When is it OK to get back into a serious relationship?
This is perhaps one of the most common concerns people have after a major relationship has ended. No-one wants to be caught in the rebound relationship doomed for failure and everyone else can see it but them. So what is a rebound relationship? The answer may surprise you.
Is the rebound relationship myth or reality?
Amazingly enough many self-help books and websites talk a lot about rebound relationships and provide dire predictions about these relationships not lasting and even provide reasons why but they fail to provide any hard data to back this up. In examining the literature on this subject, the data that is available does not, in fact, support the idea of a rebound relationship especially when it comes to remarriage quickly after divorce. It appears at least for remarriage, that the rebound relationship is a myth. This data is nicely summarized in a paper presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America On the Rebound: Time to Remarriage and Subsequent Union Stability. Having said this, it may be that certain people are at risk if they jump back into a relationship too quickly but studies up to now do not help us understand if there are any risk factors or what they could be.
Why do rebound relationships not increase the risk of divorce in second marriages?
The answer as to why getting remarried not long after a divorce does not increase the risk of that second marriage breaking down is unknown. The subject is simply not well studied and other factors seem to increase risk of divorce more strongly e.g. already having kids. Perhaps those relationships were started before the marriage had ended or there was an extended separation period before the divorce during which the new relationship was established. Either way the length of time between divorce and remarriage does not seem to influence the divorce rate of the second marriage.
Is a quick remarriage a bad thing?
The data up to now seems to say that a quick remarriage is no better or worse than one where the person takes more time before remarrying. For some there may be benefits to a quick remarriage though this has not been studied. A second marriage provides additional income and depends on the financial well-being of the new spouse, better financial well-being and comfort. Children from the first marriage may have more resources and support in the second marriage though having children from a first marriage does predict a higher divorce rate . Some have speculated that the emotional support provided by the new spouse may help healing from the divorce.
Your experience is unique
Please remember that statistics and academic papers describe large groups of people and trends. They do not describe your unique life experience. If you are still feeling upset or depressed after your divorce, you should seek professional help as appropriate regardless of whether you are in a new relationship or not. While it may not make your marriage divorce-proof, it will help you enjoy your life more and enjoy your new or future relationships.