Wednesday April 16th 2014

Facts About Rebound Relationships [Will It Last?]

toronto_akiteng-572I intend to cover this topic in a few more posts in the coming weeks, but since “rebound relationships” is the theme of the latest comments, I thought it’d help clarify a few things about rebound relationships.

What is a rebound relationship?

1) A relationship proceeding a long-term relationship, usually short in duration and used to help mend the “broken heart.”

2) A relationship in which a person becomes involved with a new partner to prove to themselves they are worthy of love and affection

3) A relationship in which a person quickly gets involved with a new partner to prove to an ex that they have indeed moved on.

What makes a relationship a rebound relationship?

A rebound relationship is easy to spot and recognize for what it is. It’s a band aid for unresolved pain and the trauma of going through rejection, feeling unwanted or becoming single again. This is true whether one is the dumped or the dumpee.

For people who have an especially hard time moving on after a breakup, it serves as a distraction from moping, obsessing, and even stalking an ex. For others, it is about companionship – someone to spend evenings, weekends, go to parties with, email, call and text. And sometimes it is about sex – just to satisfy the physical desires and nothing more.

Most rebound relationships do not last. How long a rebound relationship lasts depends on:

1) The emotional stability and availability of the person who just left a relationship.

Someone ”on the rebound” is often incapable of making a genuine emotional connection with the new partner because of emotional baggage from the break-up – lingering feelings for an ex or unresolved problems from the previous relationship. This ultimately causes the new relationship to struggle and eventually end.

2) The desire to continue distracting oneself from the pain of a break up.

Some people on a rebound after sometime realize that they can’t go on trying to run away from pain. They decide it’s time to eliminate the distraction (rebound relationship) and start the emotional healing and recovery.

3) How long it takes for the “new” man or woman to realize and accept that he/she is a rebound man/woman.

Most people being used as a distraction eventually realizes that the one on the rebound isn’t really ready/emotionally available for a relationship and often end the rebound relationship.

*** It’s important though to understand that not every new relationship after a break-up is always necessarily a “rebound” relationship.

An ex may have actually moved on from you (even if you haven’t) before he/she entered a new relationship. Some people move on in as quickly as hours, especially if they’d already emotionally moved on (lost that “in love” feeling) long before the break-up. Others break-up to be with someone they’ve been interested in/casually seeing for months. So even if it may look like a “new relationship”, the interest and feelings have been there for weeks/months and grown deeper, stronger and stable with time.

And if  two people have a genuinely good connection and are open and hones about their baggage from a just ended relationship, these new relationships can and do last.

If you have recently broken up and your ex is already in a new relationship, what you need to do is study the situation very carefully.

1) Why and how did you break up?

2) How did you handle the post-break up period?

3) How soon after you broke up did your ex enter a new relationship?

4) Is the “new” man or woman someone your ex has been interested in/casually seeing for months or someone who seemed to have just appeared from nowhere?

5) Is the new relationship struggling?

6) Is your ex spending more time and effort staying in contact with you than nurturing the new relationship? Etc.

If it is indeed a rebound relationship, consider it buying you time to improve on yourself and be better positioned to offer your ex a different and improved relationship. At the end of the day, it’s not the end of a rebound relationship that’ll make an ex who still has feelings for you come back to you. It’s the value and attractiveness of what you offer.

But if there are all signs that your ex has indeed moved on from you and happy with the new relationship, then it’s time for you to move on too. Don’t just sit there waiting for the new relationship to end because you’ve heard that all new relationships after a break-up are rebound relationships, are unhappy and will not last. The “rebound relationship” may indeed end, but your ex may move on to someone else (not you)!

What you do when you find out your ex is dating someone new sometimes plays a big role in how long the new relationship will last –  and if you can/will get your ex back.

Reader Feedback

29 Responses to “Facts About Rebound Relationships [Will It Last?]”

  1. Natt says:

    I agree with this article. There is no golden rule that says that because your ex is dating someone else that it is a rebound and doomed to fail. My “rebound” relationship lasted 5 years. It was definitely better than my last relationship and I have no regrets I met this person less than a week after I broke up with my ex. We both needed each other and became better partners as a result.

