Lawyer Ananya Sen thought she was more logical than that, but when her boyfriend of three years announced he was moving on, she started dating the next guy in her line of sight.
“I knew I was on the rebound. But I didn’t want to come to terms with it, ” she says. That “painful” relationship continued for two long years during which Sen made many attempts to break off. But she just couldn’t do it. “I realised several times that the relationship wasn’t working but I couldn’t get out of it. I hate hurting people so I put up with crap for a long time,” she says.
Wiser after her experience, Sen has this to say now: “It is better to be alone for a few months after a breakup because you are vulnerable at that point and can make a wrong decision.”
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Now, ‘rebound’ is not a term defined by science. But when used in the context of relationships, the term is generally understood to mean the tendency to enter a new relationship without having completely recovered from an old one.
This happens mainly because the period after a break up is a particularly vulnerable time. “Usually, a vulnerability in one’s personality doesn’t allow people to take the breakup very well. Some people are dependent on a relationship for the fulfillment of some need – maybe they weren’t loved when they were young, or they are stressed at work. In this situation, they cannot cope and enter another relationship immediately so that they feel complete,” says Dr Jyoti Sangle, visiting psychologist and psychotherapist at the Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital.
Sen agrees, speaking from experience. “When you start a relationship when you are very vulnerable, you are not yourself. You are insecure. You think you will feel better if you find an emotional anchor.”
That’s why psychologists advise people to give six months to a year before entering a new relationship. “You need that much time to recover especially if you were in an abusive relationship, ” says psychologist Dr Tushar Guha.
He admits the ‘stay-away’ period depends on variables like how long you were together, how emotionally dependent you were on your partner, how amiable the breakup was and how badly it has affected you.
“A stronger person gets over it faster,” he says.
Event manager Tammana Suri has a completely different take on the issue. A rebound is not always a bad thing, says the 26-year-old event manager, “as long as you know when to draw the line.”
“Breakups don’t happen pleasantly so you need something to pep you up after that. My rebounds have always made me feel better about myself, ” says Suri.
Suri went on the rebound with one of her brother’s friends after a bad break up. She knew the relationship was doomed to fail, but had the best time ever. “He had just got out of a bad relationship too. We both knew we were on the rebound. But it was one of the best relationships I had. There were no commitment issues, no baggage, no scars, no expectations and no judgments,” says Suri.
She is still friends with him. She has one word of advice though: never go on the rebound with a friend. It makes the inevitable breakup very unpleasant, she says. And then yo u have not only lost a boyfriend or girlfriend, you have also lost a friend.