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What is a rebound relationship? Psychologists actively discuss the rebound relationship after divorce or breakup, which a person starts within a period of acute experiences after the breakup. However, rebound relationships can occur before the breakup, in the period of emotional distancing between the partners.

People experience different feelings after the breakup, and the time of “recovery” can span different time frames. Somebody needs just a couple of months while other people suffer for years. Duration and intensity of experiences depend on individual characteristics of a person, on the quality of the relationship as well as on how long it lasted. People, in order not to feel abandoned and rejected, need a rebound relationship.

does a rebound relationship last

What is a rebound relationship more precisely?

It seems that people who have suddenly become alone strongly do not want to think about the results, ask themselves why it has happened, and draw some conclusions. It's easier to start a new relationship the same day. It does not matter that it will not be entirely ethical towards the new partner because the person becomes a phantom, a means to prove to the ex-partner that nobody suffers and that they are absolutely liquid in the marriage market. In general, they want to make the ex-partner regret the breakup.

What is the rebound relationship psychology?

Why does a person strive to find somebody for consolation? Perhaps, a suffering partner believes that they will not endure the pain of the breakup, betrayal, disillusionment with a loved one and, therefore, they must urgently numb the pain and resentment by the search for a new relationship. Moreover, a lot of time has been lost in the unsatisfactory past relationship, and nobody is getting younger. Desperation, the desire to avoid emotional wound, and self-doubt make a person start a new relationship on the ruins of the old one.

There is a new partner with whom they have sexual relations and with whom they can spend the evening, but, this isn’t a mature, thoughtful relationship with a real person and their individual characteristics. This is a continuation of the dispute with the ex-partner, comparison, and imaginary debates. Such relationships are important because of the status of "I am with someone," "I'm not alone," and not for the sake of better knowing their personality and showing sincere interest and attention to them.

It is also important that often in such relationships, there is a need to prove to the ex-partner that, "I'm doing fine." In the modern world, social networks are very helpful because you can show new photos, videos, and write optimistic posts. The inability to endure the loss caused by the breakup or divorce makes a person prove to themselves and to the ex-partner that, "I am worthy of love."

Can a rebound relationship work?

Does a rebound relationship last? However sad it is, nothing serious and lasting does work from this new relationship. The new member of the love triangle (it is the triangle because the feelings are not worked out, and the ex-partner is invisibly present in the new relationship) will become tired of being sometimes a lightning rod, sometimes a shoulder to cry on, and they will also start thinking about the breakup of the relationship.

However, the whole point is that the previous relationship was not fully worked out, it was not, in fact, finished, and no answers were received. It's not about finding a guilty one. If you do not know what mistake you made in the previous relationship, you will hardly avoid it again. Taking into account a person's desire for stability and familiarity, it is even more than likely that emotional reactions will remain exactly the same. Do you need to multiply your suffering and bring misfortunes to another person? It seems that a person, avoiding suffering, tries to overcome their spiritual pain, to prove to themselves that life is not over, and they can continue to rejoice and have fun. The paradox of such love affair is that it is experienced not as a mature relationship of love.

rebound relationship after divorce

What do psychologists think about rebound relationships?

In general, to start a new relationship immediately after the breakup is not a good idea. Firstly, it is important to realize that the pain and sadness, having been experienced after the breakup is the corresponding situations of loss of feeling that must be lived, and not eliminated. The ability to get through hard feelings (and not to distance yourself from them) is the emotional maturity of an adult person.

Secondly, a leap into a new relationship closes the way to a deep reflection on the old one. Having reflected on the complexity of the previous relationship, a person can realize and formulate for themselves those aspects of it that both suit and not satisfy them, and also what exactly they would like to see in the new relationship. Thus, a quick decision, in this case, does not mean an optimal one.

Thirdly, the need to be comforted and heal the wounds because of the breakup may completely not coincide with the expectations of a new partner. Then the new relationship can quickly and dramatically end, while you can inflict a mental wound on a person who has nothing to do with the old love story. In this case, the chain of "broken hearts" can be extended, and anyone can hardly benefit from this process. In this sense, it is important to ask yourself the questions, "Why am I doing that? What do I want?” when starting a new relationship after just ending the previous one.

