Create exciting and new opportunities from a breakup.
Going through a "rebound" following a breakup or divorce is really nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, a rebound can actually be quite healthy and empowering because this is a time when you have the opportunity to grow, learn something new, to refuel, re-energize, or re-charge.
Here are five tips on how to have a successful relationship rebound:
1. The first thing you might want to do is to look for the message or meaning behind your breakup or divorce. What brought on the end of your relationship? What do you need to learn from this experience?
This often causes people to "push back" a little. You might even hear a voice in your head saying, "I didn't do anything to deserve this!" "This breakup or divorce was not my choice." "If it were up to me I would still be in the relationship."
You are right, some breakups or divorce come without warning. But for many of the relationships we have been in throughout our lives, we had glimpses of what was coming ahead of time. Could you have paid more attention to your significant other? Could you have listened more? Supported that person more?
There are breakups or divorces that we caused or have control over, and there are those that we don't. You can be more proactive by looking at lessons from past relationships and being more prepared for future relationships. You cannot predict the future but you can be prepared for your next relationship by having greater insight into lessons learned from your past relationships.
2. Never burn a bridge. It is easy to be angry towards your ex who you may feel caused the breakup of your relationship or marriage. But use caution, because you might find yourself in a position one day in the future where you may have to interact with that person again in some capacity. This is even more important if you and your ex are co-parenting.
Often when relationships end, we ask our friends, loved ones, and children to choose sides or support us by not associating with our ex. When we do this, we are creating more damage than good. We are staying stuck instead of moving through this rebound period.
3. Be more visible in the world. When you have experienced a breakup or divorce you have a lot of emotions to deal with. It is easy to "hide," become a hermit or avoid other people. When we do that we stay stuck. Not only is this a good time to wrap yourself in the comfort of people that you know, it is also an opportunity to forge new relationships. The very thing you don't feel like doing may be the very thing you actually NEED to do. Get a hobby or join a club. Volunteer for a charity. Join an exercise group. Get out of the house or apartment and be with people—people who are good for you. You will find yourself energized and feeling more like your normal self.
And, if you find yourself becoming more and more shut down, then please, seek professional help. Talking with someone who can help you refocus is a healthy thing to do.
4. Take a risk. Now, before you go diving head over heals into a new committed relationship with someone else, the kind of risks I am talking about are small risks. Try dating casually. Meet as many new, different and diverse people that you can. Have new experiences. When you have success meeting and going out with different people than you're normally accustomed to going out with, you build your confidence, grow your relationships and build your resiliency.
5. Focus on positive emotions. During this rebound period, it is easy to experience shame, fear, anxiety and anger. Although these emotions are normal and should be experienced, it is important that you counter-balance these emotions with more positive ones. Surround yourself with quotes and stories that are uplifting. If you are interested in accessing my free e-book "365 Sparks of Inspiration" that provides you with an inspirational quote or thought for each day of the year, you may do so, by clicking here. Celebrate small accomplishments of others. And most of all, allow yourself to have some fun!
Try one or two of these five tips:
1. Look for the message or learning.
2. Never burn a bridge.
3. Put yourself out there.
4. Take a risk.
5. And focus on positive emotions.
They will help you through this rebound period after a breakup or divorce. And they will also help you develop more resiliency so that when the next transition in your life happens—and it will—you will be prepared.
In the meantime, remember these words of Price Pritchett: "Change always comes bearing gifts."