There’s a familiar relationship pattern commonly observed among people in which they move quickly into a new relationship or even romance after the old one dies (or, sometimes, while it’s still limping along). This new relationship is often referred to as “on the rebound.” Sad and brokenhearted, such a person finds a kindly soul who’s willing to offer a comforting shoulder, a esteem building compliment, an accepting embrace, or even a bed. The kindly soul offers support and relationship advice, believing that this will lead to healing, renewal, and love. And lo and behold, it does — but seldom with the kindly soul. Often, the person who once seemed a source of comfort now becomes just a reminder of old pain and soon realizes they were just being used to soften the blow of the previous relationship. A happy new life begins — with a happy new partner, someone who wasn’t around for any of the bad old stuff and soon the relationship fades away because it had no real root in genuine love and concern.
If you’re fresh from a breakup, you can recognize this pattern for what it is, and choose to get your comfort from people who don’t want long-term love. If you’re tempted to play the role of the kindly soul, take two steps back and give the rebounder time and space to heal before expressing your interest.
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