How to get over your ex and turn a rebound entanglement into a long lasting relationship

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images
  • The Bad Pancake (TBP) is the latest metaphor for your dating life. 
  • Casual dating can be a godsend after a break-up but you will need to be cautious.
  • If you meet someone you would like to pursue after coming out of a relationship, do yourself the courtesy of giving yourself some time. 

It's the weekend and you're gearing up to tuck into a stack of fluffy pancakes. The oil is in the pan, you've got the spatula ready to flip and the mixture is ripe for the pour. You wait for the bubbles to emerge before sliding the egg flip under your half-cooked first attempt, catching the edge as you flip, dragging a trail of mixture from one side of the pan to the other as it starts to smoke under the pressure.

You're defeated.

Still, you wait 10 seconds for it to cook, then transfer it to a plate and pick at it until you decide it's a lost cause and bin it.

Introducing the newest metaphor for your dating life: The Bad Pancake (TBP).

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What is the bad pancake? 

Like the first pancake you try to make - a smooshed dough ball of nothingness - TBP is the first person you date after a serious relationship, destined to end in epic failure.

"A bad pancake can never turn into a proper relationship," says Molly Bernard's character, Lauren, to Hilary Duff's Kelsey in Younger: "It's pre-destined to fail." So you put your good guy on the back burner in order not to squander a diamond in the rough - and you get yourself a bad pancake.

Easy, no? Before you rush to a rebound, Lovehoney's relationship expert, Annabelle Knight, reminds us we need to be mindful of the post-relationship grieving process and what that brings to a new love - whether it's a bad pancake or not.

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"Whether it was you who ended the relationship or not, it's always best to allow some time to process any residual emotions," she suggests. "Quite often a new person acts merely as a distraction, which isn't fair on them or you."

But where's the fun in that, right? Let's add a little zest to this theory with some casual dating, where the mixture of dating apps and a perceived ambivalence towards sex can create a bad pancake loophole. And when you're in dire need of some flipping practice, it could well be the antidote.

"Casual dating is completely different to serious dating and can be extremely useful for someone looking to move on from a relationship as it can rebuild confidence both in yourself and in dating itself," Annabelle says. "Enjoying yourself with someone on a casual basis can be a godsend when you're feeling low after a bad break-up, but it's advisable to be cautious about throwing yourself in the deep end too soon as this can do damage to your emotional state."

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The flip side

Do two bad pancakes make a stack? To an extent, the old adage, "The easiest way to get over someone is to get under someone else" rings true in the theorem of bad pancake law when you're both in a similar frame of mind.

"If you ended it, you might really be ready for new love, since often you'd have been one foot out of that relationship for a while before making such a decision," sex therapist Desiree Spierings says. "By the time you leave you are often more ready to meet new people - you've already had a grieving period."

Annabelle agrees, to an extent, but warns at some point you'll need to address and process why your relationship ended in order to learn from it. To be honest, that is where a bit of bad pancake could come in handy. In order to move on faster, pass your bad pancake and collect $200, it's about setting yourself some limits. 

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"Identify what's working for you and what's not. Often, you'll see people after a break-up still contacting their ex, or stalking them on social media [note: guilty]. And when they are honest with themselves this might make them feel worse," says Desiree.

"When you've identified what's not working, it's time to set limits for yourself - like, I will not contact my ex unless it's about unfinished housing or financial business. Before you think getting yourself a bad pancake is the secret to relationship bliss, know these sorts of rebound flings are seldom destined to last. You can limp along, but ultimately you'll need the headspace that only comes with being on your own for a bit."

"If you meet someone you like and wish to pursue after coming out of a relationship, then do yourself the courtesy of giving yourself some time," says Annabelle.

"The relationship stands a much better chance if you both enter it as happy, emotionally healthy individuals. Remember: the only baggage you need to take with you when you start dating is your clutch bag, filled with pancakes."


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