What Is A Rebound Relationship? The Signs Of A Rebound Relationship To Watch Out For
Have you recently entered into a relationship that you’re starting to suspect on the rebound? Finding out you’re in a rebound relationship isn’t the worst thing in the world. It happens to the best of us. If you feel like you’re in a rebound relationship (and you’re looking for answers and next steps), keep reading to learn the definition of a rebound relationship, rebound relationship stages, and to answer the burning questions like – “Does a rebound relationship last” and “What is a rebound relationship.”
In this article, we provide insight into how people find themselves entangled in rebound relationships, and what steps to take when you find yourself on the rebound even if you have started to form an emotional connection. You'll also learn about how online therapy can support you if you find yourself in this situation. Let’s start with a rebound relationship definition.
What Is A Rebound Relationship?
An empirical research study conducted by Brumbaugh and Fraley defines a rebound relationship as – “A relationship initiated shortly after a romantic breakup – before the feelings about the former relationship have been resolved.” We’ll discuss rebound relationship signs later in the article.
Simply stated, a rebound relationship definition – is one that isn’t expected to last or grow beyond its current state. In most cases of rebound relationships, one partner is clear that the relationship isn’t ever going to go anywhere – yet they participate in the relationship anyway to avoid feeling the pain of grief and loss from their recent breakup. A rebound relationship is a reactionary relationship, and often the person is emotionally unavailable because of the last breakup. It can happen whether the person came from a 6 month relationship or more.
People who knowingly enter into rebound relationships know that they aren’t invested in their new relationships and that the relationship is likely to be temporary and short lived. This is because they haven’t healed over their previous relationship and may even secretly desire to be back in the old situation. The new partner may be completely unaware of the rebounder’s intentions and can enter a relationship expecting to build a lasting and healthy relationship with their new partner – completely missing the fact that their new partner has other intentions.
Increases physical and emotional vulnerability where both parties are more likely to engage in damaging behaviors that can lead to placing themselves in dangerous physical situations or suffering severe emotional damage due to compounding these symptoms.
Some of the commonly asked questions about this situation are:
Does A Rebound Relationship Last?
People may enter into rebound relationships too quickly to avoid being emotionally vulnerable and feeling the pain and loss of their recent breakup in the last few months. This can lead to compounding emotional issues as the person now has to deal with lingering feelings from their past relationships and issues that are likely evolving in their current relationship.
The rebound relationship is an emotionally convenient relationship that is superficial as the primary goal of the rebounding partner is to escape negative feelings of grief and loss rather than investing themselves in building a healthy emotional relationship. In other words, the chances of this relationship going the long-haul – are very slim. Most people that enter rebound relationships avoid talking about their emotions and emotional needs, and aren't fully present in the relationship.
Rebound relationships are emotionally imbalanced at best. What this means is that while the current partner may be completely invested in building a long-lasting relationship, the other party is not because the last relationship ended. They have no intention of doing the work to build a lasting relationship with someone new because they haven’t finished dealing with their issues, negative emotions, concerns, or grief over the old relationship. There’s not much hope for a relationship that starts with this kind of imbalance to blossom into anything more. It's important to be on the same page with your partner if you are in a rebound relationship to set expectations.
Rebound Relationship Signs
Before you found yourself entrenched in a rebound relationship, there may have been a few key signs that you missed. Oftentimes, at the beginning of a new relationship, we’re all on our best behavior, so we don’t see (or acknowledge) glaring red-flags that are indicating that our relationship is heading in the wrong direction. The following are four signs that you’re about to enter or are already in the middle of – a rebound relationship.
- You or your partner only contact each other when you’re feeling down and don’t seem to have anything in common outside of your mutual gripes. Most or all of your dates are spent – at home, which is not a great sign.
- You never have conversations about yours or your partner’s likes, dislikes, goals, plans, or future. When you do have conversations if you or your partner is mostly speaking in terms of “I” instead of “we” this is a sign that they may not see you as an equal partner in the relationship
- People in rebound relationships don’t expect the relationship to last.