Do rebound relationships always lead to negative consequences?

Despite the fact that the arguments mentioned above do not support the rebound relationship, and they seem logical enough and psychologically justified, scientific studies of this phenomenon haven’t confirmed its negative impact on human life. In particular, there are data that the period from divorce to a new marriage is not related to the quality of the new relationship. While this kind of data is obtained only in terms of marriage, it is not known whether this is right for any other kinds of a relationship.

Another question is whether all the relationships that have started immediately after the breakup of the previous ones are rebound or not. It is difficult to give the answer because nobody has described and formulated norms for all people at once. People differ among themselves on psychological properties, the characteristics of their relationships differ, and consequently, relationships end in different ways as well. Often, the divorce and breakup occur when everything is reworked, and divorce is perceived as a release. In this case, a new relationship can arise even before the divorce or immediately after it, and it will not necessarily have a rebound nature.

Nonetheless, if you ask yourself, “Am I in a rebound relationship?” and want to understand some moments better, there are 10 signs you are a rebound guy.

Signs that you are a rebound guy

No one is immune from being involved in a rebound relationship. You are sure that it is love from the first sight and a good plot for a fairy tale, however, a little bit later, you understand that there’s something missing when you’re around your new partner. Try to listen to your gut and go with it. Surely, you don’t dream of being a rebound man. Such a relationship can break your heart, and your girlfriend can give the mitten and start looking for a new beloved one or go back to her ex.

Of course, you will get through that and recover, having become a little wiser and careful. Nonetheless, if you ask yourself, “Am I a rebound guy?” it’s time to look at the signs of a rebound relationship.

1. You miss something in your relationship. Everything seems to be okay, but you feel subconsciously that something is wrong, that you miss some important thing. Look at other signs you're a rebound.

2. Everything happens too fast. On the one hand, you are happy that you don’t need to conquer the girl for too long, on the other hand, it is too suspicious that she has already told you about her strong feelings despite the fact that it was your third date.

3. You see her mood swings. After a heavy breakup, a person has many ambivalent feelings, including regret, annoyance, anger, guilt, sadness, and affection. All these mood swings affect you. After all, she has still some feelings and doubts about her ex-boyfriend.

am i a rebound guy

4. You have sex very often. What is a rebound guy? A rebound guy is a person who has a lot of sex and might be very happy for this reason. However, this is just a way for your woman to forget her ex. Sex is a cure in this case. Your partner might want to feel at least something to you at the emotional level, but she fails.

5. Her breakup happened several weeks ago. There was a too small period of time between her previous relationship and this one. She was single only several days, and she didn’t have enough time to process her feelings.

6. It seems that you are in a long-term relationship. Your girlfriend behaves as if you have been together at least four years when it’s couple of weeks indeed. She imposes a certain pattern of conduct on you and doesn’t want to do different cute things that new couples usually do. This is one of the main signs you’re in a rebound relationship.

7. You understand that you don’t have common interests. Actually, you don’t talk too much or do at least something besides having sex and watching movies.

8. She doesn’t understand her true feelings. She doesn’t know what she really wants. She got used to her ex-boyfriend’s desires and behavior, and now she doesn’t understand her own ones. Besides, she doesn’t actually want to, and it is one of the reasons why you read about rebound relationships signs.

9. She posts your “happy” common photos everywhere. She makes you do a lot of photos together and posts them on Instagram and Facebook, not forgetting to mention how happy she is and that you are the best man in her life. It can be pleasant, but you know each other not so good to make such a declaration.

10. She says you are better. It doesn’t matter what you do, you do that better than her ex. She tells you each time about that.

11. She is not interested in your life. One of the signs that can help you understand how a woman treats you is how interested she is in you. If you’re just a rebound guy to her, she will never really listen to what you say. She will not focus on your personality, she will not try to get to know the real you, your interests, goals, and dreams.

12. She doesn’t share anything personal with you. Just as she doesn’t want to know anything about you, she doesn’t share anything about herself either. You may think that she is just a closed person, that she simply doesn’t like to share her feelings, but when a woman is truly in love, she wants to tell you everything about herself, she wants to interest you, convince you that she is worthy of your attention and love. 

