So you've hit the relationship jackpot; you've found someone who shares your values, your hobbies and even your sense of humour. Maybe it was even love at first sight, and now you can't imagine your life without this person.

The problem? They're still trying to imagine life without their ex.

Dating someone who is not over their ex is a difficult situation to navigate, and unfortunately there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. How long your significant other's relationship with their ex lasted, how long it's been since they've broken up or divorced and how it all went down are all important factors to consider.

Wondering if you and your pining partner have a chance at long term happiness? Keep reading to find out if and when it's okay to date someone who is not over their ex.

Beware the Rebound

This scenario makes perfect fodder for a romantic comedy film. A man or a woman comes out of a serious relationship. In their broken state, they immediately dive into a new relationship with someone else. Hilarity ensues. More often than not, they'll distract themselves with their rebound love interest for a little while, until they're back with the person that they actually want to be with. What happens to the rebound lover? Eh, who cares?

Well, if you're the rebound love interest, you probably care. The truth is that rebound relationships are rarely born out of a desire to pursue an actual meaningful connection. They generally serve as a convenient distraction for the person who has been hurt. Once that person feels adequately healed, or things start looking a little more optimistic with their lost love, they're ready to break off the relationship and move forward. Sadly, you probably won't be moving forward with them.

If your partner's break up is fresh, then proceed with caution. Those who are looking for a fun, casual relationship that doesn't necessarily last a lifetime may not mind playing the rebound. However, if you've actually fallen in love with your partner, you may need to take a step back. A little dose of honesty may even be in order.

Sit down with your partner and let them know that while you enjoy being with them, they're clearly not over their ex. Let them know that this impasse is unfair to you, and that they should go and do whatever it is that they need to do in order to properly recover from the broken relationship. If, on the other side of their grieving process, there is a chance for a relationship with you, then that's wonderful. But even if you and your partner permanently go your separate ways, you deserve to be in a relationship with someone who values you, not someone who is using you as a diversion.

Will it hurt? Sure it will, but not nearly as much as it would if the relationship had run its course.

Making it Last

Is a relationship that begins shortly after a break up doomed? Generally speaking, it will come to an end around the same time that the forlorn lover has decided that they are ready to move forward. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes a person simply becomes lonely after their relationship has ended. They see how a happy, healthy relationship enriches their life, and they want to enjoy that connection again. They're not looking for a distraction or a mask for their pain, they just want to be in a relationship again.

If you feel like that describes your partner, then it's important that you understand that the needs that they have right now may be different than the needs that they'll have six months from now. Today, they may just need someone to enjoy a meal and a nice conversation with them. After a few months, when they've more fully recovered from the break up, they may look for someone with whom they can share a deeper, more meaningful connection.

When that time comes, will you still be a good match for them? Do you share enough interests, life experiences and goals to actually have an enduring relationship? Answering that question will help you understand whether your relationship can actually go the distance.

If you're looking for something more than a rebound relationship, consider opening yourself up to more options. At Love2Date Singles, we make it simple to find singles in your area who are looking for love and romance. Signing up is free and easy, so create your profile today to get started.