I’ll be discussing 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 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.