own can be empowering. There’s also something to be said about a little guilt-free flirting! A smile from a good-looking stranger is an added perk while you’re out with your friends. Again, avoid excess – no maxed-out credit cards, please – but you deserve to treat yourself a little.

It IS possible to find new love soon after your last relationship ended.
So you’ve found someone new soon after your breakup. You should have your fun because it’s doomed from the start, right? Not necessarily. If you believe that rebound relationships never work, you may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. In this situation, it’s important to consider how this new person came to be in your life: would you have settled for almost anyone, or did they find you in particular? Serendipity is a powerful force, and while it’s exceptionally rare, it shouldn’t be ignored! Running away from a good thing is just as detrimental as rebounding for the wrong reasons, and both can result in a lot of self-doubt. Even if your new boo isn’t The One, give them the shot they deserve.

A relationship isn’t the only thing you can rebound from
Like we said earlier, after ANY kind of loss, it’s natural to want to fill the void. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, it’s natural to want someone by your side, but if you’re single, let your pals be your pick-me-up. Losing a job can also be a catalyst for grabbing for straws in your love life to regain feelings of control or your sense of security. Valuable as love may feel, it doesn’t pay the bills, and you’ll regain your balance by depending on yourself! Don’t seek love to distract you from the other things weighing on your heart. Once you can cross the less romantic tasks off the list, you’ll be able to focus your full attention on your heart’s agenda.

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