Of rebounds and relationships

There are people who go from relationship to relationship, barely stopping for air in between.

You know the kind I mean.

Newly freed, they dive into the next one, seemingly heartless to heartbreak.

I once read that it takes half as long to get over a relationship as it lasted. So if you were together for two years, it would take roughly a year to truly heal. Etc.

I don’t know if I believe that. Lately, I’ve seen a good number of people exit a long-term relationship (numbering years of dating, not months) and march straight into the arms of a new squeeze. Rebounds, I thought at first. Yet they seem well on track to another long-term love. And who am I to talk? T and I got together only a month or two after the demise of my first relationship. I can’t say I expected it to last at the time, but lo and behold, we are betrothed.

That said, at that stage I certainly wasn’t over my ex-boyfriend by any means. I still thought about him plenty, particularly as he started going out with another girl I vaguely knew and liked, and always stayed tuned for any gossip involving his name. And I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I honestly could say that I had stopped wondering “what if” and fully threw my heart into T. Maybe it was six months in. My memory blurs.

What do you reckon? A solid rule of thumb or useless women’s mag trope?

12 thoughts on “Of rebounds and relationships

  • Reply Revanche January 23, 2012 at 12:30

    I think it’s just a generality. My last relationship had been dead for months before I officially broke it off (at least 6 or 9 months dead or sputtering to dying). I hadn’t pulled the plug because I was so busy with work and school and apathy that I couldn’t be bothered and I figured I’d at least give him a shot at addressing the reasons I knew the relationship wasn’t working.

    After he point blank said that he wasn’t willing to address any of the things I felt were issues, that was it for me. Because I had long been emotionally detached because of the issues at hand (though I would have recommitted if he were willing to work on them), I was ready to move on to being single and enjoy a new life without complication.

    I just happened to run into PiC around that time and we clicked so well that despite my hesitation about “rushing” into a new relationship, I started dating him. Turned out fine, as it happens. 🙂

    • Reply eemusings January 23, 2012 at 12:37

      That’s a great point. My ex and I were definitely in a state of decay for months.

  • Reply Leigh January 23, 2012 at 14:09

    My “bare minimum” rule is one entire cycle before I’ll even consider another relationship/dating, which generally gets past a lot of the initial hurt. I have other barriers as well – I also wait until I don’t burst into tears at the thought of the person and until I logically agree on why we broke up.

    I think that all of those rules of thumb are crazy and need to be taken with a grain of salt. My general experience has been that it takes 1-2 years to really move on if I loved the guy and a month or so if I didn’t.

  • Reply Insomniac Lab Rat January 23, 2012 at 15:54

    Hmm…it might be a general rule of thumb, but I think it also depends heavily on the person involved, and perhaps how the relationship ended.

    I don’t have a lot of experience to draw from, but the relationship I was in before I met hubby lasted about 2 months “officially”, and it took me a lot longer than a month to heal. Of course, we had been on the verge of dating for quite some time before it became “official”, and things ended very poorly. He completely violated my trust, which made it harder, I think, than if we had ended things because things just weren’t working out, or even if things ended because one of us had grown or changed.

  • Reply ♥ MonaLisa ♥ January 23, 2012 at 16:01

    I don’t think that there’s a specific rule that works for everyone, each person & their particular circumstances are always a bit different. Nonetheless, there are some people that just can’t function without the affection of someone. Sadly, I have a few friends that have chosen to operate in this dysfunctional manner for years.

    Their relationship ends & they can hardly go on without the attention of a new someone..anyone. The cycle begins. Constant text messages, phone calls, & forced Facebook posts with all prospects. Finally, one has showed a bit more interest over the others. Now the fairy tale begins.

    They aren’t bad people, they just haven’t found their own identify yet. Until that epiphany of self-worth & self-esteem rise for them, they continue to ride the relationship train from one stop to the next in search of fulfillment.

  • Reply Little Miss Moneybags January 23, 2012 at 17:04

    I don’t agree with that at all.

    In a way, I might be one of those people who goes from relationship to relationship – I haven’t been single longer than a few months since I was in high school, about twelve years. But I do a lot of hurting and healing in a fairly short amount of time before I move on to another relationship.

    In my last case, I was pretty brutally dumped out of nowhere just before Christmas. I met Peanut in February and felt a little stirring of interest, but I stayed away for another six weeks to do some work on myself. When he asked me out in February I was gung ho, and I was all in from very early on, as was he.

    One thing I’ve noticed is that the older I get, the less time I seemed to need between relationships. Experience teaches you a lot, and having your heart broken repeatedly helps teach you that it is NOT in fact the end of the world, even though it might feel like it. (Also, being older helps you discern what you’re actually looking for and how to recognize it when you find it – meaning you might be willing to get more serious more quickly and have it turn out to be right.)

  • Reply First Gen American January 24, 2012 at 03:20

    Interesting post. I thought there was a name for this kind of person. It’s called the serial monogamist. I lean towards that way myself…going out for a person for years and then starting a new relationship within months. Thankfully the last one has lasted almost 15 years and I couldn’t ask for a better mate.

    I have friends who are like this too, and by all definitions, they are good “catches” so there is always someone waiting in the wings to swoop in when someone becomes single again.

    With serial monogamists, it’s often easier to stay in a relationship that you don’t like than be alone. I’m sure it’s a self esteem thing on some level, so often the relationship should have ended months if not years before and by the time you’re officially, finally done with it, you haven’t been invested in it for quite some time. It feels more like a monkey off your back than a horrible heartbreak.

  • Reply Arjun Sharma January 25, 2012 at 08:06

    i agree, it depends on the person and it depends on the type of break up you had. if it was bitter then the mourning period is relatively shorter and the person gets back on the horse sooner. even if he is still hurting, he would be ready to date again. it is quite the opposite in the other case where the possiblity of getting back still looms in the air.

  • Reply simpleislandliving January 25, 2012 at 09:00

    Don’t agree. Realistically speaking, if my husband and i were to break up, we’ve been together almost 11 years. That would mean it would be 5.5 years before either of us dated again. Maybe it would take 5.5 years for someone to ask me out on a date, but I can’t imagine wanting to be single for that length of time. I’m only 30!

  • Reply Aloysa @ My Broken Coin January 25, 2012 at 10:11

    Healing time depends on the relationship. I had relationships that did not mean much in the end and the healing time was pretty fast and almost painless. But there are always relationships that mean a lot in your life and from some it takes years to recover.

  • Reply Crystal January 25, 2012 at 14:52

    I am with Simple Island Living…I sort of hope this isn’t true. If I were to get divorced right this second, it would also mean I wouldn’t be healed for 5.5 years…I am 29 years old and have a dependent personality type…I wouldn’t want to be single for 5.5 years. I would suck at being single for 6 months. So, the logical conclusion is that I can never get divorced, lol.

  • Reply If You’re Going to Sleep With Someone, Do This First: – West End Singleton March 24, 2012 at 11:52

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