Rebound: I’m Leaving My Lover For You

Let’s start with a definition of the word ‘rebound.’ Love-life rebound means, you are leaving one relationship and going immediately into another. The key word here is ‘immediately.’ No breather, no pause, no catch my breath, no time alone, no soul searching, just a bounce into a new relationship with a new lover. Can this be done without carrying a bunch of aftereffects from the relationship before? My answer is ‘no.’ Why? Because we (humans) are just not built that way. I’ll explain.

If you love or loved someone, when its over you have to grieve the loss to let it go. This is a fundamental principle of human experience. This grief experience is much easier to go through when you accept that this has to happen. If you welcome the experience of loss you will feel sad for a while, you’ll review what you been through, think about the love you had and lost, and you’ll be alone a bit during this period. If you don’t welcome the grief and run away from it in a rebound to another love relationship, it’s only a matter of time before the unresolved grief will negatively affect your new love relationship.

In many cases a form of ‘transference’ takes place meaning, your mind transfers thoughts and feelings from your last love relationship to your new love relationship. The problem with transference is, it is happening because the loss of the last relationship is not yet settled in your mind and heart. Simply put, what gets transferred doesn’t belong in the new relationship. It will eventually distort the experience you are having with your new lover. Allowing yourself to properly grieve the loss of a love relationship will diminish the presence of transference whenever you decide to start up a new relationship. In a very real sense, grieving the loss of a past love makes loving someone new possible again.

So in summary, you want to avoid expecting the new to be like the old. Remember, each and every individual is ‘unique.’ You can’t transfer feelings from one relationship to another without getting into some kind of emotional trouble. Tell tale signs are when you see or hear your old boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife when you are looking at and listening to your new lover. More subtle signs of ‘transference’ occur when you start comparing the two people, or become critical of your new lover because he or she does not ‘measure up to’ your previous lover’s standards.

Beyond having to heal your heart when a love relationship breaks up, there is the issue of what should a potential new lover do if he or she loves you but knows you aren’t quite over your last love relationship? First and foremost is the understanding that if someone truly loves you, he or she will wait until you get over your previous lover. If you set aside some time to grieve the loss and collect yourself it’s not going to take forever. No, it shouldn’t take too long at all. It will linger only if you try to avoid it. But remember, this process can’t be rushed. The best way to do this is to read your feelings. Your feelings will tell you whether or not you are over your last lover.

If you think about or daydream about things you and he or she did you’re not over that person. If he or she shows up in your dream life, or you think your see him or her or look for him or her out in public, you are not over that person. If you are still trying to contact him or her by e-mail, mail, or phone you are still not over your past lover. As a person trying to love someone who is not yet over his or her past lover, letting your new lover have some time will be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done. Yet it will surely be one of the most loving things you can do for your new lover as well as for yourself. There is a certain kind of pain that comes when you try to love someone who could love you but can’t because he or she is not yet over his or her last lover. You can avoid this by giving him or her some time and focusing on your own life in the interim. If the love was meant to be you’ll know when it’s time to get back together. Dr. T. Jordan







Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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