THE FROZEN fruity dessert may have its own cooling appeal but we are talking of a sorbet of a warmer kind - the kind that lifts up spirits after a heartbreak or when a serious relationship comes to an end. And when it comes in the form of dishy, fun-loving men who are understanding and happy to serve as a temporary cushion when the thud of a break-up becomes a bit too painful, who's really complaining?
Let's take a few recent examples from Bollywood-and-Hollywood Land to explain what a sorbet relationship is like.
Deepika Padukone left her two year affair with Ranbir Kapoor behind to hook up with liquor baron Vijay Mallya's son Siddharth Mallya.
Kate Winslet separated from her husband of seven years, Sam Mendes, and can be seen laughing in the arms of her new boyfriend model Louis Dowler â€” these are all cheerful women who have decided to handle their break-ups with a little help from 'sorbet' men rather than grieve alone or pour their hearts out on girlie luncheons and night outs.
So what's new, you may ask. It sounds suspiciously close to being a rebound relationship, right? But the sorbet ones come with a difference. They are relationships that don't attempt to give the impression that it may last longer than need be - they are mostly short-spanned.
And the purpose is to have fun, take comfort in a strong shoulder without getting into emotional hassles. It's an interim relationship that acts like a cushion when you come out of one, and till you find someone else or at least till you heal your heartbreak and bounce back.
It's always a good idea to hook up with someone to feel better after a break-up," says author and script writer Smita Jain. "Whatever the coinage 'sorbet' or 'rebound', it's a positive trend. You often end up bitter or lose a bit of your confidence after someone's left you. At such times, attention from the opposite sex is more of a morale- booster than the kind of support that comes from same sex friends."
LOOKING AT the fastchanging dynamics of modern relationships where long-term associations are becoming far too short and the shorter ones are beginning to show longterm gains, perhaps it's time to give these cushy go-between relationships their due.
"I am completely for such a relationship, provided I find a hot guy," says Meghna Dasgupta, airline executive. She says the reason why such hook-ups should be seen as a positive move is that after a bad break-up, women generally tend to be vulnerable. "She is more likely to fall for the wrong person simply to get over the emotional hangover. So a sorbet man would be a far better idea because there are no pretences involved. Both parties know what they want from each other and thereâ€™s no pressure of an emotional investment."
Take the case of Padukone. After going to the extent of tattooing her boyfriend Ranbir Kapoor's initials on her nape, calling it quits must have been tough. What better way to get over him than to hook up with hot and eligible bachelor, Mallya Jr.?
Winslet, who had gone through the pain of seeing her director husband fall for a much younger actress, Rebecca Hall, found her balm in the form of a hot younger model, Dowler. Even if these relationships come with expiry dates, they are good enough to carry the women through a very vulnerable period.
Says actress Pooja Bedi, "Everyone needs a bit of a breathing space after a long-term relationship. And if there's someone who's there by your side willing to pick up the pieces without looking for an emotional attachment, why not?"
But the problem is there's no guarantee really you won't lose your heart again. It happens even with the most foolproof plan. What happens then? Relationship counsellor Anu Goel says, "Call it rebound or sorbet, there's always a chance of feelings creeping in." It would be wise then to keep an open mind (and heart) to that possibility.
Rebound vs Sorbet
Rebound relationships can be long-term as it's a serious attempt on the part of one partner - who has come out of a heartbreak - to give another person a chance. There are no such pretences in a sorbet relationship. Both partners are in it to have a good time.
A sorbet relationship is more like a balm that helps a person heal after the pain of heartbreak from a previous relationship without much emotional investment. A rebound on the other hand can become a heartbreak for the partner who's healing the pain.
After a break-up, people tend to be emotionally vulnerable. You may often choose to hang out with someone who's the total opposite of the man you are trying to forget. But that's not the right criteria. A sorbet man may serve you better.