Rebound relationships are all about deep confusion, sadness and regret. Signs of a rebound relationship are pretty much a mix of these. This confusing state of mind is a potential recipe for disaster, both for you and your partner.
It gets even more tricky if the other partner is looking for a serious relationship and not just a casual, short-lived fun fling. Mixed signals, intense intimacy, sharing and flaunting on social media combined with a constant state of being needy and clingy are some unmistakable signs of a rebound relationship that you should be aware of.
But in the first place how to know if it’s a rebound relationship you are in? According to you, things may be going pretty well. But if your partner is only thinking about getting back on their ex or can’t stop talking about them, it’s a cause for concern. With expert inputs from psychologist Juhi Pandey who specializes in family therapy and mental health counseling, let’s unravel what is a rebound relationship and how to know if you’re in one.
What Is A Rebound Relationship?
Psychologist Juhi Pandey explains what is considered a rebound relationship, “When people get into a relationship soon after a breakup, even if they’re not ready to be in a relationship. One person has just gotten out of a long-term relationship, grabs the other person to bury the pain and get over the loneliness they feel”
“People indulge in rebound relationships to get over the pain and memories of the person they loved. To help them move on normally in life, sometimes they think the best course of action is to jump into another relationship, ” she adds, explaining why people get into rebound relationships in the first place.
When inquired about the average lifespan of a rebound relationship, Juhi responds “It depends. It usually doesn’t last too long when the other person realizes that he/she was just being used to get over a tough time. But it all depends on the bond in the current relationship.”
What do you think of a rebound relationship? Is rebound relationship an easy-to-use balm that can heal breakup wounds instantly, or does it ultimately end up causing more long-term harm than short-term relief? Is it a sure-shot answer to breakup woes or will it pull you into a cycle of failed relationships and even more heartbreaks?
If we look at the rebound relationship psychology, we will see after a break-up, a person loses a lot of their self-esteem. They feel unattractive, unwanted and lost.
That’s when they keep looking for attention and validation. Whoever gives them that, they tend to fall for that person. People tell you there are plenty of fish in the sea when you’re struggling with a breakup. But in your dejected and lonely phase, the next fish that holds the door of the Walmart open for you will be ‘the one’ in your eyes.
Complexities of a rebound relationship
Will the satisfaction of being ‘wanted’ by another bring happiness to your heart or you will realize that the new person you committed to so fast and with so much vigor was just one huge colossal blunder? Let’s face it, nobody’s quick to accept their mistakes. Even though on day 2 you might realize this rebound relationship won’t do you any good, the average lifespan of a rebound relationship is stretched out because most don’t want to admit they messed up!
Filled with complexities, this ‘rebound saga’ can potentially cause you heartbreaks and put you in toxic, unhealthy and painful relationships. And you can’t even imagine what havoc you will bring on the other person. What is considered a rebound relationship? To get out of the misery of a broken heart when you fall head-over-heels in love with someone, still looking for closure, still carrying your emotional baggage, is considered a rebound relationship.
That person becomes the crutch for your existence. But one fine day you might realize that you have nothing in common with them, you have healed and suddenly woken up to the fact that this relationship is not going anywhere for you.
You may be thinking you are moving on, but in reality, you are still chained to your past. A common denominator you’ll see in rebound relationship stories is that they don’t really end well.
Rebound relationships may seem like the easiest route to recovery, but pause for a moment and ask yourself, is it really so? You can even ask for help from your friends or read up on the internet on the consequences of rebound stories.
However, before we find out about the signs of whether you are in a rebound relationship or not, let us first analyze the concept, its potential risks and feasibility from a neutral perspective.
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How To Know If It’s A Rebound Relationship?
A rebound relationship is an impulsive response to a tormented breakup. There are stages of a rebound relationship and it can last between a month and a year. More often than not, you’ll be able to see signs your rebound relationship is failing.
There are two ways to respond to a break-up after a serious relationship. Many go into their shells, cry heaps, and go through the painful stages of a break-up. Abby wrote about how he took to the gym and exercised his anger and frustration away while Kelly spoke of dipping into dollops of ice-cream tubs whenever the sadness struck. But then there are the other kinds who choose to heal from a break-up by getting invested in another relationship, almost immediately.
