I’ve been in my fair share of rebound relationships and unfortunately, they all didn’t work out. It sucks because these relationships can start off quite passionately but they tend to fizzle out in time. In this article, we’ll discuss why rebound relationships fail so that you can equip yourself with enough knowledge to save your rebound relationship from ending or to avoid one altogether.
Rebound relationships fail because the rebounder is trying to replace one person with another. You can’t outrun your own baggage which is why the emotional turmoil that follows a breakup tends to rear its ugly head after a few months of being in a rebound relationship.
I remember jumping into a rebound relationship soon after my serious and long term relationship had ended and it was great for the first 2 months. Thereafter, the ‘ghost’ of my ex-girlfriend in my mind started to haunt my every thought.
From obsessing over my new partner to being overwhelmed by the sadness, grief and shock from my breakup, I was a complete mess.
At that point, even though I cared about my new partner, I realized that I was far from ready for a new relationship. Additionally, the guilt of putting someone through this really upset and hurt me for a long time.
On the flip side, I’ve been in a relationship with someone who was on the rebound.
Everything started off well until it all crashing down. She was broken up over the end of her relationship. So much so that she often needed to speak about her ex very often but I couldn’t handle it.
I felt guilty about that as well.
People who are rebounding should often take the time to be alone to heal. If they choose to be in a new relationship, they need to find someone who has the ability to be patient and super considerate while they work through their baggage and emotional issues.
What is a rebound relationship?
A rebound relationship is a new relationship formed very soon after a breakup as an attempt to replace one partner with another.
The individual who just went through a break up is known as the rebounder. The rebounder is often in a state of shock or urgency to move on because they can’t handle the drastic change to their relationship status.
The goal is to avoid the pain, sorrow, grief, shock, confusion and loneliness that follows a breakup by finding someone new to focus on.
Even if the rebound relationship is built on real attraction and genuine feelings, it does not negate the baggage or residual feelings that exist for an ex-lover.
How long do rebound relationships last?
Ordinarily, they last for 3 – 6 months before ending. Some rebound relationships can end within weeks whilst others can last for over a year.
It all depends on how transparent the rebounder is, how patient they can be and the time it takes for all those residual feelings for the rebounder to disappear.
There are cases when rebound relationships last long term but they are not as many as one would hope.
Why do rebound relationships fail?
Primarily, rebound relationships fail because the rebounder has not come to terms with the end of their previous relationship. The baggage you carry from a break up doesn’t disappear on its own. It takes time and a lot of effort to work through those issues.
Consider this for a moment – Have you forgotten any of the people you’ve dated or loved? No!
You won’t ever completely forget them. Similarly, just because you’re in a rebound relationship with someone new and amazing doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically forget about your ex or the love you had for them.
It also takes a significant amount of time to truly get to know someone.
In fact, it is assumed that the average person can keep up pretenses and a persona for up to 90 days before revealing their true nature.
Either, they’ll be like who they’ve been all this time or you’ll discover a new and more real version of them that differs in some significant way from what you thought.
What we know about most rebound relationships is that they happen relatively soon after a breakup. Sometimes days or weeks after. So, clearly, neither the rebounder nor their new partner truly knows each other on a deeper level.
Even if they were friends for many years, the exploration of a romantic relationship is different than a friendship.
The way someone thinks and behaves as a friend can drastically differ from how they do in a relationship.
For these reasons alone, rebound relationships fail miserably.
Related post: What to do if your ex is in a rebound relationship
Signs you’re in a rebound relationship
From my own experience, I found it difficult to realize that I was rebounding because I felt so strongly about my new relationship. However, there were some telltale signs that would have flown over my head if my best friend hadn’t pointed them out to me. At first. it may be hard to accept but when you exhibit more than one of these signs, you’ll mostly likely realize you’re in a rebound relationship.
1. It started soon after a breakup
The most common sign of a rebound relationship is when it began soon after a breakup.
What is considered soon is anywhere between 4 – 12 weeks after a breakup.
It takes a significant amount of time for someone to completely mourn the end of a relationship which is why it’s so peculiar when they jump into a new relationship within a few short weeks.
2. You’re afraid to be alone
One of the hardest parts of a breakup is the realization that you no longer have a companion to share your life with.
You may have become quite reliant or dependent on them when you were challenged with difficulties.
Now, you’re forced to be alone and to burden all your painful emotions by yourself. To escape the loneliness, a rebounder will quickly jump into another relationship without even realizing their true intentions. It’s a form of self-preservation that actually leads to further pain.