- Projecting how your partner “should be” and comparing your new partner to how your ex “used to be” are clear signs that you’re in a rebound relationship. The emotional attachment to the previous partner is still strong and they still talk about their ex.
- If your new partner still has contact with their ex, this is a sign that they aren’t fully available to be in a relationship. When your partner is still reaching out to their ex, and it doesn’t have anything to do with responsibilities like children – they are making it clear that your relationship isn’t their priority.
4 Rebound Relationship Stages
Is a rebound relationship healthy? While the path of all rebound relationships isn’t always the same, these short-lived relationships normally follow a pattern, and often hurt one person in the end. People who are in rebound relationships can be in them for varying lengths of time. While one couple may go through the rebound relationship stages in a matter of days or weeks – it may take others months or even years to realize that they’ve been in a relationship. The following are four stages that couples cycle through during a rebound relationship.
- The Honeymoon Stage – Not seeing things, when people first enter into a rebound relationship, they will find themselves in the “honeymoon stage” where everything seems perfect, and there aren’t any arguments or disagreements. In this stage, both parties in the relationship are seeing their new partner as they want them to be, rather than as they are. This is especially true in the case of the rebounding party whose ultimate goal at this point is to escape the pain of their recent breakup.
- Discontentment Or Confusion Stage – Your rose-colored glasses may have slipped off, and you’re starting to realize that something with your new relationship is a bit “off.” Maybe you’ve begun to notice that after a few weeks of dating that your relationship doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. You and your partner don’t go out on real dates, and you haven’t met any of the “friends” and family you keep hearing about. You’re starting to feel uncomfortable and ready to get to the bottom of what’s causing you to feel this way.
- Discovery Or Realization Stage – You’ve stepped back and taken an honest look at your relationship. You realize that neither you nor your partner isn’t meeting any of each other’s emotional needs, and outside of just “hanging out,” this doesn’t feel like a relationship at all. Then it dawns on you. You realize that you’re in a rebound relationship.
- Action Or Decision Stage – This is the stage where most rebound relationships end as one or the other party realizes that there was never a real investment into the relationship in the first place. Some brave couples continue beyond this point and try to resolve the issues to “save” their new relationships.
While it’s not unheard of for people in rebound relationships to end up in long-term relationships or marriages, in many cases, one partner or the other isn’t invested enough in the relationship to do the work that it takes to make it successful. Whatever you and your partner decide once you’ve entered the action stage – it’s a good time to seek professional advice.
Rebound Relationship Counseling
Don't let a rebound relationship impact your self confidence. Whether you are the person who was on the rebound in your relationship, or you’re the unwitting another half, speaking with a counselor or licensed mental health professional will help you understand what’s behind the behavior that landed you in this unhealthy relationship.
These professional counselors can help individuals and couples discover unhealthy relationship patterns, deal with issues of childhood trauma, abuse, and sexual abuse, and provide educated advice on how to get beyond the issues that have caused you to make unhealthy choices in relationships. The good news is that today’s relationship counselors are available online and clients can have sessions without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.
Seek professional help. You’re not the first person to find themselves unwittingly in the midst of a rebound relationship, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Counseling, support services, and self help books are there to help you learn new coping strategies and acquire new life and relationship skills that will help you improve the quality of your life going forward. A relationship counselor can help you find your way.
Now that you know what a rebound relationship looks like, do you still feel like you’re in a rebound relationship? If so, it’s time for you to decide what next steps you’re going to take to improve your situation. If you’re ready to take the next step and get started with a relationship counselor – good for you! Getting started is easy. Contact a relationship expert (such as a licensed marriage counselor or family therapist) at BetterHelp.com to get started on the road to relationship recovery and learn how to have healthier and longer-lasting relationships today! You’ll be glad you did.
