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After a breakup, take your time before getting into a new relationship

As reports emerge of Brad Pitt looking for love just two months after his split from Angelina Jolie, we ask experts how long a person should wait to date again post a breakup.

sex and relationships Updated: Dec 08, 2016 08:34 IST
Collin Rodrigues
Collin Rodrigues
Hindustan Times
Breakup,Relationship,Scarlett Johansson
Waiting to get into another relationship after a breakup may be difficult for some, as people may want to fill the void immediately.(Imagesbazaar)

On September 19, it was reported that Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from her husband Brad Pitt, citing irreconcilable differences. The duo had tied the knot in August 2014. It’s been just over a couple of months since the divorce, and it’s being reported that Pitt is already looking for love. A report said that the actor “is looking for someone to bring light into his life after all the drama”. However, according to experts, getting into a new relationship immediately after a breakup is not advisable.

Dr Suyog V Jaiswal, assistant professor in psychiatry, HBT Medical College, says, “Such relationships, or dating on a ‘rebound’ as it’s called, can indirectly affect you and your new relationship. The emotional wounds that one sustains post a breakup need to be healed. Getting into a rebound relationship masks the old wounds and may create problems in the long run.”

Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from her husband Brad Pitt, citing irreconcilable differences. ( AP )

Take a break
So, for how long should you wait after a breakup to get into a relationship? Jaiswal says there is no time frame as such, and it depends on the person. He says, “After a breakup, an individual goes through denial, anger and depression, followed by acceptance. The length of this process and severity of the associated emotions depends on one’s emotional involvement in the relationship. The more serious and older the relationship, the longer one takes to get over it. Generally, it takes about six months to a year for one to get over a serious relationship.”

He adds that it is better not to get into another relationship unless you get over your past one, as your state of mind will be conducive to a fresh start only after it recovers. “Before that, you are emotionally still in the past relationship, and may be hoping for its revival, which may not allow you to give your complete attention to the next one.”

Celebs who’ve reportedly dated on a rebound
  • Ashton Kutcher - On November 17, 2011, Demi Moore announced her intention to end her marriage with Kutcher. The latter started dating Mila Kunis a few months later. The couple got married in July 2015.
  • Scarlett Johansson - She announced her separation from Ryan Reynolds in December 2010. She started dating Sean Penn within a month. That relationship ended in June 2011. Later, Johansson started dating advertising executive Nate Naylor. They split in October 2012. A month later, Johansson started dating, her now husband, Romain Dauriac, the owner of an advertising agency.
  • Christina Aguilera - Just a month after her five-year marriage to Jordan Bratman ended, Aguilera started dating a set assistant, Matt Rutler. The duo got engaged in 2014.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio - He dated Israeli model Bar Refaeli from 2005 to 2011. Less than a month after his breakup, he was dating Blake Lively. Their relationship ended five months later.
  • Jennifer Lopez- She announced her split from husband Marc Anthony in July 2011. She started dating her former backup dancer Casper Smart in October 2011. The duo split a few months back.

Filling the void
However, waiting to get into another relationship after a breakup may be difficult for some, as people may want to fill the void that is created by the exit of their partner. Jaiswal says, “This may happen with people who do not have friends with whom they can share their feelings. However, a relationship that starts soon after the end of serious relationship, may not last long.”

However, if you have found someone, and you know they may be a rebound, you can take steps to avoid more pain. Clinical psychologist Tanushree Bhargava says, “Some people get into a new relationship immediately after a breakup as a form of weapon against their ex. People should avoid this and get into a new relationship only after they are certain about their feelings.”

But how do you know that you are ready to date again? “When you know you are over your past relationship and are content with the good memories, rather than being sad over the painful breakup, it may be time to mingle again,” says Jaiswal.

Bhargava adds, “When you no longer feel the desperation to enter into a new relationship, but are waiting for the right moment, you don’t compare your potential partner or relationship with those in the past. You know the reasons behind the breakups and have learned from your mistakes, then you are ready for the next one.”

First Published: Dec 07, 2016 19:09 IST