Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Is A Rebound Relationship Always Bad?

Everyone’s heard it before: “That relationship will never last because it’s just a rebound.” But is this always true?

Therapists and others who specialize in navigating relationship issues will usually always encourage the same kind of behavior after a breakup – take time and learn how to be alone. I fit neatly into that camp of people, believing strongly that taking inventory of what was good and bad in the last relationship is critical in order to find a better relationship.

Here comes the big ‘however.’ Some men and women get immediately into another relationship and that relationship actually works for a long time – perhaps even forever. Other men and women betray their partners and leave their partners for someone else, and the new relationship actually lasts. In other words, when it comes to love and relationships, there is no perfect recipe in terms of creating a lasting union.

Despite the fact that there are always exceptions to every rule, we can hold some generalizations to be true in many cases. In general, it is important to learn how to be alone. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take some time in between relationships so that you 1) don’t carry emotional baggage into your new relationship and 2) figure out your part in why the previous relationship failed. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a successful relationship without these two ingredients, but it’s kind of like an insurance policy. No, your house usually doesn’t burn down, but you get the fire insurance anyway to protect yourself just in case.

The point is that while not all rebounds are bad, why make it a rebound? Why start another relationship so quickly? If you wait a while, it wouldn’t be a rebound – it would simply be your next relationship. The reason why rebound relationships get a bad rap is because they are believed to be fake or cover-ups. The idea is that the man or woman who found a rebound relationship is doing so to avoid all the negative stuff that comes with a breakup – loneliness, sadness, or even anger.

One of the things I constantly say to my clients in my private practice is that the very feelings they want to run from are the very feelings they need to learn to sit with. Enough with acting out on the feelings – adults must learn to feel them and manage them to move on healthily. Though some men and women can make a rebound relationship work, I would encourage you to take out your own emotional insurance policy and take a little time before you enter Loveland again.

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