When actress Kate Hudson split from Chris Robinson, her husband of six years, in August 2006, she immediately fell into the arms of "You, Me and Dupree" co-star Owen Wilson.
While fans hoped that Hudson, 28, had finally found true love, for most of Hollywood a different word came to mind — rebound.
Now just months after Hudson and Wilson publicly acknowledged their romance, the two have apparently called it quits. Which raises the question: Was this rebound relationship destined to fail from the beginning?
Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
Debra Mandel, a celebrity psychologist and author who practices in the Los Angeles area, said rebound relationships are bound to end as breakups. And Hudson, like other recently single women and men, may have been looking for love for all the wrong reasons after ending her marriage. Mandel said it's the rebounders who are setting themselves up for failure.
"We want to feel wanted again when a relationship isn't working," said Mandel. "There's a drop in our self-esteem, and a new relationship usually provides a big boost in that self-esteem and fills up that sense of loneliness."
That desire for acceptance can cloud judgment, and instead of taking the necessary time to heal from a relationship, rebound daters like Hudson are just looking for something to fill the void. For Hudson, that something may have been Wilson.
"Rebound relationships are based on fear rather than good judgment," said Mandel. "We're usually in our most vulnerable state, so we're not making good decisions. We're trying to ease that pain impulsively rather than find someone who will be a good long-term match."
Convenience Over Compassion
Jonathan Jaxson, former Hollywood publicist and celebrity blogger, says it's even easier to find a rebound partner for that quick fix in Hollywood.
"When you find someone on a movie set, you have three months with them and you're away from home, so it becomes very easy to fall for that person in the moment," said Jaxson.
The three months of filming "You, Me and Dupree," may have brought Hudson and Wilson closer together -- but that time away from home may have been pulling Hudson further and further apart from her marriage and life at home with Robinson and son Ryder, 3.
According to Mandel, long periods of separation put a deep strain on relationships -- a problem she said is common among her celebrity clientele.
"I see more instability in relationships where one or both partners have to be away a lot, be it for a movie shoot or because someone is a high-powered traveling executive," said Mandel.
Instability at home and the convenience of an on-set romance may have helped heat things up between Hudson and Wilson during filming, but they soon fell prey to another Hollywood trend, the breakup.
Actors Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn are among the celebrities who called it quits after the director yelled "cut." The duo began their version of the rebound relationship on the set of "The Break-Up" in 2005 only to split shortly after filming concluded.
Despite the split, Jaxson said Hudson and Wilson won't be heading to the heartbreak hotel anytime soon. He believes their relationship, like so many other things in Hollywood, was just for show.
Thrusting celebrities together to garner publicity and media hype is a time-honored tradition in Hollywood -- a custom dating back as far as the 1956 one-night-stand between Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe, if not earlier.
Jaxson said he wasn't immune to creating faux relationships to score publicity for his clients.
"I've done it myself as a publicist, getting stars together and hoping they can kindle something and hoping that it flourishes into something more," said Jaxson. "As publicists, we try to ensure our clients visibility and publicity."
A publicist's dream is to score a relationship as successful as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's for the client.
"We would love a Brand and Angie story every day, but that's not how it works; if by chance it does, we've won the lottery," said Jaxson.
Besides, he added, celebrities know any publicity in Hollywood is good publicity. It gets their name back in the news, for better or worse.
Hudson's publicist, Brad Cafarelli, declined to comment on the nature of her relationship with Wilson.
Mandel said stars and noncelebrities alike participate willingly in relationships for political, economical or professional benefit.
"We don't necessarily always follow our hearts when we try to think of what makes a good fit," said Mandel.
So after rushing into a rebound relationship, will Hudson ever find true love?
Mandel said Hudson may still have some work to do before finding another mate.
"If you're still really hurt and angry with that person, you're not really going to be able to accept this new person in your life," said Mandel. "Usually, it's a good time to spend some time separate from someone and have some single space."
And what about Wilson? Jaxson speculates that he's probably more than happy to be living the single life again.
In the end, even the breakup of Hudson and Wilson may prove to be good publicity: It has all of Hollywood, and American media, talking.