  2. saria says:

    My ex’s rebound relationship seems to be going strong. He started dating her 2 weeks after we broke up and they have been together for 2 years. They both seem very happy and a friend recently told me they are planning to buy a home together. It still hurts to know that he was over me so quickly.

  3. It does hurt. But you are not doing yourself a favour “monitoring” how they are doing. Since it looks like they are going to be together a long time, it’s time for you to move on with your life and leave this behind you.

    I know, not easy… You owe this to yourself.

  4. scopigirl says:

    This makes sense. My ex left me for a woman he barely knew. Theirs could be considered a rebound relationship because he moved in with her just weeks after we broke up, but they’ve been together for over 3 years now. Looking back, I can see he had emotionally checked out of our relationship long before we broke up and she just happened to be the one he fell for.

  5. Payton says:

    My ex broke things off with me, he wanted to remain friends but I told him I cannot be his friend now, and I didn’t know when or if I would be able to. Now 3 months ago later I think I want him back, but he now has a new woman in his life. She knows about me and since we have mutual acquaintances we bump into each other once in a while. I try to avoid them as much as I can, but I can’t stop thinking about my ex. I’ve thought about telling him how I feel, but I’m afraid it’ll only make things more weird. What should I do?

  6. I don’t know if telling him how you feel is going to change the fact that he is in a relationship. Getting it off your chest might help you feel better and may be, may be if he still has feelings for you, might give him the courage to follow those feelings.

    Telling him you still have feelings for him when he is in another relationship is a risk with potential benefit and potential further hurt. This is why only you can decide whether to take the risk or not. If you do decide to tell him, be prepared for the fact that he may not still have feelings for you/has indeed moved on from you.

  7. The Watcher says:

    One of the most insightful articles on relationships! Thanks

  8. Blu says:

    Is it possible to be over someone before you actually breakup? My ex started dating this woman while we were still together. I found out and he broke up with me. I contacted her and told her he was still with me when he started dating her. She said he told her he was over me even when we were still together. Is that possible or is he just lying to her as well?

  9. It is possible. Like the article says, sometimes someone can “move on” emotionally but not have the courage to end the relationship.

    But whether he was over you as he said or is lying to her, why is that even your business? It is only your business if he is saying he wants to be with you. The question then is, do you want to take back someone who dated someone else while still with you?

    But it seems that’s not the case. He is with her and if she believes him and wants to be with him, let them be.

  10. Crystal says:

    It is very painful knowing that someone you love is with someone else. But he still texts and wants to come over. I have resisted so far but he tells me he loves my body and thinks about me when he in bed with her. Do you think that he is maybe getting bored with this relationship? What can I do to make him desire me more than he desires her?

  11. May be he is getting bored, and may be not. As long as he is with her, him texting you means little. He may just be looking for some piece on the side.

    My suggestion is for you to take care of your own happiness, and if down the road they do break-up and you still want him back, then great! Otherwise any attempts to break them up, may just draw them even closer.

  12. Tina says:

    My ex went back to his ex before me. He tried to get her back before and she would not take him back. Six months later we met and we were together for 3 years. Now he is back with her. I still love him and it hurts so much that they are back together. Why didn’t he pursue me the way he pursued her? What was it about her that he could not let go? I wonder if she knows we are over because the breakup happened only a month ago. His FB status still had a picture of us until about two weeks ago.

  13. I don’t know why he didn’t pursue you. I don’t know what it is about her that he went back to. But I do know that you are spinning your mind thinking about stuff that you won’t get answers to, unless of course he gives them to you himself (which I highly doubt he will). The rest of us can speculate, give you our opinions, and try to make you feel good by taking your side, but that’s all we can do.

    The healing and moving on starts with you. The more you focus on him and “their” relationship, the less time you have to focus on you — and your healing.

  14. Dan says:

    I opened 5 or 6 websites talking about rebound relationships, and this one was the only one that taught me something new. When I read that note about people rebounding “to prove to themselves they are worthy of love and affection,” a light bulb went on. That may be me, and if there’s even a question, I’m probably not ready. And that’s fine — I’d rather deal with that now than later, after I’ve dragged someone else into it. Thanks for your help, Yangki!