Other Questions People Commonly Ask
What is rebound in a relationship?
How long do rebound relationships last?
How do you know if its a rebound relationship?
Can a rebound relationship work?
Why do rebounds feel like love?
Is a rebound relationship healthy?
Can you fall in love with a rebound?
Do rebounds ever come back?
How do rebound relationships end?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About A Rebound Relationship
Can a rebound turn into a relationship?
A rebound fling does have the potential to turn into a relationship, but there’s a really high risk involved. The truth about these kinds of relationships is that people use a new partner as a means of getting over an ended relationship, whether it was good or bad. It’s important to know all of the reasons and risks of an unhealthy rebound relationship.
If you’re dating someone new right after you’ve gotten out of a serious relationship, especially if that relationship lasted a long time, then you are likely a rebounding person. One of the signs you’re rebounding is you’re looking for a short-term connection that feels good and helps you get over your previous relationship. Since these are your intentions, it will likely lead to an unhealthy rebound. Dating someone new isn’t the way to get over your current relationship or breakup. Instead, the truth about rebounds is that they are often a way to distract yourself from the actual healing process.
So, while it’s not impossible, it’s usually magical thinking when you really expect a new partner in a rebound to last for a long time. A rebounding person has their sights set on the short term, and that type of person won’t support a healthy relationship. If you’re coming out of a long-term and committed relationship, this new romantic partner probably isn’t the real deal.
Why do rebound relationships feel like love?
It’s not uncommon for a rebounding person to feel like they’re in love with their new partner. An unhealthy rebound relationship can spark many feelings that are usually associated with being in love. Even before the feelings of the recently ended relationship have been resolved, a rebounding person will seek out those fuzzy feelings associated with a new partner.
First of all, a rebounding person will experience the sexual attraction and tension surrounding the new rebound. This is not unlike the physical reactions that our body has when we’re falling in love with a partner whom we really love and care about. However, in the case of a rebound, there are usually complicated intentions and pain wrapped up in these feelings, along with a desire to escape. So, while the physical reaction you have might feel like love, overall, it’s not the love you would find in a committed relationship that you and your new partner will work hard to establish and build.
Do Rebound Relationships move fast?
Usually, rebounds move fast and are over quickly. One of the signs of an unhealthy rebound is that it is moving quickly. The rebounding person focuses mainly on what the new partner can do for them instead of building and working on an emotional attachment or actual relationship with long-term potential. This is an unhealthy rebound relationship because it is not balanced. The person and the new partner probably spend the bulk of their time and energy on sex, pleasure, and other distractions for the rebounding person. However, once the rebounding person gets bored of this new partner, they won’t stay in that unhealthy rebound relationship for long.
Can a rebound be true love?
In most cases, a rebound won’t be true love. However, some interesting new investigation into rebounds has shown that people who turn to a new partner shortly after a breakup, especially if the breakup was after a long and committed relationship, are more likely to view themselves as “date-able” more quickly after the breakup. This empirical investigation into rebounds also shows how a shorter time between a breakup and the beginning of a relationship with a new partner could indicate emotional stability and higher self-esteem, and more respect for their new partner.
All in all, a rebound is probably not true love. However, it could give you some insight about you and your new partner regarding personality and self-esteem.
Do exes come back after a rebound?
It’s not uncommon for exes to return after a rebound, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. If your ex is the type of person to leave you, be with someone else, and then come back to you when they realize the negative dynamics of a rebound, then they might have some mental health issues that should be addressed before (and if) you decide to take them back. For example, they may have some issues related to narcissism and sexual desire or the idea that they’re so great and desirable that you’ll take them back on their terms when they want you to. This type of person can be dangerous and not at all helpful for your own mental health.
That being said, even if your ex comes back after a rebound, it’s up to you whether or not you take them back. Or, you might consider individual or couples therapy. This will help both of you come to terms with your ex’s rebound and the healing process that must follow the breakdown of a relationship.
