The 5 Stages Of A Rebound Relationship

Stotropama Mukherjee
rebound relationship

A rebound relationship can simply be defined as a relationship a person gets into because he wants to avail the positives of a relationship he just got out from. Or he was forced to call off that relationship. This person tries to nurture the same feelings in a rebound that he had for his ex. This starts very well initially, but because the feelings are forced, artificial and superficial, gradually a rebound relationship phases out.

Most people take considerable time to bond with someone, it is but only natural that detachment too takes some time. Rebound relationships too follow phases or stages, and in a true rebound, they can be considered quite predictable. The concept a of rebound relationship generally arises from emotional insecurity a person gets caught into after a painful breakup. People also feel need to distract themselves from the hurt and jump into a rebound relationship soon.

The Rebound Relationship Psychology

To understand rebound relationship psychology, you first need to understand the meaning of rebound relationships. Sometimes when a long-term, serious or committed relationship breaks people get entangled in a temporary transient relationship to basically find themselves again. Rebound relationship timeframe is generally not long-term, it typically lasts at most a year, though cracks start showing very early on.

Rebound relationship psychology is one directional. It is about self-healing. When people cannot get over their ex, when they cannot stop feeling sorry for themselves, when they want someone to make them feel something again, then they get into these relationships with the nearest, eager, preferably younger person for a while. Rebound in love is very common in the fast modern life today where we don’t have the time or energy to heal on our own.

Stages of a rebound relationship

Rebound relationship stereotypically but not strictly follow a certain trajectory to its ultimate destination: the breakup. Here we’ve tried breaking it down to stages so that one can identify where they stand. This is important as the rebound relationship is almost never fair on the person who is used by the one getting over a serious relationship. So, for the one using and the one used: here are the details. Infact we have an interesting post on signs of a rebound relationship which may help you immensely.

Sometimes when a long-term, serious or committed relationship breaks people get entangled in a temporary transient relationship to basically find themselves again.

1. Attraction

When your relationship is over and you finally comprehend that you can’t go back to how things were before: then you start realising that it is time to look forward. But you are too numb to move on and you are still not ready to get into another relationship. These are the times that people get into a rebound in love.

You get attracted to someone, maybe in a party or meet someone randomly: Rebound usually happens with someone you have formally friendzoned, or an old flame or someone who is drastically different from your environment. And mind you, rebound relationships generally feel like love – because you are so hard trying it out, it feels perfect initially.

He was looking for a rebound, she was looking for a relationship Image Source

The rebound psychology works in a certain way: You either want to be comfortable with someone well known to you or with someone completely different than your usual type. That is, you are either looking for reassurance or for renewed appreciation. Either way, you want to rediscover yourself by looking at yourself through someone else’s eyes. In the attraction phase, you want to feel wanted again and regain some agency in a relationship, especially if you were dumped. Looking good, makeovers, style change, and so on becomes more important than really looking into your mental peace.

Related reading: He was looking for a rebound, she was looking for a relationship…What happens next is a surprise

2. Intimacy in a rebound relationship

In a rebound relationship, you are not really looking for emotional connect or dependency: It is usually more physical. You want your rebound relationship to admire and adore you. You want to be the flower rather than the gardener when you rebound in love. You want undivided attention and longing from your partner to help you heal your broken heart. Basically, you want all the positives of being in a relationship without investing much of you intellectual or emotional energy.

They say, cure of a broken relationship is sleeping with others. You feel sad thinking about how you remained faithful towards someone who didn’t appreciate you. Especially if you are cheated on in your previous relationship, then you need your rebound relationship to make you feel sexy and beautiful.

So rather than spending time to talk and actually getting to know each other you spend time indoors exploring other adventures. You have gone through a post break up makeover but you are still unsure of your new look. You need to be appreciated for that too, not just your personality. Every touch, every kiss, every hunger for an inch of your skin: helps you heal, helps you love yourself again, helps you to regain your confidence in yourself again. But this might be a false hope that doesn’t really matter in the long run.

