Your divorce is over, or at least you want it to be. Strangely, you find yourself drawn to one particular person. More quickly than you ever thought possible, you find yourself tumbling into a blissful, sensual feast of delights with a new lover. “He treats me like a queen.” She’s so relaxed and so FUN.” “It’s like he’s everything my Ex wasn’t.” “She really gets me.”
Yes, friend, you’re there. You have wandered into Rebound Land.
Unlike many others, I have a high opinion of rebound relationships. I think they’re an important part of the healing process. Nearly everyone who emerges from divorce does so with nagging doubts about whether he or she is attractive enough, sexy enough, or charming enough to find a life mate. And there’s nothing like a good ole’ steamy rebound relationship to remind you that you’ve still got it, that you can indeed bring pleasure to another. So enjoy. Revel in this new and thrilling intimacy.
Just please, please, please, don’t confuse it with love.
All of us enter into relationships because they fill some need for us. We may need somebody to support us financially, or we may need somebody to listen, or we may just need a hug. Many of us enter into a relationship simply because it’s better than being alone. In your pre-divorce days, and soon again now that you’re moving through divorce, you had high standards for the people you trusted. Right now, though, that’s not the case.
Most people emerge from divorce with the boundaries lowered. They don’t just reach out to others. They LUNGE for help, and their judgment gets clouded about which relationships are likely to have the most staying power. And again, that’s part of the recovery process.
Have fun. Date around. Rediscover what makes you special. Trust me, you’ll find it.
Can a relationship formed in the wake of divorce ever be permanent and long-lasting? Well yes; obviously it is possible. Here’s a nice note from Ashley, who read this page and took me to task for being too negative about rebound relationships:
I came across your website and was particularly interested in the section you included on “rebound relationships”. You cautioned those who are newly divorced to “please please please” never confuse their first new relationship with love. I want to beg you to change this because every situation is unique. You simply can not assume to know how everyone’s individual experience is going to unfold. I speak from my own personal experience with love and the “rebound relationship” I had after my marriage. This relationship has not only been “blissful” as you described, but has really turned into a deep meaningful love that lacks the needy and selfish characteristics that afflicted my previous relationships.
I realize that your advice is meant to help people and I truly commend you on all the work you have put into helping people get through these difficult and painful times. I also realize that many people do fall into rebound relationships that they mistakenly confuse with love. However, it is wrong to assume that this will be the same for everyone.
I have been with my “rebound” partner for over a year now and although I have no intentions of considering marriage for at least a few years…I do sincerely believe that this is the person I am meant to be with (and thankfully he feels the same way).