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The end of a serious relationship can feel like a fairly traumatic event. Through it we experience grief that, as the old saying goes, only time can heal. The issue is, most of us don’t like the discomfort this kind of emotion brings, and so we look for distractions.

One distraction, in particular, is the looming rebound relationship!

Have you ever struggled to move on from a past relationship?

What Are Rebound Relationships?

Rebound relationships are the common phenomenon of entering into a new relationship shortly after the end of a previous one. Although you’ll find a host of articles that warn you against these kinds of partnerships, I’m going to go ahead and say this:

Yes, rebound relationships can be a tactic to avoid the pain and loneliness of a breakup, but they can also provide support, help us move forward, and find happiness with someone new.

Heck, I know people who’ve entered into a perceived “rebound” relationship only to build a happy long-term relationship and family with their new partner.

On the contrary, I have also witnessed people trapped in rebound relationships, living out the same unfulfilling patterns of past relationships.

You see, rebound relationships can be fraught with challenges and complications – they can keep us stuck in a relational process that is unserving; however, under the right circumstances, they can offer the opportunity to rebuild and connect. The difference lies in your understanding of the risks versus the benefits and assessing the impact the rebound relationship has on you and your new partner.

Don’t Skip the Healing Process

Rebound relationships can lead to real emotional connections; however, taking time to heal from your former relationship is ideal as to not taint the new one with unresolved baggage.

When we have a physical injury, for example, we don’t just jump back into the race. We self-assess, rest, and mend what is required, reducing the risk of further injury.

How are our hearts any different?

If you believe you are in a rebound relationship, or are considering one, but have concerns of causing more harm than good, take time to reflect on your intentions and the risks. If the waters are murky, and you can’t distinguish warning signs from real feelings, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A therapist can assist you in building a healthy relationship with yourself and others.

Remember, you are also dealing with the emotions of a new partner. If your intentions are rooted in self-preservation, it may be best to spare them the heartache until you’re in a place of genuine interest.

If you are carrying unresolved emotional baggage and it goes unchecked, the new relationship may end quickly as a result. Remember, your new partner is not responsible for healing you.

Moving too fast too soon may cause compounding hurt. For that reason, explore the following insight and advice before pursuing things further with a new partner.

How long did it take you to heal from your last breakup?

Time Assessment

First, assess the amount of time you and your ex have been apart. Realistically, are you capable of being emotionally vulnerable with another person?

a couple hugging each other and a mountain view behind them

If you aren’t sure, consider the following:

❤️‍🖤 Do you still feel emotionally charged by your ex or the breakup itself?

❤️‍🖤 If given the chance to reconcile things with your ex, would you try?

❤️‍🖤 Has your self-confidence been shaken as a result of your breakup?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, you may be emotionally unavailable to someone new, or simply seeking an emotional crutch.

For this reason, it’s important to approach any rebound relationship with caution and awareness to ensure everyone’s emotional needs are considered. If your judgement feels clouded or your decisions are hastier than usual, slow down and reconsider.

Comparing is Not Caring

A great sign that you’ve moved too quickly into a new relationship is when you start comparing your new partner to your ex. Not only is this unfair to your new partner, but it may also cause unnecessary tension, and ultimately threaten the success of the relationship.

When you start with someone new, it’s important to be fully present with them and not have one foot out the door (or in your previous relationship!). Your new partner deserves to be seen for who they are, and not as a projection of your unresolved past.

Have you ever been in a rebound relationship?

Open and Honest Communication

Open and honest communication is the cornerstone of relationships. It creates connection, builds trust, helps resolve conflict and misunderstandings, reduces stress, and ultimately creates stable environments for people to properly assess and thrive in.

Transparency about where you are in your healing can give your new partner insight on how to best support you and at what speed the relationship can realistically move. Which brings me to…

Take Things Slow

Giving yourself the time to assess and determine what is best for you will only serve the relationship down the line.

Taking things slow promotes a strong foundation, reduces pressure for both you and your new partner, gives you time to reflect, helps you uphold your values and notice red flags, establishes trust, and increases intimacy.

By taking things slow you are committing to giving the relationship a chance. But also, you’re taking the time to properly evaluate whether this new person has a place in your life.

Signs You’re in a Rebound Relationship

As mentioned, rebound relationships tend to begin soon after a breakup. They also tend to occur before you have time to heal from your past relationship or work on undoing unhealthy patterns. Oftentimes rebound relationships are accompanied by a surge of uncharacteristically strong emotions, such as desperation, intense lust, co-dependency, extreme neediness, or indifference.

