I enjoyed a recent Huffington Post Divorce post called “Dating After Divorce: Rebounds and Supernovas” by comedian and writer Juliet Jeske. We all know what a “rebound” relationship is, but what about a “supernova?” Jeske writes, “I call the first major relationship after leaving my husband the supernova—a collection of stars exploding all at once vaporizing everything in their path, burning bright, hot and fast. It was a force of nature—so much bigger than a rebound.” Beautiful and yet so dangerous, right?
Jeske hit rock bottom after her supernova, struggling with depression and anxiety. She provides some pretty sound advice to other recently-divorced people, pointing out that another person—a new lover—can’t rescue you from the emotional fall-out of divorce. Truly, it takes time to recover, and many people are probably better off waiting to date. I totally agree. And yet, I dove into what could have been a “rebound” relationship just six weeks after my divorce. I’d been on a couple of dates in the interim, but my first post-divorce relationship got serious almost immediately. Mistake? For me, no. In fact, this week marks five years with Mr. More-than-a-Rebound.
Why did it work? Maybe it was just dumb luck, but I think there were several factors that helped:
- I was the one who initiated my divorce, and emotionally, I’d been “done” for months.
- I was already friends with my new love interest before my divorce (and before my marriage, in fact).
- I wasn’t afraid to talk to my new love about my marriage.
- I didn’t talk about my marriage to my new love all that often.
- My new love was extremely understanding and didn’t feel threatened by my previous marriage.
- I didn’t pretend to be entirely over my divorce.
- I was proactive about taking care of myself and pursuing important personal goals like getting out of debt.
- I set boundaries about how often I stayed at my new love’s place.
- I made an effort to spend time with my girlfriends and my family.
- I went to therapy to work through my divorce and wasn’t afraid to admit that I needed it.
Sometimes, you fall in love with the right person at what seems to be precisely the wrong time. Maybe it will explode dramatically, supernova-style, but it could also turn out to be the real deal. I am grateful for the amazing five years that I’ve had with my Mr. More-than-a-Rebound, and I look forward to many, many more.
I’d love to hear from you on this!
Have you had what Jeske calls a “supernova” relationship after your divorce (or a bad break up)?
Or, like me, did you dive into a new relationship that has since lasted?
How long did it take you before you felt emotionally ready for a new relationship after your marriage or serious relationship fell apart?