I Met Someone Just Weeks After a Four-Year Relationship

Thanks for chat yesterday.

Hi Meredith,

I am recently (as in a couple of weeks) out of a four-year relationship. I've been having a hard time dealing with the fact that the relationship is over as I am still in love with him, but I also realize that it had become an unhealthy cycle for us both and there was just no hope.

In between bouts of crying and watching Lifetime movies with my faithful sidekicks Ben and Jerry, I have been going out with some friends, and last weekend met a guy. He was hysterically funny, attractive, and just a super nice person — in short, we clicked immediately and I felt a connection I hadn't felt in awhile. I found myself forgetting about my ex in the time we spent talking, and found myself flirting and enjoying his company. Sidenote: I was honest about the fact that I am just out of a long-term relationship, but I didn't elaborate on how hard it's been for me.

We exchanged numbers and have been talking and texting since the initial meeting. He asked me out and I thought, "Sure, why not?" We're going out this coming weekend and I am actually really excited (even though the depression over losing my ex still hangs like a dark cloud over me).

I have received conflicting advice from friends. Some (mostly males) suggest that the best way to get over someone is to … well, you know the rest of that phrase. I have no interest in that right now. I would rather get to know someone before jumping in the sack with them. Other friends have said I need to be careful; it's much too soon and I could hurt this guy. Others say "go out and have fun!" And then another friend pointed out her own situation, stating that she went from a three-plus year relationship to a "rebound" she ended up marrying (true story). I do want to go out with this guy and while I don't feel I am going to forget about my ex anytime soon, I am interested in seeing where this goes and what feelings develop.

My question is this: Is it possible to move on to someone while you're still feeling emotionally connected to another? Is he really just going to be a rebound for me or is there any possibility this could develop into something? He's such a great guy and I do not want to hurt him, but I also have a feeling there could be something there.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

– A Love Letter


Make no assumptions about how this will work out. If you take advice from any of your well-meaning friends, listen to the people who told you to go out and have fun. Really, what else can you do?

It might feel strange to meet a guy just a few weeks after ending a four-year relationship, but that kind of thing happens a lot. One of the many reasons it happens is that big relationships are often over long before the breakup. You and your ex said goodbye weeks ago, but I assume that months of consideration went into the decision to end the relationship. You might have been imagining life on your own while accepting and mourning the loss. You were multitasking, preparing for what was next.

The point is, just go on the date. Go on a second and third date if you feel like it. Take time to think about what you're doing, but never assume that this is a rebound or that your new suitor is the one who's going to get hurt. There are no rules here. That's what makes it so scary -- and potentially great.

Readers? Is this a rebound? Could it be more? How should she approach this new relationship?

– Meredith