They take the route to socialize more, meet potential mates, and within no time, get into a new relationship. It could be just days after the breakup.
More often than not this moving from friendship to dating is on the fastest track possible. They say things they do not feel and they encourage their new partners to take the fast lane too.
This is nothing but a rebound relationship that can instantly give a boost to the ego and reassurance that there is a world of people who are open to dating them again but these good times invariably do not last. In other words, the meaning of rebound relationships can be seen as a structured move-on tactic to distract and heal after a breakup from a serious relationship.
Rebounders are needy, at times even emotionally unavailable and they are almost always anxious. Mostly short-lived, people in rebound relationships will show signs of being emotionally insecure and unstable. The warning signs of rebound relationships often include your partner being uneasy and anxious.
Such relationships are geared to fail because instead of being about the other person it is about the self trying to heal from the trauma by focusing the mind and energy on someone new. Most often people are not willing to acknowledge that they are in a rebound relationship, so sometimes the relationship may be desperately stretched out for a year.
While it may seem right as of now, rebound relationships start with the very intention of not being permanent. Ask yourself, is this a smart way to overcome a breakup? A breakup works as a ‘pause’ button in a couple’s life. It gives the partners a chance to contemplate and find out why the past relationship didn’t work.
Ideally, this ‘singledom’ may feel painful, but experiencing 7 stages of a breakup surely works as a detox process to heal from within.
Rebounds act as a distraction from this natural emotional healing of the broken heart. The past issues may remain unresolved, leading to a cycle of self-hurt, trauma, and emotional ordeal.
Negative aspects of being in a rebound relationship
No one really gets into a rebound relationship thinking “this one will last”. People who get into rebounds are actually very well aware of what it is going to be. They are not really asking, “Am I in a rebound relationship?” they are rather saying, “I am in one.”
From one-night stands to one-month or 6-month shabby relationships, these harm both the rebounding person and the new person in the relationship. Unless you have been over a breakup after a romantic alliance, and are sure of starting a new relationship, negative dynamics are hugely at play. Some negative aspects of being in a rebound relationship are:
- You walk into the relationship feeling weak, vulnerable and unsure.
- Being vulnerable puts you at a higher risk of being manipulated and exploited.
- There is an impending risk of narcissism and sexual exploitation.
- You may also be increasingly wary of trusting the new partner, and fight the constant fear of rejection
- Instead of solving deeper issues, you seek short-term temporary solutions
Now that we’ve covered what is a rebound relationship, If you are in an unhealthy, rebound relationship, the following signs we’ve listed out may apply to you.
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8 Signs Of A Rebound Relationship
How soon is too soon to get into a relationship post-split? Are you one of the rebounders in a relationship? Or you are not clear about your current equation with your partner?
To achieve clarity on this, here are 8 of the most important rebound relationship signs to watch out for. It may require a certain degree of maturity and a sense of fair judgment to identify these signs, and you should be careful in concluding.
1. The relationship begins soon after a breakup
There is no ‘breathing space’ or ‘pause’ if a relationship begins soon after a breakup. Many rebounders feel that the internal hurt will be over if they find the company of a new partner. Anahita, a 28-year-old marketer just did not want to be alone, listening to romantic songs, watching cute romcoms, or even seeing social media posts of her friend’s blossoming relationships made her miserable.
The only way she felt she could deal with the misery was by moving on to the next one. This new relationship served as a guiding light to heal the breakup woes. Here, we would like to introduce you to the truth of the moment – you may be living in an illusion of ‘moving on’, but in reality, you are still not over your ex.
How can you expect to make new beginnings with an unclean slate? So, this could be the beginning of a rebound relationship where you may be using your current partner to get over your ex or to make them jealous. When you don’t give yourself time to heal, your past relationship will affect your current one as well.
While most people take some time off to introspect and brood over a breakup if you are jumping in a new relationship just for the heck of it, then it’s not love- but a rebound that will end in pain and bitterness.
2. Rebound for love
Many rebounders reconnect with their exes to reconcile the differences and make a fresh start. They may cry, repent about the mistakes they never made, surrender in front of the ex, just to avoid the nasty feeling of being alone.
