Rebound Relationships After Divorce

Jodee Redmond
Take some time out before starting to date again.

Rebound relationships after divorce happen for a number of reasons. By giving yourself time to heal after the end of your marriage, however, you will be able to make better choices about the next person you choose to become involved with.

On the Rebound

When you start a new relationship shortly after going through a breakup, you are likely dating on the rebound. If your spouse was the one who announced that he or she wanted a divorce, then it is a tremendous blow to your ego. You will no doubt be feeling hurt, even if you knew on some level that the relationship wasn't working.

At that point, being alone is the last thing you want to do. You may be afraid that no one will ever find you attractive again. Enter the rebound relationship. If you are dating so that you don't have to come to terms with the end of your marriage, this new relationship is probably not going to last.

Alternatives to Rebound Relationships After Divorce

While it may be tempting to seek a new partner immediately, a better course of action would be to postpone dating someone new until some time has passed. You need to take the time to understand why your marriage ended and to grieve your loss.

You may want to blame your spouse for the demise of your marriage, but the fact is that both parties contributed to the breakup. If you jump into the dating pool too soon, its likely that the same issues will come up again in your new relationship.

Time to Heal

Instead of looking for a new person to become romantically involved with, a better approach is to decide that you won't date anyone for a certain period of time after your divorce. (Some experts recommend waiting 12 months before becoming involved with someone new.) The period immediately following a divorce will have enough changes in it that adding the pressure of a new relationship isn't fair to you or the person you are involved with.Being married is a big part of a person's identity, and you now need to figure out who you are outside of the marital relationship. It can be both exciting and scary to step out on your own to build a new life for yourself, especially if you are a custodial parent with young children. Instead of filling the void in your life left by the breakup with a new person, you may want to do the following instead:

  • Join a church or become more involved with the one you currently belong to
  • Take classes at night school
  • Start a new hobby
  • Volunteer for a cause you think is important

Decide What You Want

As you get closer to the time when you can see yourself going out on dates, take the time to figure out who you are looking for in a romantic partner. What character traits are most important to you? What kinds of things are deal-breakers as far as romance is concerned, and what are you prepared to be flexible on?

Once you have a clear idea in your mind about who you are looking for and what kind of a relationship you want, you stand a much better chance of getting it. Going on dates is a little bit like going on a job interview; you want to see if you are a good fit for each other.

It may not sound very sexy, but finding a person with similar interests and values means that your relationship is more likely to be a long-term one than simply relying on physical attraction to determine you level of compatibility.

Dating after divorce can be challenging, that's for sure. You don't want to have the same issues come up that contributed to the end of your marriage. By giving yourself a "Time Out" before becoming involved with someone new, you will avoid rebound relationships after divorce and will have a better chance of having a good romantic relationship the next time around.

Additional LoveToKnow Resources

When you're ready to begin meeting someone new after your divorce, visit LoveToKnow Dating.

Rebound Relationships After Divorce