A Rebound Relationship: What It Is, Signs, and the Stages

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Ending a long-term relationship can be overwhelming. You have spent some good time with someone, but in the end, you are separating.

This is a significant change in life, and different people will handle it differently. Some may enjoy living a single life, while others may opt for casual dates as they create time to grow and find themselves.

However, others rush into a new relationship before the dust of their previous relationship settles. Such persons end up in short-lived relationships known as ‘rebound’ relationships.

What Is a Rebound Relationship?

After spending some time with a spouse or partner, living without the person becomes almost impossible. Often you feel lonely, and the need to belong outweighs the need for healing.

To satisfy the need for belonging, people tend to have someone new in their life, thinking the person will help them move on and forget about the previous relationship. Such relationships, which happen immediately after leaving a healthy relationship, are known as rebound relationships.

Sometimes, people do not fall into rebound relationships intentionally. You might have been receiving financial support from your previous spouse, and after parting ways, you start looking for someone else. Rebound relationships are unhealthy, leaving you more hurt because they do not fulfill your emotional needs.

Signs That You Are In a Rebound Relationship

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There are signals which show you are in a rebound relationship. Some of these signs include:

  • If you are in a relationship because of revenge or jealousy
  • If you aim to show off your new lover to your ex
  • If you constantly fantasize about your ex when you are with your new partner
  • If you are comparing your new partner to your ex
  • If you are dating a new person to be distracted
  • If you have a fear of rejection from your new partner
  • If you put your wants and needs first, before those of your new partner
  • If you are willing to tolerate the imbalance between what you are giving your new partner and what you are receiving

Stages of a Rebound Relationship

Everyone who finds themselves in a rebound relationship after their long-term relationship is bound to suffer from the complications brought about by rebound relationships. Similar to how people need time to bond, they also need time to detach.

Below are the six stages of a rebound relationship that people go through immediately after their long-term relationship.

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1.     Infatuation

Dumpers look incredibly empowered after the end of a long-term relationship. They feel like they have been released from prison, and they now want to make use of their time. Since they have freedom at their hands and feel motivated, they start looking for new people and activities that interest them.

After a long dig and search, they eventually come across someone who either is entirely different from their ex or one who completely resembles them. Meanwhile, their minds are telling them that they can recover from the past relationship quickly. They engage themselves with such people because they do not want to be reminded of their ex and end up grabbing the first opportunity that comes their way.

After finding this new person, they assume the person has no flaws, and in their mind, they start forming the latest partner to look like a divine person who cannot sin. This makes the new person look better. During this stage, dumpers go out on dates, party a lot, and post happy pictures with the rebound.

2.     Honeymoon

Also known as the blind stage, the honeymoon stage makes couples only see the best in their partners. They are unbothered with their partner’s flaws because they feel too important to be bothered by such things. Knowing more about each other and enjoying each other’s company is what they want most.

The easiest way to recognize whether someone is in the honeymoon stage is by looking at facial expressions. If the person’s face is full of sparks, hope, and radiance, then the person has been blindfolded by their partner. Unlike healthy relationships, which take months to build a connection, people in rebound relationships take weeks to connect and end up forcing the link.

People in this stage will keep on confessing how their love will never end, announce the relationship to friends and on social media, and may even move in together so quickly.

3.     Conflicts and Reality

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The end of the honeymoon stage announces the debut of the conflicts and reality stage. When the couple starts noticing their partner wasn’t as perfect as they thought, the love hormones begin to fade.

There are new things that are bothering them now, and they ensure they inform the partner of such. The couple begins to see their partner’s imperfections and true colors because the love has started wearing off.

Reality has started seeping in a day at a time until it gets to its complete form. Here, the couple tends to get insecurities, shortcomings and lose patience with their partner.

They start acting with their feelings similar to how they did in previous relationships. The couples start arguing about the things they had earlier assumed. The couple begins to portray their ambitions, goals, and moral values in this stage.

4.     Comparisons and Nostalgia

Naturally, rebound relationships take an unnatural course of events and lack the chemistry and bonding exhibited in long-term relationships. Since the couple has not yet bonded, their ‘love’ starts fading so quickly.

When the rebound relationship fails to work, the dumpers start remembering how their previous relationship was. They start looking back at similar instances they face now and realize their exes did not argue about little things. Here, they start thinking their ex was better because they did not argue about such small things.

Arguments will always be exhausting, and since they are deadlier in rebound relationships, the couple starts feeling bored. Anytime the couple argues, they start remembering their past and how they reacted in such situations.

They start detaching from the new partner after every argument and start clinging to their ex. The shortcomings of the new relationship make the dumpers feel attracted to their previous relationship.

5.     Disappointment and Regret

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After the dumper has realized the new relationship is not working, they fall into this stage of disappointment and regret. Regretful feelings start creeping in at a supersonic speed and collide with the broken heart.

When the rebound relationship ends, the dumper’s heart becomes vulnerable and becomes desperate for comfort and love. While it is rare for the dumper to be seen as a strong person after the end of a rebound relationship, he/she could be seen as strong if they decide to keep out of contact with the partner.

6.     Abandonment or Reconnection

This is the last stage of a rebound relationship. The dumper has to choose between abandoning and walking away from both the rebound and previous long-term relationship or pursuing the previous relationship and giving it a try. If the dumper is hurt more, there are higher chances that they might get back to their ex.

If you are the dumpee and the dumper wants to come back after the rebound relationship, you should think deeply before allowing them back into your life. If the dumper left you the first time, beware there are chances that they could also leave the second time; and it could happen even quicker.

Can a Rebound Relationship Be Healthy?

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A rebound relationship can be healthy, but not always. According to research, people who enter into a rebound relationship quickly than others portray better physical health, confidence, mental health, and resolution regarding their previous relationship.

People who ended up in new relationships quicker are more likely to respect their new partners more. Focusing on your new partner in the rebound relationship helps people recover from the damaging effects quickly.

A rebound relationship alters your mind’s neural pathways, making you feel good without seeing your ex around. However, all these benefits only come along if the rebound is better than your previous partner.

Unlike what many believe, there is nothing inherently wrong with rebound relationships. However, for a rebound relationship to remain enjoyable and healthy, the people involved should accommodate honest, transparent, and constant communication at all times.

Recognizing the difference between love and lust will help identify whether the rebound relationship remains healthy or will harm you. As you look for a rebound, look for one with similar interests and preferences as yours.

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