Newly single? Rebound sex (with someone other than your former S.O.) can be tempting--but it can also be risky. Answer these three questions before bedding a brand new mate.
by Zahra Barnes
Post-breakup rebound sex is a real thing (duh), says a new study from University of Missouri. Out of the 170 undergraduate subjects tested, 35 percent were getting hot and heavy with a new partner within four weeks of their respective break ups, researchers noted in the online journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. While these results are far from shocking, there is a significant catch: the same participants who got down with someone new suffered more long-term emotional distress than those who didn't have sex. Bummer? You know it.
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Before you committ yourself to a semester of celibacy, consider that having an exciting (and R-rated experience) might be just the thing to help break you out of your broken-hearted funk. So how do you know if you're ready to start meeting new guys--or if you should spend a few more days hiding under the covers alone? We asked three experts for their feelings on whether the best way to get over someone was to get under someone else. Read on for their advice on how best to nurse a broken heart.
How Do You Really Feel?: "The end of a relationship is a death of sorts," says celebrity psychotherapist Elizabeth Winkler (@EWinklertherapy). "It's not just about the loss of the relationship, but it's also about losing what you thought [the relationship] it could be." While this explanation may leave you dreading the days after your split, it also may help you recover faster in the long-term. Winkler notes you need to allow yourself time to heal, since immediately immersing yourself with someone new won't necessarily help you get over your ex any faster.
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What's Your Emotional Pulse?: Before drunk texting that rando you've been making eyes with for months, ask yourself how often you still think about your ex. If your answer is regularly, you may not be ready to hit the sack with someone new. "You have to do it for you. Leaping into bed with someone at a time when you're most vulnerable can lead to more hurt and more rejection," says Dr. Sue Johnson, author of Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships (@Dr_SueJohnson). Moreover, Dr. Johnson explains that you need to be honest with yourself about your motivations before rebounding with a new partner. Are you hooking up with someone new because you want him- or because you just want someone else to think about for the night? If your answer is the latter, you may be up for more heartache later on.
Are You Ready for a Fresh Start?: Here's the good news: one day, you'll be totally ready to date new people. And when that day comes, go for it! "It can be a great ego boost to put on a cute outfit, get yourself out there, and really just appreciate that your ex is not the only person alive," says dating coach Tracey Steinberg, author of Flirt for Fun and Meet the One (@Traceysteinberg). When the time is right, you'll know it--and until that moment, try and enjoy each stage of your single life.