Do Rebound Relationships Ever Work?

Do rebound relationships ever work
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Dealing with heartbreak is not very different from dealing with the loss of a loved one. It can truly feel the same. When a relationship ends, you go through the circle of seven stages of grief, even if you are the one who pulled the plug. Sooner or later, you have to deal with a gaping void in your life and feel the need to fill it up with something new. A fling, a casual hookup, a no-labels relationship – anything that can numb the pain of the heartbreak seems like a good idea. However, before you take the plunge, take a moment to ask, “Do rebound relationships work?’

Jumping from one relationship to the other before you’ve grieved and truly overcome the baggage of the past is what’s commonly known as rebound relationships. And the worst thing about rebound relationships is that not only do they fail at alleviating the pain of the previous breakup, but they also bring more pain on account of being with someone you may not be emotionally invested in and the eventual end of that connection.

Despite knowing the fate most rebound relationships are met with, it can be hard to resist the temptation when you feel consumed by the pain of heartbreak. Most of us have been in one at some point. The prevalence of these relationships begs the question – do rebound relationships work? Let’s find out.

What Is The Success Rate of Rebound Relationships?

While it is true no statistics can accurately predict the future of any relationship, research does offer some insight into human tendencies and behaviors. When you’re fresh out of a relationship, questions such as how often do rebound relationships work, what are the rebound relationship stages, or what is the success rate of rebound relationships, aren’t unfounded.

It is only natural that you’d seek refuge in the certainty of statistics and figures to protect your already-skinned heart. So then, how often do rebound relationships work? Well, the statistics on the success rate of rebound relationships aren’t encouraging.

  • Do rebound relationships work? Research indicates that 90% of rebound relationships end within three months
  • How long does the average rebound relationship last? According to a source, they last between one month and a year, barely making it past the infatuation period
  • Can they help you get over someone? There is research to support the argument that rebounds help people get over a breakup sooner than those who deal with heartbreak all alone

So it brings us back to asking a lot of questions about whether this is the right way to deal with it or not. Like any other aspect of human interactions and relationships, the answer to whether rebound relationships work is also complex and multi-faceted. The simple answer is sometimes, yes, and most often, no. But we should look into the rationale for both. Let’s see when do rebound relationships work and when do they not.

When Do Rebound Relationships Work

So your heart is broken, you miss your ex badly, and along comes this gorgeous person who wants to give you attention and love and reminds you what those butterflies in your tummy feel like. The saying, “The best way to get over somebody is to get with someone else!”, is ringing in your head at this point and you are not even considering any of the dangers of rebound relationships because you want to go into this guns blazing. You, my friend, are about to rebound and rebound hard.

Before you do, it’s a good idea to reflect on the question: do rebound relationships ever work? While there’s enough evidence to support that rebound relationships crash and burn like doomed spaceships, is there any evidence that suggests otherwise? Let’s dive into it to find out.

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1. You find support to deal with heartbreak

While no researcher will be able to tell you with precision how long do rebound relationships last on average, there’s new research in the field of psychology that states that rebounds might just be healthy. These relationships, even if fleeting, can become a source of strength and comfort in a difficult time. They can help you get over your ex by boosting your self-esteem and reassuring you about the possibility of finding love again. Do rebound relationships help you move on? They most certainly can.

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2. They bring you the comfort of intimacy

Why do some rebound relationships work? It’s for this very reason. One of the things that people miss the most about being in relationships is physical intimacy. Having had someone to hold close and call yours, being alone can be hard. What usually happens in a rebound relationship is that this void left by your former partner is filled. The feeling of emptiness after a sudden breakup can be all-consuming and to stop feeling that way, you may find yourself drunk dancing in a bar hoping to make out with someone.

While there’s nothing wrong with that, it is still you seeking a rebound to feel a sense of intimacy. You may not want to label the relationship with that person yet, but you do get someone who will hold you close. That itself is a wonderful feeling, especially when you’re still dealing with the loss of the breakup.

3. Do rebound relationships work? You find a partner to lean on

Rebound relationships do not really work in the long term. But for a fleeting moment, you feel like you have a partner who can help you cope with the tumultuous time you are going through. Even though you should not go around and try to treat your rebound as your therapist, having someone you can share your feelings with definitely helps.

Whether it’s crying to them after work or just getting slushies and sitting in a parking lot, a rebound relationship can indeed bring you a lot of comfort. Also unless it’s their first relationship (ouch!), your partner will have insight into the post-breakup feelings and can support you when necessary.

Related Reading: 8 Ways To Fix A Broken Relationship With Your Boyfriend

4. You become invested in the relationship

That can be quite a good distraction, and may even turn into a lasting relationship eventually. It may be rare, in fact it is very rare, but a rebound relationship can work out in the long term if you want it to. But that happens only when you become emotionally invested in the new partner and relationship.

Do rebounds make you miss your ex more? If the answer to that question is no, then you have the first key ingredient of making the rebound successful. Slowly but surely, you can build a strong, lasting relationship on this foundation.

