Rebound relationships: 6 signs to look out for

There’s a reason why people don’t want to be someone’s rebound: usually, rebound relationships equal doom for a budding romance. It’s far from an ideal situation to find yourself in, so read on if you’re trying to figure out how to recognise rebound relationships.

What are rebound relationships?

When someone starts a new relationship following a breakup they’re still not fully over, that relationship is considered a rebound. Rebound relationships are usually short-lived and nearly always result in sadness and regret. This is often because one person was not emotionally ready for a relationship or was only looking for a way to distract themselves and heal after their breakup, without thinking about who they might hurt.

Rebound relationships disrupt the normal emotional healing process after a romantic disappointment or a broken heart and can end up hurting both the person rebounding as well as the new person in the relationship. The first one walks into a relationship vulnerable, filled with pain and unresolved emotions; unready and unable to give the new person in the relationship what they want. The second one ends up feeling used and exploited, whilst constantly trying to ‘win’ their partner and make them move on from their breakup, causing feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

Signs of a rebound relationship

If you read these signs and they sound familiar, you need to make sure that you communicate what you’re looking for from a relationship and also ask your partner what they’re looking for. If you’re looking for something casual as well, then being in a rebound relationship might be fun for you, but there’s always the risk of one of the two developing stronger feelings in the meantime. If you’re looking for something more serious, then your best option is to distance yourself and let that person heal from their breakup before starting something with them. Alternatively, moving on completely and finding someone who you’re sure is on the same page as you might cause you less heartache in the long run..

1 . The relationship begins very soon after their breakup

People have different ways of dealing with a breakup. Rebounders feel that their way to heal is by distracting themselves with the company of someone new. The reality is though, that you can’t move on before properly dealing with the issues of the past and being in a relationship purely to take your mind off your previous one will only result in pain and hurt – for everyone involved.

2. They want to keep it casual

No one goes into a relationship knowing immediately that they want to get serious, but most rebound relationships begin with the actual intention of not being permanent. If your partner likes to keep things casual and non-committal then there’s a distinct possibility they just got out of a bad breakup and they need their time to heal. Either respect their choice and give them space or if it’s not what you’re looking for, move on. Pushing a monogamous relationship on them and insisting on trying to win them over will only make them distance themselves more.

3. They’re dating to make their ex jealous

Rebounders often try to make their ex jealous by immediately jumping in a new relationship. Some people feel like they’re getting back at their ex by showing off their new partner and how quickly they managed to get into a new relationship.

If your partner claims over and over again that they’re over their ex but it seems like they’re trying to cover hurt feelings or if they post pictures with the two of you all the time and ‘show you off’ more than you think is normal or expected, then it’s possible you might be their rebound.

4. They talk about their ex all the time, or they deliberately avoid talking about their ex

Many people stay friends with their exes or at least keep in touch here and there, but if your partner can’t stop talking about their ex without them being friends, then there’s a high chance they might still be hung up on unresolved feelings. Similarly, completely avoiding any mention of their ex could mean that they still have feelings or resentment for their ex; another indication you could be in a rebound relationship.

5. They’re giving you mixed signals

People in rebound relationships are essentially trying to distract themselves from anything that reminds them of their breakup. That can lead to them giving you mixed signals about how they feel about you. One day they might be affectionate and seem head-over-heels for you, while the next they might not even talk to you. If this seems familiar and you don’t really know where you stand in the relationship, perhaps it’s time to have an honest talk with your partner.

6. Your relationship is mostly sex

Don’t get us wrong, having tons of amazing sex with your partner is great if it’s for the right reasons. People in rebound relationships, in particular, feel like sex is the easiest, quickest way to connect with someone without exploring deeper emotions. If you never talk about anything meaningful and you feel you don’t actually know each other but are constantly having sex, then you might be their rebound. Try getting your partner to open up and be more honest about how they’re feeling; if they struggle, it could be a warning sign.

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