Getting out of a long-term relationship can be painful, and you may feel tempted to fall into a rebound relationship. However, you want to take time to heal and to process the last relationship's events. Jumping into a new relationship too soon can not only delay the healing process, but you also risk hurting yourself and others.
You need time to deal with a breakup properly. Give yourself at least a month or two to process what has happened. You may not feel as if you need to wait this long before involving yourself in a new relationship, but waiting can give a person some much-needed perspective. It often takes time for a breakup's effects to take hold since new emotions might come to the surface.
Consequently, avoid clubbing, bars or any other place that you associate with the dating world. When you feel the urge to look for a new relationship, call a friend and make plans with them instead. Keep yourself busy, but be sure to process the past. Writing e-mails to family and friends, journaling, working out and hobbies like gardening can give you the time and space you need in which to deal with your emotions.
Look for closure before you look for a new relationship. Do you know where you stand with your ex? Are there any loose ends? Is there anything you didn't get off your chest? Before jumping into the dating world, you need to make sure you've shut the door on your old relationship.
A good way to avoid a rebound relationship is to go away for a weekend or two. A trip will help you avoid old or familiar patterns, and it will give you the time to deal with your thoughts and feelings.
When thinking about the future, remind yourself about what your past relationship has taught you. This will help keep you from falling into the same patterns. Be choosy when it comes to dates: Don't say yes to just anyone who shows interest. If you're saying yes to people you wouldn't even be friends with, this is a danger sign for a rebound relationship, and you should run in the opposite direction.