  15. Danni says:

    Yangki, I read in your eBook that just because there is someone else doesn’t always mean you do not have a chance. My ex and I were together for 2.5 years before he broke with me. We had no contact for 2 months, then I got in touch with him. Over the course of our texts he told me he was dating someone, and as you advised I asked him if it was serious. He said they had only been seeing each other for 3 weeks. Fast forward, he and I have been texting, talking on phone and gone out for drinks a couple of times. He says he’s not sure whether he wants to be with her or me, he has feelings for both of us. I feel like I am being put on hold until he figures out what he wants. Any insights will really help.

  16. You are right in that you are being put on hold until he figures out what he wants. The question is, are you okay with that? The reason I ask is because I have worked with some people who are okay with it and those who aren’t. In some cases, it’s worked out to their advantage in that over time it became very clear to their ex who he/she wanted to be with. In others, the ex chose the other person over them.

    It’s important when making the decision to keep in mind that this is not just HIS relationship, it’s yours too. Do not put up with what he wants if you do not feel that your needs are being met or that by being put in this position, you are not being respected.

  17. tigress says:

    This makes a lot of sense. We met a week after my divorce and he had just ended a 4 year relationship. We found out we had a lot in common and hit it off immediately. Both my friends and family, and his friends and family said we should have taken more time being single, but we both felt we had finally found the one. 4 years later, some ups and downs here and there, but we still feel the same way about each other.

  18. Anand says:

    We dated for 11 months, then she broke up with me because she was not feeling in love anymore. We remained in contact until she met someone else. I told her I could not be her friend and wanted no contact. After 2 months of no contact, I contacted her because I heard she had broken up with the new guy. We started talking and hanging out. One day she let it out that she was seeing another guy, a different one. I didn’t ask her about him for about a month, in which time we continued hanging out. Eventually, I couldn’t pretend I didn’t know about her other guy, and asked her where we stand. She said she not sure about the other guy and doesn’t know about us. But also said she can not imagine her life without me.

    I’m curious as to 1) why she continues to hang out with me when she’s seeing someone else and 2) why she says she can not imagine her life without me?

  19. The answer to both of your questions is… because you are her friend… like in ‘”just a friend”.

    I know like most, you have told yourself that this means that she’s not happy with the other guy and will leave him, and come back to you. But let me paint the picture for you… she broke up with you because she was not feeling in love anymore… while you were hanging out, she goes and finds herself someone else… she says she doesn’t know about the two of you… but wants you in her life. Translation, “you are a very dear friend and I like you a lot, but you are NOT the one.”

    But something tells me, you’ve heard “you’re just her friend” from other people too, but you don’t believe it, and probably aren’t going to believe me either. That you are going to continue “waiting” hoping that the tide will eventually blow you way.

  20. Anand says:

    You are probably right that she now sees me just a friend. My friends and my whole family wonder why I still want her in my life. I love her and I know she cares about me. I just don’t know why she’s doing this to me. What do you suggest I do to get out of the friend zone?

  21. I was hoping you’d ask me that. Stop “circling” around her like a scared puppy. If she’s interested in you as more than “just a friend”, she’s probably waiting for you to stop acting like her female friend and start engaging her as “a man who is interested in a woman”.

    If she only wants you around as a friend, showing her that you want more than friendship is going to force her to have to tell you directly why she’s keeping you around. You can then decide if you want to continue being just friends or not. It becomes your decision as well, not just hers, which is the case right now.

    In other words, stop playing safe. Take some risks and let the chips fall where they may. The way things are, you really have nothing to lose. Of course, it’s possible that you’ll lose her friendship if she feels “weird” that you’re interested in her in a sexual way, but is it really a “friendship” if you are unhappy with the current arrangement and she’s perfectly okay with it?