If your former partner didn’t fulfill certain fundamental needs, you may feel rushed to close those emotional gaps with someone new. This can often lead to an illusion of love because the new partner is giving “more” (even minimally) than your former partner.

diverse couple enjoying their time together and their dog in a couch

If you’re concerned you are in this situation, be wary of the following:

❤️‍🖤 You feel the need to move unusually quickly in the relationship

❤️‍🖤 You feel the need to keep things as “casual” as possible, especially in case you have the opportunity to reconcile with your ex

❤️‍🖤 You are avoiding real emotions

❤️‍🖤 Your physical attraction to this person is overpowering your senses (yes, including your common sense!)

❤️‍🖤 There is a lack of emotional connection or depth

❤️‍🖤 You are seeking validation to boost your self-esteem

❤️‍🖤 You are still in contact with your ex, find yourself speaking about them often, or avoid the topic altogether (one extreme or the other)

Although these are signs to pay attention to, they don’t confirm that you are in a rebound relationship. They should simply be used as an aid to help appraise your current situation.

Do you believe that rebound relationships can be healthy and positive?

Getting the Love You Want After a Breakup

Rebound relationships are generally a self-preservation tactic. We all want to be valued, and avoid overwhelming negative emotions; however, problems arise when we depend on external validation to help us heal.

As cliche as it sounds, finding love after a breakup starts within you.

Generally speaking, the healthiest relationships are born from a mutual understanding that each partner is responsible for their own well-being. Of course, relationships should offer support and encouragement, but no one bears the responsibility of the other’s happiness.

Taking responsibility for one’s own happiness quite literally puts the power back in your own hands. It is a critical aspect of personal growth, self-esteem, and overall quality of life!

The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. Building this confidence takes self-awareness, intention, and action! So, before you go seeking love elsewhere, first consider taking the following steps…

Create a Joy List

What makes you happy? Take time to reflect on this. Create a joy list that includes activities, people, and experiences that you find fulfilling.

Set Goals for Yourself

Now that you have a list, begin incorporating those things into your life. Look at your calendar and schedule them in!

Practice Gratitude

Implement a gratitude practice over your morning coffee or during your wind-down evening routine!

Cultivating a sense of gratefulness over the things you have in your life will prime your brain for happiness, help you focus on the positive, and appreciate yourself and others.

Ritualize Self-Care

To feel good in your skin, self-care is non-negotiable! This includes prioritizing your physical and mental health through activities and practices. Ensuring you get enough sleep, sun, water, and movement in every day will connect you more to your body and boost feel-good hormones!

Take Action

Be sure that you take action on these things. Prioritize what is important, what makes you feel good, and surround yourself with positive people.

Do you believe that closure is necessary for healing from a past relationship?

Loving Yourself is an Invitation to Others

Loving oneself is critical to building strong external relationships because it sets the foundation for what we are willing to let into our lives.

In other words, when we have a healthy and fulfilling relationship with ourselves, we invite healthy and fulfilling relationships into our lives, whilst learning to naturally distance ourselves from negative dynamics.

Loving Yourself in Rebound Relationships

Not all rebound relationships are doomed.

a photo of a woman in a bath tub enjoying her time alone relaxing

We can’t always control when the right person comes into our lives. Sometimes they enter our world when we’re not fully healed, and yet, there’s a desire to get to know them.

The key is to lean into the healing process and be transparent about your feelings and needs. Those who are meant to be in your life will respect your process and pace. By honoring yourself during this process, you will inevitably learn how to:

❤️ Increase self-worth and self-respect

❤️ Hold compassion for yourself and others

❤️ Practice patience

❤️ Be authentically you

❤️ Communicate effectively

❤️ Trust your instincts

❤️ Nurture positive dynamics

First, Be Your Own Rebound Relationship

Rebound relationships can be tempting after a breakup. If we don’t commit to healing, those relationships can lead to more pain and heartache. But, if we take time to prioritize our own well-being, we can avoid old patterns and potentially build something anew.

Ultimately, connecting with yourself and honoring the things that bring you joy, will build healthy and fulfilling connections – even if they arrive shortly after a breakup. The goal here is to, first and foremost, be your own rebound relationship.

What happens next, is up to you…

Until next time,

Be well, friends!

Quean Mo

P.S. At Rebel Love, we know breakups are hard! You deserve top tools and insights for healing, which is why we corralled the best in the field and launched the Let Love Begin Summit! Click here to join these experts now!