Rebound Relationships

The dating world can be messy, and one of the dubious forms of dating is rebound relationships. But is it really that bad? Let’s find out together.

What are rebound relationships

A rebound relationship is typically a short-term new relationship that you use to “bounce back” from a previous romance that has just ended. Someone entering a rebound relationship is usually still healing from the breakup and is often not emotionally ready for a new relationship.

Signs you are in a rebound relationship

There’s no formula to calculate exactly whether you’re in a rebound relationship or not. However, there are many signs that can indicate you or your partner is going through it.
  1. One of you has recently gone through a breakup. The key sign of a rebounding romance is if someone has just exited a serious relationship. And it’s not important whether they’ve initiated a breakup or not, either way, it would be considered a rebound for them.
  2. Emotional unavailability. Now, there are hundreds of reasons why your partner may be emotionally unavailable. However, it can also be a sign of them being in a rebound relationship with you. People who are only healing from heartache often choose to avoid commitment and not look for anything serious in their new affairs.
  3. Rushing through the stages. Someone who’s just broken up with their partner may want to overcompensate and speed up the natural development of relationships with you. This can mean asking you to move in with them way earlier than you’d normally consider this step or wanting to introduce you to their parents. Not everyone who moves fast sees you as a rebound, but keep this in mind if you find yourself in a similar situation.
  4. Constant comparisons with their ex. If your partner keeps on comparing you to their previous sweetheart, you should suspect that you’re in a rebound relationship. It doesn’t really matter if the comparison is in your favor or not. The bottom line is – they are still thinking about their ex, and are not done working through their feelings yet.
  5. Three is the magic number. If you, just like Princess Diana, feel that it’s a bit crowded in your relationship, and there’s a ghost of your personal Camilla following you two wherever you go, there is definitely some rebound dynamic to your couple.

Why do people seek rebound relationships

The psychology of rebound relationships is tricky. Many people end up in such relationships unconsciously, but some choose to pursue them intentionally. Whatever the circumstances are, there are several key reasons why someone would end up in a rebound relationship.
  • To get over their heartbreak. Yep, as cruel as it sounds, some people choose to engage in new relationships as a way to heal from their previous failed romance. Is it healthy? Absolutely not. And it’s also not fair to the other person, but relationships are messy, and sometimes these things happen.
  • To get their confidence back. If you’ve ever been broken up with, you surely remember how unpleasant it feels. And chances are it affects how you feel about yourself. Sometimes people want to get back on the horse, and the way they do it is through starting a romantic relationship with someone new.
  • To fill the void. It can feel very lonely after a breakup, especially if the relationship lasted a while and it was a co-living situation. So a probable reason to jump into a rebound situation is to avoid loneliness.
  • To prove they’re not the reason the previous relationship failed. Nobody wants to feel like a loser who can’t keep a relationship going. A person who’s just been broken up with can decide (sometimes unconsciously) to pursue new romances and prove to themselves and everyone else that they are not broken.

Do rebound relationships ever work out?

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but most rebound relationships fail. Often one person in the relationship is hurting and they’re not emotionally ready to be a committed and loving partner to someone new. They can get along with you for a short time, but once the initial adrenaline dies down, the emotional distancing and the fights enter the chat, inevitably causing a breakup.
Having said that, there are situations when rebound relationships can work out. Chances are slim if you ask the Flure team, but never zero. For instance, if both people who’ve joined the relationship are fully aware of it being rebound and don’t mind light-hearted intimacy for some time.
Rebounds can also be successful if the person who’s just exited another relationship is pretty much healed. It can happen when the breakup is long overdue, and the two people just don’t have the courage to pull the trigger. When the relationship is over before it’s officially over, there are not too many emotions left, so the person is not suffering from the separation as much.
There is also hope for a rebound affair if the previous romance ended on good terms or if the person initiated the breakup.

How long do rebound relationships last

With rebound relationships, they either fizzle out after a few weeks or a few months or evolve into a fully committed relationship. The rough estimate that we see is a couple of months.
Oftentimes the dumper joins the relationship half-heartedly, and they’re not very selective in terms of the values and personality of someone they engage with. This means that after the first few passionate weeks, people start to realize that they don’t have that much in common and don’t really belong together. That’s when things start to fall apart.
In less common but still possible situations, rebound relationships turn into something beautiful and long-term.

Why are rebound relationships bad?

Rebound relationships are not so good for several reasons.
A person who is still suffering from a breakup or divorce and chooses to start a new relationship is preventing themselves from healing. Truth is, breakups are tough and sad, so it’s only natural you want to skip this stage and move on to something much more pleasant. However, if you don’t allow yourself to fully go through the heartache and rush things, you can prolong and worsen your mental suffering.
Secondly, not only can you hurt yourself, but you are also dragging another person into this, which is just not fair. The new partner doesn’t deserve to be treated as some twisted form of medicine for your pains. The phrase “hurt people hurt people” fits perfectly here. Knowingly or not, but you will make them feel bad.
Here are a few more reasons why rebound relationships are bad news:
  • One person may expect their new partner to compensate for the shortcomings of their past relationships. Needless to say, such pressure is not helping build a successful relationship.
  • Sometimes there are reasons why relationships fail, and the dumped one needs to process what was wrong in order to not repeat the same mistakes again. But if there’s no time and the new rebound relationship is initiated, there is no space to do the inner work. This means that the person is likely to repeat the same mistakes they’ve already made in their past romance.
  • The dumped one may project their fears, created by the breakup, onto the new partner. Naturally, it’s not healthy and will put a burden on the new affair, making it less likely to grow into a healthy and mature partnership.

Final thoughts

Jumping into a rebound relationship is not the best idea ever, but it can work out well if you navigate it carefully and understand fully what you’re getting into. If you’re the one who’s just broken up with someone, manage your expectations from the new partner, and don’t rush things or project your anxieties on them.
If you’re on the other side and realize that you might be used as a rebound, don’t immediately freak out. Think about whether or not you’re willing to take this risk and have an honest conversation with your new lover.
The odds are against those who are in rebound relationships, but we at Flure are hopeless romantics, so we’re saying “Go for it”, just be careful and take it slow. You got this!