Often when a relationship ends, we are heartbroken. Unfortunately, there is no formula, method, or trick to get your ex back to you. Though many people can and do have successful relationships after taking a break from each other, all we can do is try our best to process, heal, and create our own happiness. The best bet for getting back together with your ex is to work on your own self-care and healing. If they notice that you have made healthy changes, it can be a very attractive thing. You should also remind yourself that heartbreak does heal. Even though getting back together with an ex may seem appealing, you deserve a healthy relationship as much as they do. Be sure that they are working on themselves and any issues you had while you were together before considering starting up.
How do you know it's not a rebound?
While you can’t be entirely sure of what your new partner is thinking or feeling unless you ask them and they answer you honestly, there are a few ways to know if you’re someone’s rebound. You can use these signs to determine whether your new partner is using you as a rebound.
- If they’re totally into you but can’t really articulate why, or they don’t know why they’re so in love with you, it might be a rebound.
- If the sexual aspect of the relationship moves really quickly while the emotional or intimate aspects of the relationship move really slowly, then it’s likely a rebound.
- If they are constantly talking about their ex or comparing you to their ex, then it’s almost certainly a rebound.
- If they seem determined to “run into” their ex with you around to make their ex jealous, then it’s probably a rebound.
On the other hand:
- If they can say why they’re attracted to you and point to specific examples, then it’s probably not a rebound.
- If they are careful to lay the emotional groundwork in the relationship before rushing through the sexual aspects of the relationship, it’s likely not a rebound.
- If they don’t mention their ex, or if they see their ex on friendly terms with groups of mutual friends, or if you don’t sense any bitterness at all about their ex from them, then it’s probably not a rebound.
What are the signs of a rebound relationship?
There are several signs you’re in a rebound relationship. First of all, if your motivation is one of jealousy or revenge, then you’re probably in an unhealthy rebound. If your goal is to show off your new lover to your ex, then you’re a rebounding person. Another one of the signs is if you’re constantly thinking about or fantasizing about your ex while you’re with your new partner. Or, you might constantly be comparing your new partner to your ex. A third sign is if you’re dating someone just so that you can be distracted. You might be interested in spending time with them, but you’re not really willing to invest emotionally. Even when you’re in this kind of relationship, you might feel a fear of rejection from your new partner or run the risk of narcissism as you constantly put your own wants and needs before those of your new partner. The biggest indicator of an unhealthy rebound is the imbalance between what you’re willing to give and what you expect to get from this new partner.
How long after a relationship is a rebound?
The most common amount of time to wait after a big breakup is three to four months for a relationship that lasted for a year. This is just a common answer; in reality, there’s no right answer out there to this question. However, you should be sure that you’re healed and recovered from your previous relationship before starting dating new people. Anything before that has the huge potential to be a shallow and unhealthy rebound relationship.
Is rebound dating a good idea?
If you’re asking if rebound dating is a good idea, then you probably have an idea of the answer. In most cases, it’s not a great idea because you should take the time to heal and recover from your previous relationship before starting something with a new partner. Waiting to jump into the next relationship is good not only for you and your own mental health but also for any potential new partner who will want to open up to you. If you want a healthy and balanced relationship, rebound dating is not a good idea.
What are the chances of a rebound relationship lasting?
The chances of a rebound lasting are pretty slim. By its very nature, a rebound moves very quickly, especially in terms of the sexual aspects of the relationship. This means that it has the huge potential to get boring and end quickly, as well. On the whole, a rebound can’t reasonably be expected to last very long, and it certainly can’t be expected to turn into a lifelong or long-term relationship.
With a rebound relationship, it is believed often that it won’t last very long because of the shadow of the previous relationship. But this is not always the case, and the truth about rebound relationships is that they can last just as long as any other romantic relationship. Though the time between relationships can be important healing and processing time, it is possible to process a past relationship while in a new one. With hard work and meaningful attention, the new relationship can thrive whether there has been much time between relationships or not. In addition, seeing a relationship coach can help guide you towards healthy patterns and communication.