When Do Rebound Relationships Not Work

Rebound relationships exist for a reason, and for them to serve their purpose, they must be handled in the right spirit and manner. With utmost honesty, clear boundaries, and respect for one another, you might just be able to cruise through one.

But when that delicate balance goes out of the window, so does the possibility of rebounds working out as they’re meant to. That’s when you need to start pondering the dangers of a rebound relationship. Here are some scenarios where rebound relationships do not work:

1. You’re not being fair

Being with someone can be a wonderful experience, it truly is. It can heal you and make you feel whole again. It might even make you believe in love again! But all that can only happen if that’s what you truly want. Do rebounds make you miss your ex more? A majority of people answer that question in the affirmative.

That itself is a sign that you’re still in love with your ex and don’t want to be over them. In this situation, you’re being unfair to yourself and your new partner. Needless to say, this will lead to a host of issues that your rebound relationship will not be able to weather. The drama is just about to unfold, and it is not going to be pretty.

2. You’re projecting past issues

Do rebound relationships help you move on? Do rebound relationships work? Well, not if you’re entering a new relationship loaded with the baggage of your past and can’t help projecting your issues with your ex on your current partner. Clarity of speech and emotions are essential for going through any rebound relationship. For a rebound relationship to work out, you have to free yourself from the clutches of your past. And that’s usually harder in this case.

Since you’ve just gotten out of a relationship and not even taken the proper time to heal from it, it is especially challenging to not let your past experience hurt your present relationship. That is why, it is advised that even when in a rebound relationship, you try to take it slow. There’s no need to start saying I love you too quickly or meet each other’s parents. Otherwise, it’s just a disaster waiting to unfold.

3. One of the reasons why rebound relationships don’t work is you’re going too fast

You break up, you find a new partner, you start dating, you commit, you’re now exclusive and before you know it, you’re thinking about your future with this person. If a rebound relationship progresses at such dizzying speeds, it is bound to crash and burn at some point. At this point, instead of wondering, “Do rebound relationships work?”, you need to ask yourself why you’re diving straight in when you’re barely over your ex.

Rebound relationships and more

When you move quickly from one relationship to another, the baggage spills over. When that happens, a rebound relationship is doomed to fail. Even if you get into a rebound, take the time to resolve your past feelings and prepare for a future before taking any unsustainable leaps, which you know you will not be able to commit to anyway.

4. You’re looking for a replacement

But your new partner is not a replacement for your ex. And they never will be. A rebound relationship is doomed to break your heart even more if you’re seeking a replacement for your ex rather than a partner to embark on a new journey with. If you’re always comparing your current relationship to your last one, your present partner to your ex and checking boxes where one fares better than the other, you’re not ready to move on from a broken relationship and the rebound will be short lived.

Owing to this, many people even find themselves in double rebound relationships, hurting themselves over and over again. If you do tend to do that, perhaps it’s time to take a step back and reassess what you want from your life. A rebound relationship might bring you fleeting excitement but perhaps you need to deal with your feelings.

What Happens When A Rebound Relationship Ends?

When the rebound relationship comes to a sudden and abrupt halt because of the reasons stated above, you find yourself confused for a while and then reaching out for a tub of ice cream to cry over your second breakup in six months. Yes, it sounds harsh but that is indeed the very truth. Cinderella is back from the ball, into her jammies and weeping in her bed because the fairytale is over.

It’s heartbreaking, it really is, but now is the time that you finally realize that you perhaps have been fooling yourself all along. Did you really want to be with this person? Or did you get carried away in the fun of it all? It is probably the latter. And that’s what hurts most when the rebound relationship is over. That you had been lying to yourself instead of dealing with your emotions more truthfully and constructively.

Key Pointers

  • Rebound relationships may help you forget about your ex in the short run, but can have dangerous consequences in the long run
  • Your emotional baggage from the last relationship will often spill over in the rebound relationship
  • Rebound relationships make you dive in too fast, which often only ends in a disaster
  • It is better to deal with your feelings honestly than to use someone else as an escape
  • Do rebound relationships work? They barely ever do. Even if they will, it will be for a short amount of time

Some rebounds are brief and fleeting and some may give you your longest, most sturdy relationships. So do rebound relationships work? Only if you are very, very lucky. Too many people end up getting hurt and too many Instagram accounts get blocked in the process. If you’re having a rough time getting over a relationship, it is always more helpful to avail the services of a therapist. Luckily for you, Bonobology’s skilled panel of counselors is only a click away.


1. Why do rebound relationships feel like love?

Rebound relationships only feel like love because you are so desperately seeking that love. After a breakup, one is in a headspace where one wants to feel comforted and is unable to deal with being single. That’s what draws people into rebound relationships.

2. Do rebound relationships help you move on?

Maybe in 1 out of 10 cases. More often than not, the dangers of rebound relationships are far greater than the benefits. Initially, since you end up spending all your time with this new person, it can feel like you are moving on. But soon enough, the dream will end and you might realize that that was not true.

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