Rebound relationships: We've all seen them and many of us have had them.

These are relationships that are entered into a short period of time after one (or both) person has been through a breakup, separation or divorce.

A rebound relationship can look like any other love relationship. The big difference is that the person who is on the “rebound” may still be in a raw emotional place from the relationship experience he or she just got out of.

For the most part, rebound relationships have been painted in a negative light. The image sometimes portrayed of this kind of relationship is of a person who is trying to avoid feeling rejected or wants to dull the grief.

Rebound relationships are usually expected NOT to last and also to cause further pain to all involved.

Is this necessarily the case for everyone?

Of course not.

Every breakup and every subsequent relationship is different.

There are plenty of situations in which two people breakup when, in fact, they've been emotionally separate and broken apart from one another for a long, long time.

There are also plenty of situations in which a person is still very vulnerable and attached to his or her ended relationship. This new person may be perfect, but the timing is all wrong.

Karen's friends think that she has lost her mind. Her divorce is not even finalized yet and here she is exclusively dating another man.

One of Karen's best friends has warned her that rebound relationships never work out. This friend is worried that Karen will end up even more emotionally hurt than she was when her marriage ended.

How to have a healthy rebound relationship.
If you have recently been through a breakup and you'd like to date again, we advise you to proceed mindfully. Keep close tabs on how you are feeling and what you need at any one time.

If you find yourself relating to your new partner (or date) as if he or she was your ex, it's probably time to slow down this budding relationship.

Resist the urge to compare your current partner with your ex.

It's understandable that you might feel appreciation (or disappointment) about how he or she is an improvement from what you are used to (or not). Notice what you are noticing and keep coming back to what is happening in this relationship right now and also to what you want.

Continue to make completions about your past-- including your recently ended relationship. Create plenty of alone time for yourself so that you can do whatever grieving you might still need to do.

Karen knows that she still has a lot of letting go to do around her ended marriage. There are times when she catches herself treating her new partner as she used to her ex-husband.

This is a habit that Karen is working very hard to stop! She makes time every day to write in her journal. This helps her to sort out how she is feeling and to recognize it when she begins to react to this relationship from the perspective of the past.

For the most part, Karen is really enjoying feeling appreciated and desired again. Spending time with this new man in her life has brought her joy and a renewed sense of lightness and ease.

Many people who find themselves in rebound relationships say they are ready to just have fun again-- this includes feeling desirable to another person and sharing affection and intimacy.

There's nothing wrong with any of these motivations.

Be honest with your new date or partner. Let him or her know that you aren't sure where this will lead and that what you are looking for is fun, affection and intimacy, or whatever it is that you want.

Remind yourself of the very words that you are speaking to your new partner. Live one moment at a time and keep looking ahead to the future you want for yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Relationship coaches Susie and Otto Collins, authors of Should You Stay or Should You Go? No More Jealousy, How to Heal Your Broken Heart and Red Hot Love Relationships are experts at helping people get more of the love they really want. To get a free online course that offers the 5 keys to a closer, more loving relationship, visit