You don't have to be Jennifer Aniston to know how it feels to have an ex-partner take up with another lover so quickly after a breakup. In short, it sucks. Not to mention you're left with the lingering question, "How was he able to move on so quickly?"
Well, that's just how men get through breakups. "One study done at the University of Texas found that men are more likely to engage in infidelity shortly before a breakup, and although I haven't found any hard evidence to support this, it is also likely that they will engage in more sexual activity after the breakup compared to women," says Dr. Gian Gonzaga, senior research scientist at eHarmony Labs.
This may make it seem like men move on more quickly, but their external behaviors do not necessarily reflect their emotional states, Dr. Gonzaga says. In fact, there's an extreme downside to the way men rebound from relationships, says Warren Farrell, Ph.D., author of Why Men Are the Way They Are and Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say. "To rebound quickly often leads men down a path that's temporarily good, but is not good for the long-term involvement [of the relationship]," Farrell says, who quickly adds that men are 10 times more likely than women to commit suicide following a divorce.
Still, there are some tips women can take away from the way men act after a breakup.
1. Don't badmouth your ex. That's not to say you can't ever complain about your ex or the way the breakup went down, but keep the kvetching to a few sessions over two or three weeks, Farrell says. "The downside of doing it for too long is that it does make you cynical, angry and bitter, and when you meet new men, they pick that up," he explains.
Think about it: Have you ever heard Brad Pitt utter a bad word about Jennifer Aniston? Meanwhile, Jen's publicly shared a few choice words about Brad, and now the tabloids paint her as the sad single girl whose every move is an attempt at getting back at her ex.
2. Ask questions. The reason behind the success of He's Just Not That Into You? One man's honesty. "Invite a man out who you trust and tell him that you're going to pay for his dinner because you want honest advice from him," Farrell says. "Tell him, 'I'm not interested in being soothed, I'm interested in improving.'" Make sure the man you choose isn't romantically interested in you because, as Farrell points out—and any woman knows—such men will be anything but honest with you.
Too, this is where simply being a woman gives you an advantage over men during a break up. "In times of stress, women tend to use their social support resources better than men," says Dr. Gonzaga. "Men tend to depend on their spouses or romantic partners for social support, and therefore suffer more physical health costs when they are single."
3. Get back into the dating game. You may not want to step out with two different people in the same week just weeks after your divorce is announced, a la Jon Gosselin, but it's important you make a move as soon as you feel ready.
"The traditional woman, especially when she's hurt, waits for a guy to ask her out," Farrell says. Instead, exercise your right to make choices. Take to eHarmony or Match.com; your local bar, a bookstore—where ever—and assess your options. "Look over all of the possible candidates and take responsibility for what you feel are the top candidates for a possible match," Farrell says.
When you see someone you like, don't be afraid to approach them. The worst that happens is that you get rejected—and hey, you've survived rejection already!—so you know it won't be the end of the world.
Emphasizes Dr. Gonzaga, "The good news is that you have gained experience from your last relationship, and are more knowledgeable about what sort of person is most compatible with you."
Click here to see our gallery of the quickest celebrity rebounds of all time!