25/07/2012 15:49 | By Dr Pam Spurr, contributor, MSN Her

Is that rebound relationship bound to fail?

MSN's relationship expert Dr Pam Spurr helps you avoid common rebound pitfalls and problems.


Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis (© PA)

As Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis become one of the hottest Hollywood A-list couples you'd think the world would be at their feet. But think again! Ashton's breakup has been far from cut and dry.

Not only is he deeply committed to his three stepdaughters - and that takes time and attention away from a new relationship. But he also has been there in times of need for his troubled ex-partner Demi Moore. He stepped in during a number of crises - all this to contend with when the breakup isn't even a year old.

If you're with a man who's recently come out of a relationship, like Mila you must keep your eyes wide open. Check out these six rebound rules to give your new romance the best chance:

Rebound rule no 1: is he too into you?
It seems like a dream come true - he can't get enough of you and wants to spend loads of time together even though it's early days. Beware - it might be that despite the breakup he's missing the 24/7 TLC he used to get in his relationship.

It means he's like an emotional sponge that'll suck everything out of you and may not end up giving you much back. Take charge of the pace of how serious you get and how quickly.

Rebound rule 2: does his heart still belong to her?
So you excused the fact there are a couple old photos of her lying on his desk. And you noticed there a few things of hers hanging in the closet. You excuse it thinking he hasn't had time to pack these things away or send them back to her.

Proceed with caution because when he still has her personal effects and he doesn't seem inclined to get rid of them, it may be that he has a strong emotional attachment to them... and to her! When you feel confident, casually ask why he doesn't send these things back.

Rebound rule 3: how much does she feature in his conversations?
So he might have cleared the rest of her things out but how much does she pop up in random chats? An occasional reference to an ex-partner is normal. But it signals he's rebound material if he just can't help himself and she crops up in many ways.

You two are sitting in a restaurant and he mentions her culinary likes and dislikes. You go see a film and he mentions the ones she did/didn't like, etc. If she's featuring that much in chats then she's probably featuring even more in his thoughts. Definitely let him know you don't like hearing about her in this way. Remind him as often as necessary.

Rebound rule 4: he calls her name
There can hardly be anything worse than a man calling out his ex-partner's name in the middle of sex. Funny enough, our use of someone's name - like a long term partner - becomes a habit. Their name is literally 'programmed' to the tip of our tongue. It's not surprising her name might slip out in moments of excitement because of this.

In reality it's not the worst of the rebound rules to watch out for... unless it happens more than once. One ghastly, embarrassing moment will cure him of calling out her name in future. But if he does so again it's not a good sign. You won't have to say anything - he'll be apologising profusely if he does this.

Rebound rule 5: the kid factor
If he has children - and you've got a big heart - it can be a wonderful thing to become a stepmother (I've been there). However, some men are desperately seeking the new 'Mummy Mark 2' for their children. If he wants you to dive in and get involved with his children, explain that you'd love to at the right time. Make this a very gradual process so their well-being comes first.

Rebound rule 6: Mind the statistics!
Relationship research shows that 90% of first relationships after a breakup fall apart - and often quite quickly. So if you're girlfriend 'No 1' post-breakup, statistics say you've only got a one-in-10 chance of staying together.

Keep this in mind if things seem to get a bit rocky. Your best bet is to deal with issues as and when they arise, and definitely don't sweep them under the carpet.

For loads more advice follow Dr Pam on Twitter @drpamspurr or visit www.drpam.co.uk. You can also buy her new love and sex guide here.

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