Nobody wants to be in a rebound relationship. We all date someone in the hopes that together, you’ll fall hopelessly in love with each other. We all want to be with someone whose heart and thoughts belong to us and only us. But that’s not what happens when you’re in a rebound relationship. Sometimes, we just end up with people who don’t really belong to us. They belong to their past.
What is a Rebound Relationship?
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’ve experienced how it is, and how truly terrible it is. A rebound relationship is a relationship that is initiated shortly after a romantic breakup. It happens when the feelings for the ex haven’t been resolved yet, and the person jumps to another relationship.
A rebound relationship is an impulsive response to a bad breakup. Normally, after a breakup, we go back to our “shell” and cry and break down or whatever it is you do after getting your heart broken. We go through the painful stages of a breakup. Then, there are the “rebounders.” The people who go to “instant” healing. A rebound relationship is a “shortcut” through the whole process, and most of the time, it doesn’t end well. Rebound relationships give the sufferer an instant boost in self-esteem. They feel that they’re still attractive and desirable, so they become “okay.”
Rebounders are needy but emotionally unavailable at the same time. And so, such relationships formed with them are short-lived and highly-destructive. Why wouldn’t it be? The foundation of it is the person’s emotional instability and insecurity. What relationship would thrive on such roots?
Signs That You’re in a Rebound Relationship
1 The relationship begins soon after a breakup
When the person has recently been through a breakup, and they’re too “eager” to date again, take that as a red flag. It’s normal that after a breakup, a brokenhearted person will take some time to spend alone. There should be a “breathing space.” A “pause” where they’d want to get their shit together first before getting out there again. But if the person says that they’re 100% okay and ready to date again, don’t you think that’s weird? I know there really are people who can move on fast but to date again immediately? Hmm, that should make you think.
Many rebounders feel that the hurt will be over if they get it on with a new person. So, as soon as a relationship ends, they move on to the next one. The new relationship “heals” them. But, it’s a very dysfunctional way of moving on if you ask me. The person just learns to be very dependent on another person’s love to be okay and to “heal.”
So be wary about it.
2 They only need you when they’re sad
It’s a clear sign that you’re in a rebound relationship when they only call or text you when they’re sad. It may be because they’re feeling sad or empty that they lost their ex, and you’re the one who’s there, so they cling onto you. Then, when they’re happy, they magically disappear and don’t contact you again. The relationship is one of emotional convenience. They just need you because you provide them the assurance and validation that they lost.
3 They want to show you off to their ex
I mean, I get it. I also love to get shown off and paraded like a trophy. It makes me feel like I am important and somebody worth showing off. But you know you’re in a rebound relationship when the person makes great leaps of effort just to show you off to his ex or to the mutual friends they have with their ex. It doesn’t have to be a “physical show off.” They may do this via social media or social gatherings. They do this for two possible reasons: 1.) because they want to make their ex feel jealous. Or 2.) they want to show their friends that they’re okay and unbothered by the breakup, which is just as messed up as the first one.
This is in no way fair for you. You’re just an innocent bystander who happens to like the person, and now you’re just getting used as a tool for “revenge” to make their ex jealous.
4 Talk about their ex almost always
Consciously or unconsciously, a rebounder may talk a lot about their ex constantly. Their ex is like this. Their ex is like that. The topics almost always revolve around their ex. It seems like the ex is part of your relationship more than you because they still haunt your everyday life. It’s upsetting. You cannot expect someone to be 100% in a relationship when their unresolved feelings are still all over the place.
5 Compares you to their ex
If not talking about their ex is not enough, you also get compared to their past relationship. Maybe he’s all like, “My ex wasn’t like you. She always nags me.” or “My ex never did that to me. You’re too annoying.” Whether good or bad comparisons, does it matter? His ex still takes up space in his mind and heart. He’s not ready to be a relationship, and you don’t want to be second only to his ex.
6 Still lurks over his ex’s social media
If you catch him still lurking over his ex’s Facebook profile or Instagram, chances are you’re in a rebound relationship. He’s still not over his ex, and he wants to keep updated about his ex’s whereabouts and what she’s doing in her single life. Chances are, he’s also waiting if her ex will get together with someone else. He’s following up whether she’s dating again. Clearly, he’s not over her. Back off and give him time to work through his feelings first.
7 Your gut tells you that’s he going to leave you given the chance
Us girls, we have this incredible “gut instinct.” We know when something is wrong, even when things are okay on the surface. We know when somebody is trustworthy or not, even when it’s just our first time meeting them. We’re good like that. We’re not just good detective. We can sniff trouble a mile away. If in the early stages, you just have this gut instinct that the guy will leave you if his ex asks him to get back together, you’re in a rebound relationship. If you feel like he’ll get out the door in a jiffy if his ex gave him a chance, you better end it.
