Establishing A Relationship On The Rebound

By: James P. Krehbiel

After a relationship has ended, many people quickly turn to new relationships as a means of reestablishing a sense of feeling centered. Often, feeling alone and abandoned, one may rush to fill the void by cultivating a new relationship on the rebound.

There are significant pitfalls to moving into a new relationship as the chapter closes on the previous one. Ending an intimate relationship involves grieving the loss. Often, people will use the new partnership as a sounding-board for expressing their psychological pain. The new relationship may provide solace from the emotional anguish of the break-up. Rather than deal with one's grief in a more healthy way, one may lean on another partner as a way of coping with the grieving process.

It is important that those who have ended a significant relationship learn to address their feelings in an adaptive manner. Learning to live comfortably with a sense of self-reliance is important to future relationship development. Confiding in friends, attending relationship/grief groups, and working on personal issues that may have contributed to the break-up of a partnership are healthy steps in the recovery process.

Establishing a healthy partnership means the individual has sought the relationship not because they need it, but because they want it. This means that one must be cautious in working to cultivate a confident sense of self before reconnecting in a relationship that may be complex and demanding.

Creating some healthy distance from intimate relationships after a failed partnership gives one an opportunity to fully grieve the loss. At the same time, it provides the individual with a window of opportunity to improve patterns of interacting with others.

When children are a part of the equation, it is even more important to heed the warnings of relationship rebound. The added dimension of caring for children makes adult relationships even more complex. Here are some additional 'red-flags' regarding this issue of relationship rebound:

Maintaining healthy, intimate relationships is difficult. After the loss of a partnership, give yourself some time to heal, learn, and develop the strength required to build a new life.

James P. Krehbiel is a licensed professional counselor and a nationally certified cognitive-behavioral therapist practicing in Scottsdale, AZ. He can be reached at (480) 664-6665 or via email at

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