Facts About Rebound Relationships – Will It Last?

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 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 honest 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.

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146 Comments

  • 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.

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    • 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.

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  • My ex treated me like crap but I still love him and want him back. I contacted him only for him to tell me he doesn’t want to come back and I should move on. He said he doesn’t have time for me because he has a new woman in his life. He has only been seeing her for like two weeks, but before that he texted and called me every two days asking if he could come over. Do you think he means what he says about not wanting me back. He has said these things before and came back.

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    • You’ve probably heard the saying: The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.

      If in the past he’s said he doesn’t want to come back and you should move on and he came back, chances are very high that he doesn’t mean what he’s saying. He will come back.

      And if we go by his past behaviour, when he comes back, he’ll still treat you like crap.

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  • 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.

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    • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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?

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    • 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.

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  • 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?

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    • 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?

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  • 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?

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    • 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.

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