Rebound Relationships: The High and Lows of Being in It

Getting into rebound relationships can be your immediate reaction to heartbreak. It’s a decision that everyone believes you might regret later on. Or is it?

Man and woman rebound relationship
In the long run, rebound relationships end up hurting both parties—especially the new partner

Heartbreaks can often lead you to make questionable decisions that you’ll end up regretting—especially when you went through a bad break-up or the love of your life suddenly stopped loving you and left you for another. It’s a difficult situation to be in and there’s a whole lot of emotions playing through you. You will likely experience a roller coaster of emotions that range from sadness to anger, relief, and hope.

These feelings and emotions can be overwhelming and how to re-create yourself without your ex can be daunting. When this happens, your reaction might be to wallow in despair and pine over that lost love and be on your own. Others, they move on to another body and be in a relationship with someone else and fill up the gaping hole that was left in their heart. Rebound relationships—that’s what it’s called.

What are rebound relationships?

rebound relationship
Rebound relationships can feel rushed and at the same time unclear

Rebound relationships are the ones that you enter into when you are still hurting from your past relationship and/or breakup. It’s the type of relationship that you commit to even when you are still emotionally invested from your previous love affair.

This type of relationship often gets a bad rap. Its almost always seen as a token, fake, or shallow especially on the part of the other half of the relationship who just came from a bad break-up. Intense feelings of hurt and pain were the driving force and motivation behind it and it can make you emotionally unavailable to your new beau.

But is rebounding really bad? Does it have any redeeming qualities to it? There are no definitive answers to these questions. However, one can only hope for the best in any relationship. So here are some aspects that you need to consider before entering into a rebound relationship.

Why enter into a rebound relationship?

Often times, the end of a relationship sends you in a state of despair. Your self-esteem will be down in the dumps, so if anyone demonstrates any kind of interest in you, it soothes your ego. You grab the chance to fill up the emptiness that you feel. So you decide to just date on the surface level because it makes you feel good. You don’t realize it, but you’re already in too deep and you’re having a rebound relationship.

Signs that you are in a rebound relationship

One of the telltale signs that the relationship is a rebound is that the other person had just gotten out of a relationship and jumped right into a new one.

If you’re the rebounder

  • Everything you do in your relationship is motivated by the thought of your former significant other
  • It feels like you’re rushing to be in a new relationship
  • You want to make your ex jealous of your new “love”
  • Feel bitter of your ex’s happiness even when you’re already with someone else
  • You’re more attracted to them physically and you avoid creating an emotional connection with them

If you’re the new partner

  • Your new partner doesn’t know what went wrong with their previous relationship
  • They can’t tell you what they learned from the relationship
  • Your relationship cannot move past the casual phase
  • You feel like they prefer to show you off than get to know you better
  • You’re getting mixed signals from them and you don’t know exactly what they feel for you

Showing-off the rebound relationship
You know you are in a rebound relationship when your new partner is more concerned with “advertising” you to the people they know instead of wanting to get to know you more.

Underlying issues of rebound relationships

Being in a rebound relationship is usually an indicator of unmet needs or unresolved feelings from their previous love. Most of the time, it’s the rebounder or the one who just got broken up, who have these underlying problems. And instead of facing these problems head-on, they choose to escape from it and enter a new relationship with someone else. They use these problems as an excuse to commit to a new relationship again even when they’re not ready yet.


  • They don’t know what it’s like to be single again
  • Their self-esteem is tied to being in a relationship with someone
  • Being in a new relationship is their way to have a social life
  • Escape from feeling lonely and alone
  • Longing for physical intimacy

What it means to be in a rebound relationship

Ending a romantic relationship, whether it was a long-term one or was just for the short-term, is rough on anyone. How you handle the pain is all up to you, but generally, entering into a new relationship with another person is not a popular choice.

On the other hand, there are other people who will say that it could be a good thing. You get to be in a stable situation that will keep you grounded instead of sinking into an abyss of loneliness and despair caused by the break-up. For some, it could be a confidence boost, while for others, a chance to meet their match.

Here are some pros and cons of a rebound relationship.

Not the best decision that you can make

Tension and anxiety filled relationship
Rebound relationships often put the partners on edge and anxious about their future together

There is a wide consensus that rebound relationships are generally bad for you. This type of relationship doesn’t do you or your new partner any good. Some even go on to claim that it isn’t real love and it’s bound to fail any time soon.

Perhaps these reservations about rebound relationships are founded on valid reasons given that you did not allow yourself to feel and deal with the emotions involved after the break-up. There was no time to heal from the pain and hurt of the break-up.

The timing is off

Getting into a new relationship a few days or weeks after your break-up does leave a bad taste in the mouth. It would seem that you were eager to come out of it or worse, you’re trying to make your ex jealous. Either way, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth and it makes you look too eager to find the fastest way to get over your ex.

Moreover, even if the new person is good for you in the long-term, at present. You need to heal first so you can learn from your past and be a better partner in the future.

No time to heal and resolve issues while in a rebound relationship

The most common knowledge of a rebound relationship is the time it took for the rebounder to get into a new relationship. Perhaps this is because the one on the rebound has an emotional availability that you can’t trust. It’s anchored on the belief that their ability to connect and form attachments to a new partner is clouded because of the recency of the break-up.

Furthermore, starting a new relationship right after your break up doesn’t allow for you to work through the break-up. You did not allow yourself to heal and deal with your emotions and resolve them. And it is an important thing to do especially just came from a long-term relationship.

