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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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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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