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Do Rebound Relationships Work Out? Why They Will and Won’t

Do Rebound Relationships Work Out? Why They Will and Won’t

The aftermath of a breakup is traumatic, especially if it was after a long-term relationship. It can leave you with a feeling of loveless limbo.

Did you know experts indicate that 90% of the rebound relationship fails within the first three months?

So are rebound relationships are unhealthy and unproductive? Or do they actually work out for the best? Here’s what some studies and experts have to say about the two possibilities…

The Purpose of a Rebound Relationship

A study by researchers at Queens College and the University of Illinois in 2014 revealed that rebound relationships serve an essential psychological purpose.[1] The results of the research revealed that rebounds help the recently broken-hearted to move on and heal more quickly than the ex-partners who deal with their breakup in their loneliness.

According to Theresa Didonato Ph.D., people who dive in to rebound relationships get over their ex-partners quicker and feel more confident in their ability to date.[2]

A rebound relationship:

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  • Helps a person with high attachment anxiety to server their emotional attachment to their ex-partners.
  • Helps the ex-partner get over their anger at the ex and move on with their lives.
  • Improves the person’s well-being and self-esteem.
  • Provides solace, intimacy, and social stimulation during the healing process.
  • Prevents unhealthy reunions with the exes.
  • Gives the person an opportunity to figure out what type of partner compliments them, which is impossible to do when one is flying solo.
  • Provides companionship. A fling may be what one needs to shield them from the loneliness that comes with being newly single.
  • Helps a person recover faster because they feel more desirable.

Signs of a Rebound Relationship

How soon is too soon to get into a relationship post-split up? Are you clear about the nature of your current relationship? Are you one of the rebounds in a relationship?

To achieve this clarity, here are some signs to watch out for:

Get into a relationship soon after a breakup

Many rebound partners feel that their hurt will be soothed if they find the company of a new partner. One could, therefore, be living in the illusion of ‘moving on’ but in reality, they are stuck in the pain of the old relationship. Experts recommend waiting for at least 3 to 4 months after a breakup to recover from heartbreak.[3]

Date to make your ex jealous

Some rebounders may start showering their attention on a new partner to make their ex jealous and boost their ego. The new partner is used as a trophy to ‘show off’ to the ex.

Get involved with someone casually; purely for physical purposes

The breakup from a long-term relationship leaves one’s faith in relationships shattered. One may be left feeling that all romances end in disaster.

As such, the person will get into relationships with ‘no strings attached’ tag. They become commitment-phobic, and they get into relationships for the convenience of having sex with a current partner.

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Not honest with your new partner that you have recently got out of a relationship

Are you feeling ashamed in a relationship? If you haven’t been honest about the fact that you have recently broken up, you may be in a rebound relationship.

You are in a new relationship, but all you can think about is your ex and your past relationship.

And to be honest, you’d rather be back with your ex. You feel bitter even in the new relationship, and you spend lots of time telling your current partner how life was with your ex.

If this is the case, then you need to be open and honest about your true feelings.

Not really know much about your current partner

Falling in love involves the desire to know your partner’s personality traits and the background to their past.

If you did not give yourself enough time to heal, you will find that you do not know much about your current partner. You are just happy not to be single.

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Do Rebound Relationships Ever Work?

The chances of a rebound relationship having long-term potential are slim, and there are many reasons why they rarely end well. That being said, there are situations when a rebound relationship can work perfectly.

Firstly, bear in mind that in many circumstances, a relationship does not end overnight. The breakup might have come at the end of a long drawn out of process full of pain and wounds. The partners were unhappy for quite a while and the relationship was dead long before it actually ended.

The couple was probably only reluctant to pull the trigger. In this situation, the rebound relationship is not really a ‘rebound’ as the previous relationship was dead for a long time.[4] The partners are more than ready to move forward if someone with whom they can find happiness comes along.

A Rebound Relationship Will Work If…

  • A partner is open and honest with the new partner about the recent breakup and the reasons for it
  • A partner knows with all certainty that the previous relationship is 100% over. They grieve it, but they don’t dwell in grief.
  • They are fully engaged in the new relationship. If the person is dating a new person out of love and openness, and they are not reacting to the loss of the old relationship, the relationship might just work.
  • If the previous relationship ended on good terms, one has a better shot at a rebound.
  • If the person is the one who ended the relationship, the rebound is likely to work. However, if the person is the one who was left, this may affect their self-image, making them more emotionally unstable.

When the Rebound Won’t Work

Like we have already indicated, rebound relationships serve a purpose if they are handled in a healthy manner. The most significant risk for a rebound relationship is that it is sometimes used as a way of avoiding emotions and feelings bound up in the previous relationship.

A rebound can end terribly if:

  • One gets into the relationship expecting the new partner to make up for the shortcomings of the former partner.
  • One gets into a new relationship with chronic fear and anxiety that the new partner will treat them the same way the former partner did.
  • If one skyrockets the new relationship because they walk in with a false sense of urgency. They want to make it stick soonest possible so that it does not end like their former relationship.
  • If one moves into a new relationship without enough time to introspect. Every relationship offers numerous lessons, and it is healthy to take time and analyze your share of the responsibility in the failure of the relationship. If you got into a rebound too fast, there is a fair chance that you will make the same mistakes you made in the previous relationship
  • You are not really your true self. Depending on the nature of the breakup, one may enter into a new relationship an emotional wreck, and they aren’t really thinking clearly. They are vulnerable, and a new relationship will never work.
  • You get into the new relationship with too much baggage. A longtime relationship leaves a good amount of baggage that you need to clear and pack up before you can move on to something new. If you don’t confront your baggage, it won’t be long before your new partner is overwhelmed by your problems and you will be staring at another failed relationship.

Final Thoughts

If you get into a rebound relationship, it is essential that you moderate your expectations for the new relationship. Take it slow and take time to really know your new partner.

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It’s also important that you are in it for positive reasons. If you still want your ex back, there are people that can help you, but a rebound relationship isn’t going to help get them back or help you move on.

Also, cut off from your ex entirely and avoid any form of communication or hook up with them. This is the only way the new relationship will succeed.

Finally, purpose to enjoy the new relationship; it is a new beginning, not a replacement of the old.

Featured photo credit: Justin Groep via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Randy Skilton

Randy is an educator in the areas of relationships and self-help.

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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