However, speed is not the only factor that haunts the rebound relationship. Both the rebounder and the new partner are anxious about the new relationship that they are in. There will always be a part of you that will ask if you were in it for the right reasons.

Rebound relationships have wrong motivations

No one wants to get into a relationship for all the wrong reasons. Maybe you entered a new one because you were afraid to be alone. You were in a relationship for the longest time and you didn’t know how to be single again.

You should know that being in a relationship requires serious deliberation of feelings. Your motivations should not be anchored on your fear of being alone and the anxiety of what the future holds for you as a single person. If you choose to be with someone, you need to be motivated by positive feelings of love and affection.

This type of healing can only be done by you. You will definitely need help from other people, yes that’s true, but not from a new romantic partner.

Relying on other people to fix what’s broken
rebound sex
In order to heal, you need to deal with the pain of the break-up on your own without depending your happiness on others

Understand that healing yourself requires introspection. It’s taking a look at yourself and what went wrong in your previous relationship, and why it has to end.

If you start a new relationship with someone else, you might just be dumping your issues to your new partner without realizing it. This may not be your intention but you’re just using your new beau to help yourself. And this is not fair to them.

Other than your questionable emotional stability, what makes this set-up unfair is that rebound relationships often last for a short period.

Rebound relationships are generally short-term

Most people see rebound relationships as those that are destined to fail. It is a situation where you don’t succeed and both of you end up getting hurt. Having a new relationship when you haven’t fully recovered from the previous break-up will only lead to another bad ending.

In this new relationship, you’re only setting yourself for another heartbreak. Aside from that, you can also inflict pain on the other person involved.

While these arguments prove why rebound relationships are bad decisions, there are also instances that it could be helpful for you. Sometimes, rebound relationships can also be successful, especially if you look at it from a different perspective.

Rebound Relationships: Paving the Road to Recovery

Successful rebound relationship
Long-term and serious relationships can happen out of rebound ones if both parties are open and honest to each other about how they feel and how they want to move forward together as a couple

Although popular for being a bad decision, rebound relationships can also be a positive thing to happen to you. It could be a good way to give yourself a boost to feel good about yourself and increase your self-esteem. Being in a new relationship can also help in coping with your emotions after the breakup.

Here are some reasons why rebound relationships are good for you:

Rebound relationships provide stability and distraction from the pain

For some people, being single and alone can send people into a state of depression. Sometimes, getting together with someone else is the only way to get them out of the rut that they’re in.

Being in a new relationship provides them a stable situation that they need in order to function, albeit being a distraction from the pain. This stability from a newfound love can help them recover from the break-up and forget the pain they felt.

Moreover, this new relationship may be the best thing that happened to them. This is your chance to encounter the right person who is meant for you. Remember, finding your perfect match takes time and many trial-runs.

It’s an opportunity to find your perfect match

When you’re flying solo while coming to terms with your break-up from a long-time love, it won’t be possible for you to figure out the type of partner who would complement you. This knowledge can only come from experience and not from a relationship handbook. As they say, it’s the best teacher, so you have to experience it first-hand.

Other than knowing what you want, you also get to learn what you don’t want in your next relationship. Your recent break-up coupled with your rebound relationship can be a transformative experience for you.

Companion during your most vulnerable times
Rebound relationships provide companionship
Having someone to comfort you during tough days is one of the benefits of being in a rebound relationship

If you just came out from a long-term relationship, it is highly unlikely that you want to jump right into a serious one. Perhaps a fling is what you need to help you get over your ex.

With a new companion, this could also be your chance to test if you’re ready to be in a serious relationship again. It’s not a guarantee but dating other people after a breakup can help you move on.

They can help you forget the pain and work through the process of healing with them. This means helping you restore the self-esteem that went down the drain after the break-up, thus giving you a confidence boost.

Boost in your confidence

So you broke up with your long-term love and you’re in a slump. Dating another person might actually encourage you to take care of yourself. When you meet someone, you try to see to it that you are looking your best. So you work on to make yourself feel better.

You need to deal with your issues before getting emotionally involved with someone else. You use this as your driver towards a better you. Because if you meet someone who is willing to be with you at your lowest, you’d want to be there for them at your best.

Rebound relationships can work out in the end
Happy Couple from rebound relationships
A successful rebound relationship has both partners intimately connect with each other on the emotional, mental, and physical level

More of an exception than the rule, some rebound relationships do work out in the end. But this only happens if you and your new partner are open and honest with each other. You don’t pressure into the relationship and you let time takes its course.

This new relationship could be your chance for a healthy and loving relationship if you let it. It can turn into a successful long-term affair when you know what you want and you know how to give yourself into it just as much or more than what you take out of it.

Like a flower that blooms in adversity, your new relationship can only survive if you water it with love, passion, and understanding.

Rebound Relationships in a Nutshell

Many relationship experts will tell you that rebound relationships aren’t always a good idea. So it is best to avoid jumping headfirst into another relationship when you are fresh off of the old one. Take the time to heal, realize your mistakes, and figure out what you do and do not want.

Now it begs the question, how do you know when you are ready to get back into the dating game?

The answer is: it depends on how you heal.

Everyone is different, but basically, when you start to feel more confident about yourself by yourself (not only when someone gives you a compliment) and have a better idea of what you want out of life.

It’s not to say that rebound relationships cannot last. They do. But only a handful of them. you should also know that people actually go through a couple of rebound relationships before they enter into a solid one.

So tread carefully in the realm of rebound relationships. It’s not for everyone, and certainly not for the faint-hearted.

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