No doubt you and your buds were stunned by the recent news that Jennifer Lopez was spotted on a dinner date with Hangover star Bradley Cooper—just two months after J.Lo’s split from her husband of seven years, Marc Antony.

You’re not? Well, here’s why you should care: It’s a great example of why everyone needs a good rebound.

Being in a long-term relationship changes your concept of your identity, according to a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Eventually, your friends, possessions, and even goals are no longer about “you,” they’re about “us,” says study author Erica Slotter, Ph.D, a psychology professor at Villanova University. Essentially, your likes and dislikes get tied up with your partner.

In the study, Slotter analyzed how people wrote about their breakups. The newly single often noted that their beliefs and values changed after the breakup. They even said that they knew other people better than they knew themselves. Slotter found that a lot of the post-breakup anguish is a direct result of this fractured identity.

Hence, the rebound. “It can be good for people to start to fill that hole by developing a new relationship,” says Eli Finkel, Ph.D., head of the Self-Control and Relationships Lab at Northwestern University. Finkel suggests you look for someone who’s a “good fit”—she should complement interests that were back-burnered by your past relationship.

The key is finding someone who shares an interest you’re passionate about—so you can rebuild your identity from there. Visit our Men’s Health dating site – www.datenight.co.za