When Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn officially announced their relationship on Monday, my first thought was "Is there a competition with his ex-wife going on?" A few days before then, it had made the news that Tiger Woods' Ex-Wife, Elin Nordegren was dating billionaire Chris Cline. I wondered which of the announcements preempted the other, and what it meant vis-a-vis rebound relationships after divorce. This is not the first time I've heard similar stories, and maybe some of you have too.
BTW, it also happens with couples who were just dating and then break up, there seems to be this subtle competition about who will be the first to find a new partner, with the cherry on top being who will be the first to take that walk down the aisle. Each of the people in the broken relationship seem to want to show the other person that they have moved on, and are so over them.
For instance, Kanye West. Within a year of them breaking up, Amber Rose hooked up with another guy, got engaged, and before you could say "Musa", she was pregnant. Some people have pointed to that as the reason for the fast track of Kanye's relationship with Kim Kardashian, and especially the pregnancy even before she's divorced. To crown it all, he now styles her, and she wore a similar dress to announce her pregnancy as Amber Rose did.
There were also references to Monaliza Chinda when her ex got engaged, when he got married, and then when that packed up. Now, she has a new man in her life and some people are still referring to her ex. In my opinion, it may be this competition to leads to rebound relationships, and most times these don't work out because the person who has just broken up is no thinking clearly when he or she makes the choice for a new partner.
According to experts, feeling competitive with one's ex about who moves on into a fresh relationship may be irrational, but they are normal. Past relationships have a continuing hold over us even when, rationally, we think we're well adjusted to their break-up and content with our new lives. Says relationships psychologist Dr Valerie Lamont,
'Raving jealousy, anxiety and a childish feeling that even though you don't want him, you don't want anyone else to have him are all common when a former lover announces he's getting married,'
'Because you know the two of you shared a special connection, that you saw the private side of him no-one else did and, like any couple, enjoyed special, secret times together, it's hard not to feel elbowed out and displaced when he meets someone else and prepares to sail off into the sunset with her.
'Logical thought goes out of the window and you forget the real reasons why you parted. Instead, you find yourself feeling strangely resentful that he feels he's met someone he'll be happy with for the rest of his life and angry at having to admit you're no longer his number one.'
Don't worry, feeling like this is actually totally natural and normal. It doesn't mean that breaking up was a mistake, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your new relationship and it doesn't say you're a mean spirited person incapable of wishing your ex happiness,'
Take heart from the realisation you won't feel like this for long. Once the wedding has taken place, your emotions should return to an even keel - although don't be surprised if the same irrational feelings flare up again at a later date.
'News that he's expecting his first baby or hearing rumours from mutual friends of a troublesome patch in his marriage can stir things up again but this too is normal. But every time it happens you should be better equipped to cope, better able to realise you're probably seeing the past through rose tinted spectacles and you'll find it easier to drag yourself back to reality.'
Though I'm no expert, and have not really kept up with my exes and their new lives, I can see how this may happen. Most of us can be quite competitive and this affects a lot of our relationships. I think that being able to work through the initial period after a break up may be vital to getting into a healthy relationship after without being fixated on what the ex is doing.