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…
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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. 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.
A rebound relationship:
- 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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
|||^||Queens College and the University of Illinois: Too fast, too soon? An empirical investigation into rebound relationships|
|||^||Psychology Today: The Truth About Rebound Relationships|
|||^||Bonobology: How soon can you start dating again after a breakup?|
|||^||Marriage: What If Rebound Relationships Are the Real Deal?|