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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is a Rebound Relationship? and how to overcome fear of get hurt again.

Following a painful romantic break-up, some people enter into a new relationship almost immediately, often with less-than-stellar results. Dating too soon after an emotionally charged break-up is known as a rebound relationship, and is almost always considered a bad idea for all parties involved. A person in a rebound relationship may have great difficulty distinguishing between the old romantic partner and the new one, for instance.
Whenever a romantic relationship ends, whether amicably or painfully, both parties should allow themselves to go through a real grieving process before pursuing new relationships. In essence, there has been a "death" of a valued relationship, and few people can recover from such an injury in only a few days or weeks. While the prospect of dating someone new, especially someone who has been kept off-limits during the old relationship, may sound like a cure, a rebound relationship rarely, if ever, ends well.
Another problem with a rebound relationship is motivation. Some people who feel victimized or humiliated by a bad breakup may feel the need to start a new relationship simply to prove they are indeed over the old one. Some rebound relationships are primarily directed at former partners, either in an effort to generate feelings of jealousy or to remind them of what they gave up. Neither tactic is a particularly healthy reason to pursue a rebound relationship, and the new partner is not always as understanding or conspiratorial as one might hope.
There are times when a person may feel he or she has fully recovered from a break-up and is truly prepared to re-enter the dating scene, but this may be a premature assessment. If a new relationship starts too soon after a painful break-up, the new partner may become little more than a sounding board for all of the negatives intended for the former partner. Constant comparisons to a former boyfriend or girlfriend can be a sign of an unhealthy rebound relationship, as well as the careful avoidance of almost all dating venues associated with the former relationship.
Because there will almost inevitably be a new relationship following the dissolution of an old one, it is important to recognize the difference between a new healthy relationship and an unhealthy rebound relationship. Much like a widow or widower, a spurned partner may want to establish a reasonable hiatus from dating until he or she is emotionally ready. Personal counseling may also help prevent someone from entering into a shallow or unhealthy rebound relationship until his or her self-esteem has been fully restored.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to seek out companionship following a painful break-up, but you owe it to yourself and your new partner to make sure the new relationship is based in reality, not a ghost in the machine.

 How do I overcome this fear of being hurt again?” my client said to me.
“I’m tired of being alone.  But I’m afraid.  I don’t want to go through this kind of pain again.  How do I trust a man not to hurt me?”
  I understood all too well.
I’ve been there.  I think we’ve all been there.
We go through a painful relationship and breakup, then have to deal with the aftermath of our fears that threaten to overwhelm us and override our desire for a new relationship, keeping us alone and stuck in the fear of being hurt.
Our fears can be the biggest hurdle we face in finding the right relationship.
We want a wonderful man in our life, and yet we’re afraid to move forward out of fear of being hurt.
And we’re afraid NOT to move forward out of fear of being alone the rest of our lives.
Not a happy scenario.

So how do we move past our fears and be wiling to take a chance on love?
How do we learn to trust again?
There is a way.
I had a client recently who had been in a very painful relationship when she was younger.
For years afterwards, she didn’t date or get involved with anyone because she was so afraid of getting hurt again.
She was finally ready to have a relationship, but her fear of being hurt was keeping her stuck.
During our session, I asked her a question that helped her set aside her fears…
“I know how much you were hurt in that past relationship,” I said with true understanding.  “But…are you the same girl today as you were back then when you got involved with that man?”
There was a long silence on the other end of the phone.
“Well…no…not at all…,” she said with a growing realization in her voice.
“Of course you’re not,”  I said.  “You’re not who you were back then.  You’re someone who knows better.  You would not attract that kind of man or relationship today.”
“Oh…I get it!” she said.
She finally understood.  She was no longer the unhappy, insecure girl she had been when she was so hurt by a man who was completely self-involved and controlling.
Now she had a career she loved and a life filled with great, supportive friends she adored.  She was secure and confident about who she was and her future.  She was happy in her life.
She would never get involved with the type of man she had in the past.  He wouldn’t have a chance with her and she wouldn’t be attracted to him.
The moment she realized this, she was able to let go of her fears about dating and having a new relationship.

If you’re struggling to move forward in your love life because you’re afraid of being hurt like you may have been in the past, let me ask you the same question…
Are you the same person today as you were when you got involved in that painful relationship?
My guess is not.
The you that was is no longer.
You’re not the same person now as you were before.
You’ve grown.  You’ve changed.  You’ve learned.
You would not attract that same man or relationship today.
Does that make sense?
So let go of that old fear of being hurt like you were before, because that’s not who you are anymore.
You’re a girl who knows better.  And when we know better, we choose better.
You would make a different choice in a man now.
And the fear of not trusting men not to hurt you?
Well, the interesting thing about fear of not being able to trust men, is that it’s not really about not trusting men.
It’s about not trusting yourself.
A few things happen when you learn to trust yourself…
You trust you’ll make the right choices about who you allow into your life.
You trust that even if you do make a temporary wrong choice in a man, you’ll be strong enough to let him go and move on if he’s not the right guy for you.
You trust that even if you do get hurt in a relationship, you know you’ll be okay.
It’s really not about avoiding getting hurt in the future.  There’s always that chance in any relationship.
It is about trusting that no matter what happens you’ll be able to handle it.
It is about trusting yourself to honor what’s right for you and what isn’t.
You deserve your trust.
And you’ll soon meet a man who deserves your trust too.
So set aside those old fears.
Don’t let your fears stop you from taking a chance on love.
You are worth it.  And so is love.
Any fears holding you back or keeping you stuck?
It’s time to let them go :-)
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