They are needy and clingy as well. They believe in the ‘love will overcome all odds’ philosophy, including their couple differences as well, which is not true at all. Remember, a mature relationship is based on mutual understanding from both partners.
If only the rebounder is making all the compromises for the sake of love, then it is certainly a sign of a rebound relationship, not reconciliation. This pattern of on-off relationship is the toxic rebound that must be avoided at all costs.
If you want to woo your ex back, then work on your personality first. Your better, improved 2.0 version may help win back your ex easily. As a general rule of thumb, however, winning your ex back isn’t going to work if you haven’t solved the core relationship problems you two experienced.
When you rebound for love, you’ll just end up being disappointed by it not feeling the same. When you realize this relationship isn’t as good as the one you’re rebounding from, it’s a sign you made a mistake that you need to rectify immediately. Unfortunately, accepting our own mistakes requires the forgiveness and patience of the Dalai Lama.
3. Date to make ex jealous
All is fair in love and war. Rebounders may take this seriously and start showering attention on a current partner to make the ex jealous. Some people also like to ‘show off’ their new partner in a bid to feed their own ego. Seeing you move on so fast with a better individual may trigger insecurity and regret in the former partner, and he/she may come back in your life on your own terms. Which is what you hoped for in the first place.
In fact, rebounders often express anger and resentment towards their exes and never really get over them – these negative emotions keep them tied to their ex. This is in no way fair for your new partner, who is starting a new journey with you. You cannot just use him or her as a ‘trophy partner ‘ to show off your ex that you have found someone better.
If you think your partner is guilty of this, check to see how much they talk to their ex or if you’re suddenly all over your partner’s social media. To make sure his/her ex sees you, your partner will always have those never-ending stories on their social media with you!
4. Get involved with someone ‘casually’
Rebound for a guy may come with a series of short-lived dating encounters. In many cases, you could be seen as a Casanova with multiple flings and one-night stands. But in reality, your faith in relationships is shattered; you feel all romances end in disasters. This is one of the consequences of a bitter breakup where guys seek a casual company to distract their minds from the memories of their former partner.
Even if you date, it will be with the ‘no-strings-attached’ tag. Rebounders use their new partners as a distraction of sorts, mitigating the feelings of hurt, regret, shame and pain.
You find it hard to detach yourself from your past, and cannot bring yourself truly to the present relationship. You will find yourself in a complicated situation with no future. And the past relationship has a profound impact on your current one. So, if you are commitment-phobic after a serious relationship split, then you are definitely on a rebound route.
Casual relationships can be fulfilling if both partners are on the same page. Some may even argue that they’re the best way to go about recovering from a heartbreak, as long as you tell your casual partners that this is all it is: casual. But to tell someone you’re in it for the long haul while you’re looking for a casual fling will hurt your partner emotionally.
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5. Physical attraction overpowers the couple’s emotional intimacy
You are in a relationship just for the convenience of having sex with your current partner. The convenience factor is paramount. You feel no emotional connection while getting intimate; it is purely a physical need.
If you are in a relationship that is just about filling the sense of longing with sex and have no time or energy to get to know the other person or share your vulnerabilities with them, it is surely a rebound.
There will be minimal pillow talk, once the sex starts you’re not interested in how this person’s day went. It’s okay to seek sexual satisfaction from someone who’s on the same page as you, but under the pretext of a long committing relationship, you must not lead people on. From the warning signs of a rebound relationship, you’ll be able to spot this one easily
6. End up talking about ‘ex’ more often
Consciously or unconsciously, a rebounder may talk a lot about an ‘ex’ equation, either in the form of a rant or hurt. Either way, such awkward conversations about the former relationship indicate that he/she is still not over the ‘ex’ and is not ready to move on.
Mohit wrote to us about how frustrating it was to hear Radhika speak about her ex constantly and every time he showed a little displeasure, she stopped only to start again the next day.
Eventually, he broke off the relationship as he realized that she was very attached to her ex but it took him months of healing from this relationship himself. If you feel your date hasn’t moved on, talk to him/her and give them time to clear out thoughts on the ex. This may hurt initially, but will definitely save you from a relationship mess later.