Why did my ex rebound so fast?
Likely, your ex rebounded so quickly because they are trying to distract themselves from the pain of the breakup. This is especially true in the case of divorce remarriage, especially if you ended a long marriage. Your ex probably didn’t feel comfortable without the presence of a marriage or relationship in their life. In the journal of divorce of a person’s experience, they often feel the need to be attached to someone throughout that whole process, even if that means turning to a shallow and unhealthy rebound relationship before they’ve had time to heal and process the breakup or divorce completely.
How long do rebound relationships last on average?
Like any other new relationship, the length of rebound relationships can depend on many factors. You may even be wondering whether rebound relationships ever work at all. Rebound relationships are not necessarily “doomed from the start,” though they may not last very long if they are started in haste after the previous relationship. This is because any new relationship that is not based on a mutual desire and commitment for the other person may not have the strength to last. However, if there is that passion, desire, and willingness to go the distance in the new relationship, it may have the strength to last even if it comes soon after a previous relationship.
According to Love Bondings, people can feel the same dopamine rush with a new person whether there has been a lot of time between relationships or the previous relationship only recently ended. However, the partner needs to pursue a rebound relationship to remember that the negative emotions that come with dealing with a breakup can be fairly deep-seated. Every partner and every new relationship deserves emotional honesty and attention. If you find yourself entering rebound relationships that you truly believe should and can work, it may be helpful to reach out to a relationship coach. A relationship coach can help you process the emotions that come with ending previous relationships and entering new romantic relationships, as well as show whether rebound relationships ever work.
Can rebound relationships work?
The truth about rebound relationships is that it depends on their work, just like any other kind of romantic relationship. Oftentimes with rebound relationships, the partner getting out of the previous relationship still has a lot of work to do to process it. This is why a rebound relationship is believed that will only last a couple of months at best. However, the truth about rebound relationships is that they aren’t necessarily doomed from the start, says relate.org. If both partners can process their previous relationships and are interested in working hard for the current relationship, it is believed that it can definitely work out. If you want to know if rebound relationships ever work for you, it can also be helpful to talk to a relationship coach, especially if you are currently pursuing a rebound relationship. A relationship coach will help you process what went wrong in any previous relationships and tell you their perspective and insider knowledge if rebound relationships ever work.
What is a rebound relationship?
Rebound relationships are romantic relationships that begin soon after one or both partners have ended a previous relationship. The term rebound is used because, in this kind of relationship, it is believed that the partner or partners ending a past relationship enter the new relationship as a way to distract from the last relationship ending, feel the joy of a relationship again, or “bounce back” into the dating scene, hence the term rebound.
For this reason, many people question whether rebound relationships ever work as the time between relationships is often necessary. The truth about rebound relationships is that they begin in a highly emotional place. However, like any other romantic relationship, they can be successful if treated as a serious relationship and given the hard work necessary to make rebound relationships ever work. It can be helpful to work with a relationship coach in any relationship. A relationship coach can help you and your new partner develop more open communication.
What are the stages of a rebound relationship?
Many believe rebound relationships all follow the same 4 stages: the “rebound” or getting together with a new partner, a honeymoon phase, the inevitable issues arise, and then a breakup.
The truth about rebound relationships is that they are like any other relationship in that they require reflection, hard work, and dedication. In addition, in a rebound relationship, it is believed that partners enter a new relationship to cover up emotions or issues from the previous, which is why the question of whether rebound relationships ever work exists. This often does not lend itself well to the emotional dedication needed to maintain a new relationship, so people tend not to have faith in rebound relationships.
However, the truth about rebound relationships is that if the dedication, love, and willingness to process old feelings are there, the relationship can work. For this reason, it can be helpful to work with a relationship coach who can help the new partners process their emotions, communicate with each other, and create a space dedicated to only their relationship.
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