Rebound Dating After Divorceby Evelyn Block
Rebound dating after a divorce should not be confused with love. While there occasionally are rebound relationships after divorce that last and develop into long-term, loving relationships, what rebound dating generally does is restore a person's self esteem.
End of divorce
At the end of a divorce, regardless of who initiated it, many people experience the stages of grief. These stages, shock, anger, denial, bargaining and sadness and finally, acceptance, may occur and reoccur in various patterns for a long time. Many people find themselves getting involved with another person long before they have truly, permanently, reached the acceptance stage. Because they have not fully resolved their feelings about the divorce, many unrealistic and idealistic notions are often brought into the rebound relationship.
To be well prepared to enter a new relationship, the grieving process for the old relationship needs to have been completed. You must take the time to understand what went wrong in your previous relationship and think about what you are seeking in this next, new relationship. Soul searching about what you want from your rebound relationship will help you see it for what it really is.
Learn about yourself
Rebound dating provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about yourself and what you seek in a partner. Some people coming out of a divorce are needy and can get caught up in the thrill of a new relationship without recognizing that there may not be any real connection to the other person, but merely an infatuation with the freedom, flattery and opportunity that comes from being single and dating.
Choose to enter a relationship out of strength
It is extremely important to enter a new relationship as a self sufficient, independent individual. This means you are seeking companionship and a person to date, and that you feel you want a new relationship but not that you need a new relationship to complete yourself. A healthy new relationship can only occur if both partners are not avoiding their own personal issues.
If children were involved in the divorce, even more care must be given to a rebound relationship. Children, post-divorce, are often confused and not ready to accept someone new. It is wise to keep a new relationship private and apart from your children until such time that the children are ready to accept that you have a new relationship.
Regardless of whether your rebound relationship develops into a long-lasting love relationship, it is likely to be a time of great healing and emotional growth. Your rebound relationship will help prove to yourself that you are a lovable person who has the potential to find true happiness.
- Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt