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

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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 24, 2022

21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

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21 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work

Having texting and video conferencing at our fingertips, it appears that maintaining a long-distance relationship is easier than ever. Long-distance calls are no longer a luxury; the days when they needed to be rationed are long gone.

Long-distance couples do not have to depend on 3 p.m. postal delivery, waiting for news that is at best four days old.

Now we’re no longer even in the days of waiting for our loved ones to check their e-mail when they get home from work. Instant messaging keeps us hooked to each other even when we are out shopping, working, playing, watching a movie and doing much more.

Technology, however, cannot compensate for everything in a long-distance relationship, as anyone with a long-distance relationship will tell you.

Many long-distance relationships still seem emotionally difficult despite the lack of regular physical proximity.

People often think long-distance relationships will never work. It may be discouraged by your family, and some of your best friends may tell you not to take it too seriously in case you end up heartbroken.

Many things are not possible due to the extra distance – no one can promise it will be easy. Things could get complicated, and you might feel lonely and sad at times.

Still, many of us try them.

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However, the extra distance also makes the simplest things the sweetest. Being able to hold the other person’s hand, eating together at the same table, feeling each other’s touch, taking a walk together, smelling each other’s hair… these small wishes could suddenly mean so much more in a long-distance relationship.

Long-distance relationships may be tough, but they have their own surprises too.

Here’re 21 tips on how to make a long distance relationship work:

1. Avoid excessive communication.

It is unwise to be overly “sticky” and possessive. You two don’t really have to communicate 12 hours a day to keep the relationship going. Many couples think that they need to compensate for the distance by doing more. This is not true. And it might only make things worse. Soon you would get tired of “loving.”

Remember: Less is more. It is not about spamming — you are only going to exhaust yourselves. It’s really about teasing at the right moments and tugging at the right spots.

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2. See it as an opportunity.

“If you want to live together, you first need to learn how to live apart.” – Anonymous

View it as a learning journey for both of you. This is an opportunity for you to prove your love for one another. According to a Chinese proverb, “Real gold is not afraid of the test of fire.” Instead of thinking that this long-distance relationship is pulling you two apart, you should believe that through this experience, the both of you will be bound together even stronger.

As Emma says it to Will in season four of Glee,

“I would rather be here, far from you, but feeling really close, rather than close to you but feeling really far away.” – Emma, Glee Season 4

3. Set some ground rules to manage your expectations.

Both of you need to be clear with what you expect of each other during this long-distance relationship. Set some ground rules so that none of you will do things that will take the other party by surprise.

For instance, are you two exclusive? Is it all right for the other person to go on dates? What is your commitment level? It’s better to be open with each other about all these things.

4. Try to communicate regularly, and creatively.

Greet each other “good morning” and “good night” every day — this is a must. On top of that, try to update your partner on your life and its happenings, however mundane some of the things may seem.

To up the game, send each other pictures, audio clips, and short videos from time to time. By putting in this kind of effort, you make the other person feel loved and attended to.

5. Talk dirty with each other.

Sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things between couples. In a way, sexual desire is like the glue that keeps both parties from drifting apart. Sexual need is not only biological but also emotional.

Keep the flames burning by sending each other teasing texts filled with sexual innuendos and provocative descriptions. Sexy puns work pretty well too.

6. Avoid “dangerous” situations.

If you already know that going to the club or going drinking with your group of friends late at night will displease your partner, then you should either 1. Not do it or 2. Tell your partner beforehand to reassure them.

You should not let this sort of thing slip by because it will only make your partner extra worried or suspicious – and of course, very upset because they will feel powerless or lack control over the situation.

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You can fall victim to your traps by going out with eye candy from work after work or dating someone from your past who has been flirting with you without realizing it. Before entering a dangerous situation, you need to recognize the dangers.

Listen to your heart, but don’t just rely on it. Make sure you also listen to your mind.

7. Do things together.

Play a game online together. Watch a documentary at the same time on YouTube or Vimeo. Share a song on Skype while another plays the guitar. Video-call each other and go for a walk together. Together, go online shopping – and buy each other gifts (see #13).

You really have to be creative and spontaneous about it.

8. Do similar things.

Recommend books, TV shows, movies, music, news and etc., to each other. When you read, watch and listen to the same things, you get to have more topics in common to talk about.

Even if you live apart, it’s nice to have some shared experiences.

9. Make visits to each other.

Every long-distance relationship is enriched by visits.

After all the waiting and yearning and abstinence, you finally get to meet each other to fulfil all the little things like kissing, holding hands, etc. These are typical for couples in long-distance relationships but more special and intimate for long-distance couples.

The atmosphere will be filled with fireworks, glitter bombs, confetti, rainbows, and butterflies.

10. Have a goal in mind.

Are we going to be apart for a long time?” “what about the future?” These are the questions you should ask yourselves.

In fact, a couple cannot stay in a long-distance relationship forever. Eventually, we all need to settle down.

So make a plan with each other. Set up a timeline, mark down the estimated times apart and times together, and draw an end goal.

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It is important that you two are on the same page and have the same goals. So that even if you are not living in the same space and the same timezone, both of you are still motivated to work together in the same direction towards a future that includes one another.

That’s right, you need some motivation to make a relationship last too. Find out more about what motivates you here.

11. Enjoy your alone time and your time with your friends and family.

You are alone, but you are not lonely unless you choose to feel like it. You don’t have to let your world revolve around your partner — you still have you, your friends, and your family. Take this time apart to do more with your friends and family. Go to the gym more often. Get a new hobby. Binge-watch shows. There are plenty of things for you to do that don’t involve your partner.

12. Stay honest with each other.

Talk about your feelings of fear, insecurity, jealousy, apathy, whatsoever. If you try to hide anything from your partner, that secret will sooner or later swallow you up from the inside out. Don’t try to deal with things all by yourself. Be open and honest with each other. Let your partner help you and give you the support you need. It’s better to look at the problem during its initial stage than to only disclose it when it’s all too late.

13. Know each other’s schedules.

It’s helpful to know when the other person is busy and free. So that you can drop a text or make a call at the right time. You wouldn’t want to disturb your partner when they are in the middle of class or halfway through a business meeting. Make sure you are aware of everyone’s small and big events in their lives, i.e., college midterms and exams, important business trips and meetings, job interviews, etc. Particularly if you live in different time zones, this becomes more important.

14. Keep track of each other’s social media activities.

Facebook and Instagram photos of each other. Send each other tweets. Tag each other on Facebook. Post stuff on each other’s wall. Let them know you care. Be cool with stalking each other.

15. Gift a personal object for the other person to hold on to.

Memories have power. No matter what it is–a pendant, a ring, a keychain, a collection of songs and videos, or a perfume bottle. Everyday items and things have meanings to us, whether we realize it or not. We all try to store memories in material things so that when our minds fail, we will still be able to look at or hold onto something that will help us recall our memories. This is why something so simple can mean so much to a person when others may see little or no value in it.

16. Get a good messaging app.

This is extremely important because texting is the most frequent and common way of communication the two of you have. You need a good messaging app on your phones that allows interactions beyond words and emoticons.

Personally, I use this messaging app called LINE. I find it highly effective because it has a huge reserve of playful and very funny “stickers” that are free for its users to use. You can also go to the app’s “Sticker Shop” to download (or gift!) extra stickers of different themes (e.g., Hello Kitty, Pokemon, Snoopy, MARVEL, etc.) at a low price. Occasionally, the app will give out free sticker sets for promotions. This messaging app is cute and easy to learn to use.

17. Snail-mail your gift.

Mail each other postcards and hand-written love letters. Send each other gifts across the globe from time to time. Flower deliveries on birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day. Shop online and surprise each other with cool T-shirts, sexy underwear, and such.

18. Stay positive.

You need to constantly inject positive energy into the long-distance relationship to keep it alive. Yes, the waiting can be painful, and you can sometimes feel lonely, but you need to remind yourself that the fruits at the end will be sweet as heaven.

One good trick to staying positive is to be grateful all the time. Be thankful that you have someone to love — someone who also loves you back. Be thankful for the little things, like the hand-made letter that arrived safely in your mailbox the other day. Be thankful for each other’s health and safety.

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19. Keep each other updated on each other’s friends and family.

This will help you two to know each other’s culture and values. Knowing small habits of each other helps in developing an understanding and building mutual trust.

Talking about family and friends gives you more matters to talk about. The best thing to talk about is gossip and scandals.

20. Video-call whenever possible.

Because sometimes looking into each other’s eyes and hearing each other’s voices can make everything feel alright again.

A video call is though nothing like being together, but it’s the best thing and the most to do for coziness in a long-distance relationship.

21. Give each other pet names.

Because it’s cute. It keeps the lovey-dovey going. Having special names for each other reserved only for one another are heart-warming. Hearing that one word with love lifts our spirits up, and we feel assured all over again.

Chaos seems to fade away just by hearing that special word from someone special.

With the best wishes…

Love (or like) is a force that is beyond your control. Love just happens. The same goes for turning off those feelings, even when you get the perfect job halfway across the country.

Neither one of us expects to be long-distance in a relationship. But if you’re in a relationship like this, you’ll just have to make the most out of a difficult situation. These advice for long distance relationships will hopefully help you stay strong and cheerful when living apart from one another.

More Recommended Relationships Experts on Lifehack
  • Carol Morgan —  A communication professor, dating/relationship and success coach
  • Dr. Magdalena Battles — A Doctor of Psychology with specialties include children, family relationships, domestic violence, and sexual assault
  • Randy Skilton —  An educator in the areas of relationships and self-help

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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