  22. Trilea says:

    Our breakup was about 7 weeks ago. It was a very messy breakup with lots of shouting and arguments. After one week of no contact, I sent him a text saying that with no contact for sometimes we can at least become friends down the road. He agreed. I didn’t contact him whatsover, and over the last several weeks I’ve been feeling really good about myself. I had planned to contact him in a month as we had agreed, but yesterday I received a text from him asking how I was. I debated whether to respond or not, but decided to. I told him I was doing fine and asked him what he had been up to. That’s when he told me he has been seeing someone for three weeks and he has never felt this way about someone. He told me he felt he needed t tell me because he still hoped we could be friends at some point. What was the need for him to contact me just to tell me this? What does he expects me to do?

  23. I don’t know why he felt the need to contact you to tell you about his new woman or what he expects you to do.

    1. It could be something he did as someone who genuinely thinks of you as a friend to share his happiness with. Based on your story, a friendship is what he agreed to, and not that you will get back together down the road.

    2. It could be because he thought you might still be hoping to get back together and wanted you to move on.

    3. It could be he wanted to make you feel bad or hurt you for whatever reason, including the fact that he might have expected you to contact him sooner and you didn’t.

    It could be any number of reasons. But why he did what he did does not matter at this point. What matters is you now know that you are not getting back together, and it’s good time for you to find happiness with someone else too.

  24. Anna says:

    I didn’t think my partner entered our current relationship trying to rebound since he had been single for 2 years before we met, but I’ve learned he told his ex he loves her after a few years into our relationship. Thinking back, he was never as emotionally available as I’d hoped he’d be.

    Thank you for this article, I realize now that he wasn’t over her yet and I am more than likely a rebound.

  25. Nico says:

    Me and my ex broke up over 3 months ago and I have a hard time getting over the fact that she dumped me the same day she told me he loved me very much. Every time I ask her if she doesn’t love me anymore, she says her feelings have not changed, but she does not think we can be in a relationship. I pushed her away and want another chance to show her how much I love her, but I don’t think that is possible anymore. She is seeing someone else and now wants no contact with me because I interfer too much in their relationship. Do you think it’s a rebound relationship, and if so, what should I do to get her back?

  26. 1. It’s possible to love someone and not want to be in a relationship with him/her. Love is something that happens to us, we don’t control it. A relationship is another story. We consciously choose we want to be in a relationship with. It’s a logical decision we make based on a number of reasons.

    2. I can’t say whether it is a rebound relationship or not. As the article says, not every relationship after a break-up is necessarily a rebound relationship.Time will tell.

    3. I think that you’ve probably “done” too much already, and that’s why she’s decided it’s best not to have any more contact. When someone says they want no contact, have some self-respect and grant them their wish.

    The best you can do is let their relationship run it’s course (without you interfering in it). If it’s a rebound, it will end soon enough, but don’t hold your breathe. Take time to work on you. IF she comes back and you still want her (logical choice you have to make at the time), you’ll be in a better position for a better relationship.

    There are no guarantees in these kind of situations, but I’ve seen people in similar situations make it work.

  27. Dale says:

    Thanks you for this article. My ex and I began contacting each other again after 5 months of no contact. I was broken by the breakup and asked that he don’t contact me for 3 months. I then reached out to him. At first he was reluctant but I persisted and we began texting regularly. That’s when he told me he had a girlfriend but that he’s still in love with me. Being with this other woman has showed him how much he took me for granted. He says he wants to breakup with her but needs time to do it his own way. Everyone says he’s playing me and I should just move on/ What do you think?

  28. I think that if you believe him, then give him the time he needs to end the other relationship. It may be to your best interest to ask him how much time he needs. His response will give you insight as to whether he really means it or just trying to eat his cake and have it too.

    If he gives you a time period, it means he’s serious about it. You have a time frame to work with. If he dodges the question or acts upset, it’s because he does not want to be held to any accountability. You could be “waiting” for ever.

  29. Lemukol says:

    I was the rebound after his ex of 4 years left him. We were together for 11 months when she came back into the picture. He said he was torn but decided she was the one he wanted to be with. They are back together and planning a wedding. I’m deeply hurt as I still love him but I wish them all the best. I will someday find my “one” and this will all be a thing of the past.

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