If ‘the one’ is out there somewhere, don’t you want to find him?
Nursing a broken heart is awful stuff. It’s one of life’s most unpleasant experiences. There’s usually a lot of hurt, pain and sorrow involved. Plus there’s the possibility of all that anger and frustration people can feel when they are unable to reconcile or fix the situation.
Men and women tend to deal with break-ups a little differently. For one, men often suffer in silence and can behave like they aren’t all that affected. So it’s not uncommon for some men to hook up with an ex or a stranger and have themselves some steamy hot rebound sex. This isn’t necessarily because they are in less pain than their former partner. Men can really battle through break-ups. It’s simply a coping mechanism and it seems to alleviate some of the pain they are experiencing.
Rebound sex isn’t just a male thing, and more and more women are finding solace in someone else’s bed. And there’s nothing wrong with that – if clear boundaries are set. It can cause upset to their former partner, however, if they discover their ex has had rebound sex. This is understandable but it doesn’t imply they didn’t really love them.
Some people engage in it because it puts distance between the intimacy shared with their former significant other. They may have deeply loved their ex but they no longer want that physical connection because it hurts. They use rebound sex to achieve this objective.
Now you might be thinking, ‘No f*%#ing way! Isn’t this setting yourself up for a rebound romance? Won’t this only add to the pain?’ Women often confuse love and emotions surrounding sex and this is where the danger lies. Hence, many women stay well away from rebound sex because their fragile emotions contaminate the benefits.
However if emotions are kept in check, there are some real positives relating to rebound sex. This is according to Patricia Rich, a clinical social worker and sex therapist, and Dr Lisa Wade of the sociology department at Occidental College, California. They believe that using sex as a coping mechanism is a motivation that should not be discounted.
When people use rebound sex to soothe their broken heart it’s all about igniting the brain’s pleasure zone. This is often why women will turn to chocolate or ice cream in moments of despair. Comfort foods like these have a similar effect and primarily why people will seek them out. The benefit of rebound sex, however, is that instead of consuming calories, you can expel them!
Then there’s the added benefits of touch that chocolate or ice cream can’t provide. There’s been a heap of studies which reveal touch is a basic human need. For example, babies who don’t get touched can’t develop properly and, in some cases, this neglect has massive repercussions.
Therefore, it’s understandable that in times of deep despair people need to feel the sensation of another. This is primarily why we feel the need to hug someone if we can see they’re sad or down. Sex is the ultimate form of touch so this factor in rebound sex is important.
Of course, rebound sex isn’t for everyone. It’s important to remember people cope with life’s challenges in many different ways. Rebound sex is just one of them. So next time your heart is hurting and you’re looking to feel better, having rebound sex just maybe food for thought!
There’s nothing like a friend with a broken heart to make you feel good about yourself says our guy columnist Gus.
Not only does it give you the opportunity to don that favourite of hats, “the good friend”, but suddenly your own train wreck of a love life begins to look, by contrast, to be the work of some genius master-plan. You find yourself with an odd mixture of sympathy and self-satisfaction, trying to find a bright side you can tell your mate.
From your point of view, of course, the bright side is that it isn’t happening to you. Like that warm, guilty glow you get from the passenger seat of a drink-drive bust, you know that there is one big factor that could have made this situation a hell of a lot worse. It’s enough to put you in a damned good mood… which mightn’t be exactly the appropriate response. So you chuck on a sympathetic face and spring into action.
A wise man once gave me some sound advice. When dealing with a friend’s heartache, there are two courses of action: if it’s a man take him drinking; if it’s a woman take her shopping. To that I can only add that the shopping seems to be of most benefit when it is in the field of accessories. Nothing blunts a woman’s pain like shoes or handbags, especially if you’re flush enough to shout.
The tricky area here, as you know, is with a friend of the opposite sex and whether you sleep with them or not. As I started writing this line I fully intended to take a strong negative stance on this, but in the time it has taken to type it I have come up with a couple of insurmountable exceptions: 1) this person is attractive to you, 2) this person’s ex is an enemy, 3) this person is me, etc…..It, um, might be worth your while to get a second opinion on this. I sometimes have a little trouble with the moral issues.
At some stage, you are going to have to release the subject back into the wild. This can be very confronting for them. After 2 months of bar-flying with a recently divorced friend, I suggested that perhaps he should be looking for female company. His voice got all panicky, “Are you kidding? My last date was so long ago the only tactic around was to get her as drunk as possible!” (Ahh…plus a change…) He brightened up no end when I told him the good news.
The fact is that they will fight against being a regular single again. On this issue you must be firm. Sell ’em hard on the independence angle. Agree (very carefully) that their ex was a bitch/prick. Wax lyrical on the kooky fun of first dates.
And wallow in the hot shame of your schadenfreude.
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