Can Rebound Relationships Work?

Jasbina Ahluwalia interviews Dr Terri Orbuch.

I’m very excited to welcome to todays show Dr. Terri Orbuch. Dr. Orbuch, also known as “The Love Doctor”, is a world renowned relationship expert, author, speaker, therapist, coach, distinguished professor at Oakland University, research scientist at the University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research and media personality. She’s also the director of a landmark study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), where she’s been following the same couples for over 30 years. Her 2 best-selling books are “5 Simple Steps To Take Your Marriage From Good To Great” and “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps To a New and Happy Relationship”.




It’s a pleasure to have you on. Now, in your book, Finding Love Again, you discuss several myths which science refutes. Let’s just discuss a few of them. One concerns the concept of rebound relationships. Tell us what the myth there is.



Well, the myth is that rebound relationships are not good relationships or healthy relationships, and rebound relationships assume then that you’re really not ready for a good or healthy relationship again. That’s not true, Jasbina, because what we know when we look at science is that everyone has a different time period in terms of whether or not they’re really ready for relationship.

Some people emotionally separate from a relationship while they’re still physically in the relationship, and then once the relationship ends and they’re no longer with that person, living with that person, for example, they’re immediately ready for a new relationship. They’ve separated emotionally. They’re ready.

Other people, though, are not ready for a new relationship when it physically ends, and so they need time to process. They need time to think about what they really need or want in another relationship. It would be good for them to wait. It would be good for them to date and figure out what they need or want.

What we know is that it is an individual difference between whether or not you’re ready to date after you separate another relationship or not.


Gender Differences When It Comes to Rebound Relationships


Very, very helpful. Thank you. I have seen that variety. Let me ask you, have you seen any patterns as to gender in this regard in terms of whether men or women tend to need the physical separation. Any gender-based differences or not really?


Yes, that’s a great question, Jasbina. There are some gender differences. Women, we know when we look at studies, tend to emotionally separate when they’re still in a previous relationship.

Men on the other hand tend to need the physical separation, the relationship actually ending before they begin to emotionally separate.

Again, when we look at research, when we look at studies, we’re really talking about 80% of the people. If listeners are on either side of what I talk about when I say studies or research, it doesn’t mean that you’re wrong or something’s wrong with you. It just means that you’re not in the norm, and there’s nothing wrong with that. When we’re talking about science or research, it’s about 80%.



The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dr. Terri Orbuch