By Sari Holtz

At the young age of 26, screen siren Scarlett Johansson was seen snuggling up to Sean Penn, 51, mere days after her divorce from Ryan Reynolds. Similarly, Jennifer Lopez started stepping out with Casper Smart very shortly after her marriage to Marc Anthony ended, though she is 18 years Smart’s senior. While these rebound romances may seem extreme, they are actually quite common, both among celebrities and “normal people” looking for love after a relationship sours. Although most rebound relationships end in failure, it stands to reason that anyone coming out of a breakup should be in the proper mindset before entering a new relationship. Here are some ways in which you can avoid a painful rebound relationship and find one that works:

Related: Rachel A. Sussman Helps Us Recover After a Breakup in ‘The Breakup Bible’

1. Expand your options. If you’ve already dated your coworkers’ relatives and your hairdresser’s brother unsuccessfully, it’s time to expand your social circles in your search for a soul mate. One great way to do this is by using an internet dating service to get new options. Online dating sites have now been used by celebrities such as Chace Crawford and Halle Berry, and have produced millions of happy couples. It helps that top online dating sites are no longer a mishmash of singles looking for love. Instead, many of today’s dating websites cater to select clientele, so that singles can find someone with similar values to theirs. Research your options carefully to increase your chances of success, whether you’re looking for specifics like the best gay dating websites or just a general dating website. Planning will also make the process more exciting, which will make you eager to get back into the dating scene.

Related: 7 Ways to Flirt in a Web 2.0 World

2. Go slow. No matter how you plan to snag a date, make sure not to rush into things out of fear of solitude or eagerness to find love again. Carefully consider your options to make sure that this potential suitor is truly relevant before committing to a date. That way, even if it doesn’t work out, you can know you tried your best.

3. Get help. If you’re nervous about rejoining the dating scene, a dating coach can help you find the balance between being careful and going too slowly. People coming out of a painful relationship are often unsure about what went wrong or what is preventing them from dating again. A coach will talk about these issues and help you focus on your positive attributes so that you can start a new relationship with confidence.

Most importantly, remember to learn from your past mistakes. By doing this, you’ll be a more educated dater when you move forward.

Sari Holtz is an associate editor at Consumer-Rankings.com, a website that offers comprehensive reviews of the top online dating sites, web best hosting providers, online tax software and more.