Shrink Wrap

What we can learn from the trials and triumphs of celebrity relationships.

Lea Michele: Can You Leave the Bad Behind?

Once more with feeling

Glee star Lea Michele, who was devastated when her boyfriend Cory Monteith died from a drug overdose last July, has a new beau and she doesn't seem concerned about rumors that the 29-year-old model previously worked as an escort. Sources say Lea believes he's been honest about his past and that's enough for her.  However, the 27-year-old actress' pals are worried she's chosen the wrong guy again and will find herself heartbroken for a second time. One friend told OK! Magazine, ''She goes from Cory, who was very sweet but clearly troubled with drugs, to a gigolo. It doesn't make sense to anyone.'' The pair met a few months ago on the set of her music video “On My Way” but chose to keep their relationship under the radar following her heartbreak with Cory. It is hard not to wonder if Lea's new possible bad boy might be the best medicine for dealing with her loss or if what she really needs is a good guy to get her back on track.

When someone deals with the loss of the person who meant the world to them, the way Lea did, it is not unusual to look for a new partner who might be similar to the one they are no longer with. That can be true if the relationship ends because of tragedy, as in the case of Cory’s death, or even when it ends simply because those people reached a point of feeling that calling it quits and moving on was the only choice left. Whatever the case, people sometimes look to replicate that relationship in some way, either to try to recreate what they no longer have but still long for, or sometimes with the hope that it might be a chance to play it out in a different manner with a better outcome this time.

The risk in choosing a partner similar to the one you lost, especially if he might be considered a “bad boy” who, for example, might have a drug or alcohol problem or a pattern of being unfaithful, is that you could end up having the same set of problems all over again that you dealt with the first time around. Even though you are with a new person, you can find yourself back in that old dynamic with all that unhappiness that might have existed in your previous relationship. But that is not always the case. It is possible to end up with someone similar to your ex who has been able to move beyond some of the issues and has now changed. So, if drinking was the problem but they have maintained their sobriety for five years, you want to factor in that positive change. Before jumping in, or writing someone off for that matter, think about if they have really grown. Instead of going forward blindly, reflect on the person’s history and focus on the present and how they are living their lives now. What steps did they take to improve their circumstances? What did they learn along the way? Are they being open and honest with you? Before you judge the book by its cover, check out the chapters so you know what you're getting into.

In Lea’s case, Cory was said to be a nice guy who looked good on paper but clearly was fighting with demons. Maybe this time around, despite what some might consider bad boy behavior, her new man is actually at a place where he is looking to share in an honest and caring partnership. This might be her chance to experience what she wasn’t able to in the past – a happy ending.

Please tune in to “Let’s Talk Sex” which streams live on HealthyLife.net every last Tuesday of the month at 2 PM EST, 11 AM Pacific. We look forward to listener call-in questions, dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships, at 1.800.555.5453.

Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/DrJaneGreer, and be sure to follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy.

            For more on Dr. Greer, visit http://www.drjanegreer.com.

Jane Greer, Ph.D., is a Marriage and Family Therapist, author of What about Me? Stop Selfishness from Ruining Your Relationship, and radio host of Doctor on Call.

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