3. Show off

Break up, especially after a long-term committed relationship is hard, not only on yourself but also on your social reputation. Rumours spread like wildfire and people start looking at you differently. You don’t like being the villain in public eye and you absolutely hate being an object of pity.

So when you rebound in love you show it off to your acquaintances. You show your partner off like a medal you have owned or a prize that you have earned. You show off that amazing chemistry between the two of you. You show off how happy you are, albeit faking it from outside.

This little show and tell is mostly for the benefit of your ex. You make it a point that friends, especially friends that are in touch with your ex, see you with your new partner. You constantly try to convince your friends that your new partner is much better and you are comparatively happier than you were before. This may make your new partner feel objectified and devalued as they realise that their value in your eye are as much as they can be presentable to your friends. You might be healing but you would be hurting someone in the process.

Related reading: 12 Signs He Is Using you as a Trophy Girlfriend

4. Comparison

She still looking for someone

Comparison in rebound relationships often happensImage Source

To others you may seem moody but some of your extreme reactions have deep-seeded reason in your breakup. If your new partner does something mildly irritating and you react violently because that is something your ex used to do. This is undeniably very unfair to your new partner.

During a rebound relationship you haven’t yet gotten over your ex. So there is a relentless comparison going on in your mind of your new partner with your ex. While some things irritate you, there are also some things that make you nostalgic. These are the things that you want to remember, these are the things that make you regret the breakup and you know you will never have these things with any other partner ever again as it is always going to be different with newer relationships. This nostalgia is what makes you stick to a rebound – because you have simply not moved on and are still lingering where they left you.

But you still can’t help but compare your newer connections to your ex: as your ex has become some kind of standard for what you like or dislike in a person who you want to be in a romantic relationship with. Your rebound partner may feel lost because they are fighting against and mostly losing to your idea of your ex.

5. Disillusionment

There comes a point in a rebound relationship where you realise it’s a sham. To no fault of your new partner you don’t feel attracted towards them anymore. This is because you realise a lot of things. First of all, you have finally come to terms with the fact that you are not over your breakup yet nor over your ex. This is the first healthy step towards healing.

Now you can give up on the illusion of being okay and face the reality. Now you can stop pretending to be enthusiastic about running flings or your rebound relationship. Secondly it is imperative that you understand what you are doing to your partner in the rebound relationship. With no fault of theirs they are being used in a relationship that is doomed to end soon. You need to tell them that and make a clean break of it. Thirdly, now it is time to ultimately move on. Take some time for yourself, talk to someone if it helps, pamper yourself: progress towards healing. The illusion of ‘things are alright’ has been making you hollow within but this complete disillusionment will actually help you to rise again. When you realise that you have reached the rock bottom then the only way you can go is up.

How Long Do Rebound Relationships Last?

It is difficult to definitely say how long a rebound relationship will last because rebound relationship timeline depends directly on the parties involved. You go through all these stages at your own pace and reach the common disillusionment. A rebound relationship is generally short-lived because unless you have healed from your past relationship, the likelihood of you giving you 100% to this new relationship is quite impossible. It is also quite unfair on the new partner. If you are in a rebound just because you have to show off or make a point, there is a strong chance you will not just hurt yourself but also the new partner. A rebound relationship can last from one month to a year depending on how much time you need to reach your realisation. If you are in complete denial a rebound relationship may last longer than expected.

Statistics say that men are more likely to rebound than women, because men find it tough to recover from break-ups. And as we know, women often know how to vent out their emotions and share their feelings making it easier to move on, but men are dead-stuck because men do not share their emotions easily. If you are a woman, and suspecting yourself to be in a rebound with a man, you should be able to spot the signs soon. And before you get your heart broken, break-off the relationship.

Be kind to yourself and your rebound partner: don’t drag your dead relationship like a torn coat behind you. Life is short, too short to be spent in pretence.

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