If you’re desperately trying to escape your pain by finding someone new, it’s definitely a sign of rebounding.
3. Trying to make an ex jealous
As the rebounder, you’ll catch on to whether you’re in a new relationship to get back at your ex or not because you can’t outrun your own reality.
But, from the perspective of the other party, it’s difficult to tell when someone is just with you to make an ex jealous.
If you find that your new partner shares stuff about you or the relationship online in a tacky or premature manner, it might be cause for concern.
Related post: 15 signs your ex is pretending to be over you
4. Physical attraction is the driving force of the relationship
A telltale sign of a rebound relationship is when you’re in it mostly for the physical intimacy and closeness but the emotional intimacy is lacking.
This is further perpetuated by the fact that you feel incredibly empty and bitter when you’re by yourself and not around your new partner.
5. You’re unhappy even though you’re in a new relationship
Building on that last sign, a new partner who you don’t truly love as yet cannot overwrite the sadness and unhappiness you’re feeling from a previous breakup.
Time heals all wounds, even emotional ones but you have to allow time to lapse before jumping into a new relationship.
You can’t rush the process.
This starts to show when you lose that enthusiasm to be in your new relationship.
When you start comparing your new partner to your ex, that’s the beginning of the end. You’re absolutely rebounding and it may be time to face reality. This is why I encourage people to wait until they’re completely happy being single before looking for a new relationship.
Tips on how to avoid a rebound relationship
Honestly, I would advise you to avoid rebound relationships because they have the potential of hurting too many people and causing you added pain and suffering.
Unless, of course, you’re willing to take the risk and so is the person you want to date.
In such a case, complete transparency will help the rebound relationship to possibly survive and eventually thrive. These are my personal tips on how to avoid a rebound relationship and moving on from a breakup.
Stay single and allow yourself to grieve
I wish that someone told me that it’s okay to go through a rough patch after a breakup. I was so hell-bent on moving on and escaping my sadness that I made far too many mistakes that added more issues to my life.
Take the time to feel everything in your heart. It’s okay to have those days when you’re miserable or depressed. It’s a natural part of life. Nothing stays the same forever so those feelings will eventually dissipate and you’ll be happy again.
But, you must go through them to heal from them.
Pain can be cathartic and a great teacher.
You’re not alone in this.
There are countless people in the world feeling the same way you are. And there are countless people who have healed from this as well.
So too, will you.
Turn to family and friends for support
You don’t need another partner to be there for you during those rough days. As long as you have even one person who cares enough to listen to you, choose them.
Family and friends can be a great reminder of what’s important in life. Often, the end of a relationship can make you fixate on a single loss in your life. But, in reality, you may have countless people who matter to you.
Focus on them.
All that residual love you have for your ex can be used to treat your family and friends with kindness and care.
And one thing is for sure, they won’t abandon you for going through a rough time. If anything, they’ll be there for you no matter what.
Use the no contact rule to move on
The quickest way to learn how to overcome your fear of swimming is to get into a pool. You can spend countless days reading about it and watching videos but nothing can replace the lessons you learn from actually jumping into the water and learning how to swim.
Overcoming a fear requires facing it.
And one of the greatest fears you may have after a breakup is life without your ex. Well, it’s going to happen one way or another.
Instead of going down a road of slow torture, embrace the change and face your fears head-on. By going through the worst first, the road becomes easier to travel.
As such, I highly recommend cutting all communication with your ex after the breakup by using the no contact rule.
This will teach you how to adapt to life without your ex. It’s going to be painful and difficult at first but guess what, that’s the hardest part. It only gets easier as soon as you do it.
If you really want to move on as fast as possible, it’s imperative that you use the no contact rule.
From what I understand, rebound relationships fail because they are prematurely entered into without one or both of the parties involved taking enough time to heal from the past.
It seems like the simple and most effective solution is to wait until you’re in a less volatile state to enter a new relationship.
If you can be completely honest about how you feel with someone you like and they’re willing to take things slow until you’re ready, it may work out. And if you are already in a rebound relationship, you could have an honest discussion with your partner and ask them if they are willing to be patient with you for some time while you work on your unresolved feelings.
But, I must warn you that there may come a point when you have to make a very difficult decision and end a rebound relationship.
If it must be done, then you shouldn’t prolong it any further.
With that being said, I hope you found this article on why rebound relationships fail to be insightful and informative. Feel free to leave your thoughts or questions in the comment section below.