Study Says: Rebound relationships are good for you

It’s too bad there is no cumulative merit award system for relationships like there is in martial arts.

It must be breakup season.

Not for me, so much. But a handful of people I know are suddenly no longer coupled off. Their relationships have fizzled for a variety of reasons. And I suppose they feel like I do post-breakup: Well, back to Square One. That was nice but now I have to start over.

It’s too bad there’s no cumulative merit award system like in martial arts. A heavy relationships merits a brown belt, a less-involved one just brings you to yellow belt level. Alas, breaking up just dumps a load of bricks on you, and then you try to cope and learn something in the process.

With spring upon us (technically the spring weather is not always there) and Valentine’s Day in the rear view mirror, I suppose the timing makes sense for a rise in breakups. People want to be free and unencumbered. They want, in the wise words of “Grease,” summer lovin’.

And exciting new research gives them the go ahead to play on, and play on without a cool-off period between their last romantic episode.

This study, by researchers at Queens College and the University of Illinois, put the unique topic of rebound relationships under the microscope. Do they help when it comes to personal growth? Do they make matters worse?

Apparently, they do a single guy or gal good.

Researchers surveyed 313 young adults to determine these answers and get their perspective on the impact of rebounding. They also followed around these individuals to vouch for their answers. From these interviews and obersvational periods, they found positive benefits from moving on in a hurry. Among these:

•     People in new relationships were more confident in their desirability 

•     They had more resolution over their ex-partner. 

•     Among those in new relationships, the speed with which they began their relationship was associated with greater psychological and relational health.

So, apparently time’s a-wasting. This notion I’ve always heard about the necessity of healing a wounded heart fully before jumping into something new could be dead. Perhaps this came from “Sex and the City,” but I’ve always heard that it’ll take half the time you were in the relationship to get over the relationship in any complete way. A year-long courtship—that’s going to take a full six months to recover from. And the implied next idea has been that this recovery was a celibate one, a solo journey to readiness.

Maybe the collective “we” were wrong.

Interestingly, the study indicates that getting a new partner will actually work in the favor of moving past an ex. Again, this flies against the face of the belief that the poor rebound partner is a mere distraction.

What the researchers didn’t explain is whether the rebound relationships tend to turn into something real. Maybe that’s not the point. Getting back on the horse, so to speak, aids the individual. Healed and with high self-esteem they’re equipped to find a great new relationship, if that’s the hope.

Effectively, my friends have license to rebound—and so do you.

-Dena

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