Even if they say they’re positive they’ve moved on, you’ve got to analyze the signs and notice how much and in what tone they talk about their ex. It’s possible they might have themselves convinced that they’re over their ex but in reality, it’s far from it. Improve communication on the subject and do not approach this conversation with an angry state of mind. Be understand, present your points and be willing to listen.
7. Avoid talking about ex at all
Not opening up about the former lover may reveal resentments or lack of closure. You may feel guilty for the relationship failure and may avoid the topic, even after spending months with your current partner. If you have been harboring hidden breakup pain in life even after dating a new partner, then this is a sign of being in a rebound.
This can lead to breakup depression and other complicated issues. Shanaya spoke of how her current boyfriend squirmed even at the name of his ex and when she was sure that this needed addressing sat him down and spoke to him about it. He confessed his feelings for the ex, they broke up and he finally got back with his ex. Shanaya was smart to read the signs and saved herself from a lot of heartaches.
A rebound relationship after divorce or a very long-term relationship will often result in the rebounder not having much closure, trying to subdue those feelings. But by subduing, you’re only delaying the inevitable.
8. Feel bitter, even in a relationship
The happiness of being in a relationship post-breakup with the current partner may fizzle out soon because you are still not over your past. Even if everything looks fine on the outside, from within you feel a lack of satisfaction in life. You may have trust issues and a marked fear of rejection, making you vulnerable to exploitation.
These unsettled feelings and unresolved heart issues may make you miserable, sad and bitter and convey to the world that you are a rebounder. There’s a reason why it’s advisable to spend some time with yourself after a big breakup. Learn to live with yourself and heal any pain you might have internalized. You don’t want to be Googling “what is a rebound relationship” the next time you’re in a relationship, do you?
How Long Does A Rebound Relationship Last?
It is indeed a tricky question to find out whether a rebound post-breakup will actually work or not. Research has it that while some rebound relationships may work, most do not. It is said that more than 90% of rebound relationships do not last beyond 3 months.
Our Bonobology experts believe that usually rebounds begin with a toxic and a negative influence, and usually don’t have a future. Basically, both the rebounder and current partner/s are not on the same page in terms of couple dynamics.
To make a relationship successful, both partners should work towards a common goal. But a rebound twists the situation where both of them are not equally invested in this equation.
But in rare cases, if you open up to your current partner about the ex-partner transparently, this legit relationship may see a future.
If their interest in you is genuine, they will even help you recover from the negativities and shed the past relationship’s baggage successfully. Below are some of the simple ways in which a rebound affair can actually last longer.
1. Drop your expectations for a lasting relationship
A safe bet is to take it slow and don’t rush into it at full speed. Focus on the positives of your ‘new’ partner and take time to know him/her. Instead of focusing on ‘I, me, myself’, try to understand your partner’s good qualities. Change your perspective and discover things that are attractive in them. Give it a shot to find out their good points and enjoy the new relationship
2. Wait for the right time
Don’t expect a hook-up rebound to be successful within 2-3 months. Give it time. Talk to your ‘current’ partner and tell them you need time. Trust us, approaching the new courtship with patience and commitment can increase the life span of a relationship. But again, both of you have to be on the same page to see the prospect of a long-term commitment
3. Cut off from your ex completely
If you want to get over your ‘ex’ completely during a rebound hook-up, avoid any form of communication with him/her. Do not stalk them or engage in practices like double-texting. Unfollow them from your social media profiles or delete their number from your cell phone. Stay away from them, if you like your rebound partner and wish to work on this relationship
4. Know a rebound is unhealthy
Breakups are nasty. Irrespective of whether you pulled the plug on the relationship or your partner dumped you, you will grapple with an all-consuming sense of grief and a sudden vacuum in your life. Neither is easy to handle or deal with. However, starting a new relationship to fill the void isn’t the healthiest approach either.
To avoid the complications and confusing equations of a rebound, our Bonobology experts suggest you spend considerable time to overcome a breakup, for a healthy start to a new relationship. Take the time to wallow and process your feelings before you get back on the dating scene.
If you’re struggling on that front, make good use of the myriad break-up guides out there. Written by experts or people who have overcome similar odds in their life, these self-help books can give put you on the right track to heal from heartbreak. Only when you’re over your ex and feel truly ready to forge new romantic partnerships can you give your 100% to a new person and relationship.