8 The relationship is mostly physical
The sex is great. It’s passionate, thrilling, and downright out-of-this-world. But if you’re honest with yourself, how about the emotional aspect? Are you really getting to know each other? Or do you feel like there are walls you have to climb before you really understand him? When you’re in a rebound relationship, things are more physical than emotional. He’s unwilling to be vulnerable to you because he’s in a state of pain and can’t afford another heartbreak.
9 He projects his ex’s traits to you
Is he dating you because you have colored hair, and his ex has colored hair? This sign is rare, but it happens. Sometimes the rebounding person may consciously or subconsciously look for characteristics that his ex has. For example, he broke up with his ex, who is a singer. He might be dating you because you’re also a singer or you have a great singing voice. Anything to remind him of the relationship he lost. He’s going to project it to you because it’s his way of clinging on to the memories of his former relationship.
10 It’s hot and then it’s cold.
It drives you crazy. You don’t know what’s happening. One moment he’s obsessed with you, the next, he acts as if he doesn’t even know you. They’re moody, and there are drastic changes in their “affection” for you. You don’t know what you did wrong or if you did anything bad to make them change that way. There are days when they don’t text you or reply to you. They’re stringing you along for the sex and validation because you’re a rebound.
11 He downplays his previous relationship
If he’s been with his ex for 7 years and he acts as if the break up 3 weeks ago doesn’t mean anything, take it as a red flag. I know some people can do that. They can move on so easily. But to deal with it as if it’s nothing? That should be a cause for concern. When you’re in a rebound relationship, the other person will downplay the importance and impact of his previous relationship. He’s running from the pain and lying to himself that he’s okay when he’s not.
12 The attention keeps your relationship alive
The person who got dumped needs a new person to give him the attention that he lost with his previous relationship. When you’re in a rebound relationship, the other person is only staying because he feels validated and desirable with you because you shower him with lots and lots of attention.
13 The word “commitment” scares him
When you’re in a rebound relationship, the rebounding person wants the “feel” of being in a relationship without actually being in one. Does that make sense? He doesn’t want to seal the deal with you. He doesn’t want to commit. Why? Maybe because you’re the rebound and he doesn’t really want to be with you. If he makes things official with you, that means things are really over with him and his ex. He probably doesn’t want. He still has lingering feelings for his ex, and he might just be waiting for that “call” to patch things up and get back again. And you just happen to be in the picture.
14 He wants a label asap
This is the opposite of the previous one. In this instance, he doesn’t want to wait around for anything else. He wants a label now. He wants to move into a new relationship asap. This occurs in people who are in great pain. He can’t bear the pain anymore, so he thinks distracting himself with a new relationship will help speed up his healing process.
15 He constantly complains about his ex to you
He always complains about the negative traits of his ex to you. He always tells you how she messed him up. If he’s complaining to you, even without you asking for any detail, you’re in a rebound relationship. It goes to show that he still carries some emotional baggage about his ex. He’s still not ready to date you because he still resents and feels bitter about his previous relationship.
16 The break up wasn’t mutual
A classic sign that you’re in a rebound relationship is when the person you’re dating wasn’t the one who initiated the breakup. Either that or his ex cheated on him, so the break up was sudden and surprising. He wasn’t prepared for it. If the breakup was something planned, then chances are he’s already prepared for it. The grieving process was already done prior to the breakup, so he’s emotionally stable and ready for it. But other than that, if he didn’t pull the trigger, the breakup was something unexpected. He had no prior warning, so he will have to start from scratch on the grieving process. He’s still not ready to date another person.
17 Feel bitter, even in a relationship
If they’re already happy with you, why would they feel bitter about their old flame? Happiness can easily fizzle out when they’re still not over their past. Everything might look good from the outside, but you know there is something wrong. You’ll feel that they’re unsatisfied. When you’re dating a rebounder, unsettled feelings will make them miserable and in turn, make you miserable.
18 Not Including you or letting you meet their friends
This is painful. You know you’re in a rebound relationship when they don’t even let you meet their friends. Usually, when you’re in a normal relationship, there’s a stage called “integration.” You know this. You’ve been through this. It’s when the person you’re dating introduces you as a significant other to their friends and even family members. But in a rebound relationship, they don’t bother with that. You’re not somebody worth introducing to their inner circle because, well, you’re just a rebound. Nothing more. Nothing less.
How Long do Rebound Relationships Last?
This is tricky. As much as I’d like to say that they always fail, some really do work. But don’t let this get your hopes up. To make a relationship successful, both the partners should work towards a common goal. And in rebound relationships, that’s not likely the case. The rebounder and you are not likely on the same page in terms of couple dynamics. You’re likely more invested than they are.
Statistics show that more than 90% of rebound relationships do not last beyond three months. So, you know. Don’t be all like “we’ll make it.” or “if it’s true love, he’ll know it eventually.” Stop it with that crap. You’re a human being with feelings, and you deserve to be treated with respect. You’re not just some random piece of ass meant to be an emotional punching bag. You deserve better.