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Real or Rebound?

Mistress Maeve: Your guide to love and lust...


Published September 7, 2011 at 7:33 a.m.

Dear Mistress Maeve,

I had the best, most promising date with this guy — very exciting, as I NEVER have good luck dating. During the course of the date, he let me know that he is “95 percent divorced.” The good news is that his soon-to-be-ex-wife lives in South America, so I’m not concerned with her still being in the picture as much as I’m worried about him being “on the rebound.”

I’ve consulted with some of my friends, and most of them are telling me to shut it down. Then again, there’s always that one urban myth of the rebound couple who lasted. If I’m looking for a real relationship, is it possible to find it with someone who is this freshly divorced — or not even quite divorced yet?


Rebound Renegade

Dear Renegade,

Rebounding, or the act of getting into a new relationship shortly after the demise of another, can be a dating red flag, the idea being that a person freshly out of a wrecked relationship cannot be healthy enough to enter into a new, lasting union. In some instances, scorned lovers take refuge in a new relationship, enjoying the distraction until they get over their former heartbreak and move on, leaving their ex — and their rebound — in the dust.

While the collective societal response to dating someone on the rebound seems to be “cease and desist,” I wouldn’t be so quick to kick this guy to the curb. Let’s face it: No one person or relationship is perfect. If you’re waiting for the right person to show up at the right time, carrying no baggage, you might as well be waiting for a unicorn to arrive at your door with a pot of gold and a never-ending supply of peanut-butter cups. It’s not going to happen.

The answer to your question is communication. Go out with this guy again and see if the sparks still fly. If you have another great date, get more intimate with information on the third. Ask direct questions about his pending divorce: How long have they been separated? Was the split a mutual decision? (If it was all his spouse’s idea, he may still be pining for her.) Assess his answers and trust your gut. If this guy seems unencumbered by his divorce, what have you got to lose? On the other hand, if he’s unwilling to communicate his position, perhaps he’s not ready for the “real relationship” you seek.

Love abounds,