Dear Mistress Maeve,
I'm a guy in my late twenties, and I'm seeing this woman who is going through divorce. Technically, she's still married, but claims to be over her soon-to-be ex-husband. I don't really have any moral dilemma with dating her. I'm more worried about getting caught up in a "rebound" situation.
My friends, especially my female friends, keep warning me to be careful. Do rebound relationships ever work out? I've been a bachelor by choice for a long time, but I really like this girl.
Your friends are right to warn you about rebound relationships. While some rebounds do last, the vast majority end tout de suite.
With your lady friend just coming out of a marriage, she may be looking instantly to recoup the comfort and stability she lost in the break-up. She may also experience distorted perception, meaning she could fall for someone more quickly than is prudent, or go for someone she normally wouldn't choose (no offense, Boundless). Either way, once she's clear of the emotional entanglements of her last relationship, she'll most likely move on from the rebound, too, unless you're careful.
Ask yourself some questions: Does she speak of her ex on a regular basis, more than you'd like her to? Do you sometimes feel like a therapist, rather than a boyfriend? Did she fall head over heels for you after two dates? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may have a classic rebound on your hands.
Don't get left in the dust by a rebounder on the rampage. I can't stress this enough: Slow down. Do not rush into a big commitment to her. If she truly likes you, she'll understand your concerns and honor your request to take things slowly.