13. She is not jealous of you. How to tell if you’re a rebound? Well, you know that all women are jealous. Even if she says she is not jealous, then this is not true. So, if she is not jealous of you at all, then this is at least suspicious. Although perhaps you are just a very decent and exemplary man who doesn’t even give a small reason for it. But oddly enough, women are also enraged by this, and she will definitely let you know about it.

14. You have no romance. Do you have more of a physical connection than an emotional one? This is a clear sign that her emotions are somewhere else. If you only have sex and do it without much emotion on her part, then she is just trying to forget herself with your help.

15. You feel like she compares you to her ex. How to tell if you are a rebound? She may not talk about it out loud, but you can feel it. Maybe you are doing what he wouldn’t do, maybe she even advises you something with a reference to him, or you know that he is doing the same. 

16. She had a difficult breakup. Did he leave her? Have they dated for many years? If it has been a few weeks and even months, and a girl says that she has already forgotten him, this is unlikely to be true. 

17. Her friends are surprised that she is dating someone. 

If her friends doubt your relationship, it’s because they know what you don’t. Maybe she cried to them for her ex yesterday, and today she introduces you to them.

Signs you are not a rebound guy:

1.She only speaks about you, not any other guy. She mentions you, she listens to you and she tries to be as close as possible. If you were a person just to have revenge sex with, she would be uninterested in a speck of a second.

2. Her ex never calls her, she lets you check her phone and you see no communication with her ex. If a girl wants to play a tree-players game, she would want to be more careful, so that not to send an unintended text to you instead of her ex she is trying to get back to. If she has no connection, no strings attached and doesn’t mention his name, there is a good chance you are the one and only.

3. She doesn’t flake you. If a girl tries to give you feedback on her own, she is not using you to forget about her boyfriend. She is happy to go on dates, dedicates most of her free time to you and speaks about future. That means she is really in love with you.

How not to be a rebound guy:

1. Don’t start a relationship with a woman who can’t get over her ex. These single girls are no good for you. All you will hear is complaints, guesses, dirt and memories about her ex-boyfriend. You don’t want to be a blanket for the person who is always in her own flashbacks where there is no place for you.

2. If it happened that you started dating a girl after a breakup, don’t continue dating UNLESS she had ended everything with her ex-boyfriend. There is nothing worse to be in between of people who still love each other, but mask it under some expression of hatred and fake indifference. Tell her to end all the strings and say how important it is for you to have her as your only girlfriend, dedicated and involved.

3. Don’t let her use you for sex. If she says she broke up with a guy and just wants to have fun with someone, it is fine if you are fine with it. But if you have a crush on her, there is no chance that she will ever fall in love with you after a good sex. Most likely she will leave you as soon as she will get on well with her ex.

All in good time

A rebound relationship hides a danger for both partners. A new partner is not voluntarily involved in the role of a go-to guy and "a shoulder to cry on." At the same time, he isn’t perceived as a personality, and a girl is not interested in his inner world. Often, a person who is looking for a rebound relationship is getting frustrated in it because of their own lack of willingness. It takes time to get through the breakup and to end the previous relationship. Before starting a new relationship, everyone should break up with the ex-partner, calm down and learn to be alone. Only then they can be ready to experience interest and be attracted to another person, fall in love and want to be together.

How to know that you are a rebound guy in a relationship?
Most likely, you will feel that something is going wrong. A girl will not act like she really loves you.
Can negative consequences be avoided?
Yes! If you understand that you are a rebound boy for a girl, just stop communicating with her because you will not be happy in such a relationship.

Comments (2)



Aug 21,  2020,  9:46 AM

Actually, this situation is unpleasant. You need to get out of these relationships as soon as possible, because they are clearly not built on love.



Aug 27,  2020,  9:13 AM

I know what it’s like to be a rebound guy. It is very unpleasant to realize that you are not really loved. They just use you until they find someone better or just prove something to their ex. If you notice the signs that are described in the article, then it is better to end such a relationship.

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