Beware the Rebound Relationship

Published on by CMe

 

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Beware the Rebound Relationship

 
 
   

Defining a Rebound Relationship:

A rebound relationship is one that occurs shortly after the break-up of a significant love relationship. If you are in a relationship but have distanced yourself emotionally from your relationship partner, you may begin a rebound relationship before you even leave the relationship you are in. If you move quickly from a long lasting relationship into another relationship then you are probably in a “rebound relationship."


Rebound Relationships Serve a Purpose:

A rebound relationship is a distraction. It is a connection to another person that keeps us from having to experience the full extent of the emotional pain of our resent break – up. It is a misguided attempt to move on with our lives. Many people will jump back into the dating scene because they fear being alone. It’s a quick fix, one in which we can drown out our pain by reveling in the emotional intensity and passion of a new found love. It can be a a lot more fun that dealing with the misery of a recently broken heart. 


Great Expectations:

Don’t go into a rebound relationship expecting your new partner to make up for the shortcomings and mistakes of the old partner. I like to call this the “knight is shining armor syndrome.” You may have just come out of a relationship that involved infidelity or abuse so, you turn around and expect your new partner to be able to make up for the pain you experienced in the old relationship. More than likely, all you will do is exchange one set of problems for another.


Too Fast, Too Soon:

If you have spent years in a bad relationship you might be itching to make up for lost time. It’s human nature to want a committed, fulfilling relationship and that desire can cause us to leap into a rebound relationship full speed ahead. We may have a sense of urgency and a desire to make sure we get it right the next time around. Those are great motivators to have but, make sure that sense of urgency is not causing you to rush in the wrong direction.


Masking Your Pain:

This is the biggest problem in a rebound relationship. Usually someone ends up being used and hurt as a result. If you are in a relationship to distract yourself from the pain of a broken heart then you are using another person. More than likely when that person has served their purpose you will move on, leaving them to pick up the pieces. Be honest with your new relationship partner about your intentions.


Being Used by The Rebounder:

If you find yourself in a relationship with someone who has recently broken off a long term relationship, be cautious. Don’t allow your new relationship partner to set the pace. If you do, you will find yourself in the middle of a whirlwind. You don’t want to be left in the dust once he / she decides to move on.

If you are single, out there looking for love and longing for a committed relationship you probably won’t find what you desire from someone on the rebound. If you do become involved with such a person be sure to let the relationship develop slowly and to take care of yourself emotionally.


Emotional Pain Doesn't Kill:

Experiencing and healing the pain of a broken relationship helps us become people who are more compassionate to other people’s pain. Emotional pain won’t kill you; it’s what you will do to avoid that pain that might kill you. Or, at least make you wish you had not moved so swiftly into a new relationship. So, do yourself and any potential new relationship partners a favor and deal with the pain of your old relationship before moving onto another one.

How many times have you seen one of your friends break up with a long-term partner only to find, the very next week, someone who was obviously all wrong for them? It’s one of the most common after effects of the end of relationships: rebound dating.

 

The idea of rebound relationships is so ingrained into the way we think about dating that it just seems natural to look for one after a breakup. There’s something to be said for getting “back in the saddle,” choosing a partner when your judgment is clouded usually does more harm than good overall. If you want to get over your ex fast, there are better ways to do it.

 

Band-Aid relationships: rebound mindset

The first step to keeping yourself from doing something you’ll regret is to take an honest look at what you’re feeling and understand how those feelings can lead you places you’d rather not go. A lot of times we just miss the companionship and look for someone to fill the gap in our schedule and distract us from the fact that our heart’s just been broken. In that case, make a point of finding a social time-filler that doesn’t involve romance.

 

Maintain your standards

The best thing you can do to avoid getting involved with someone who’s all wrong for you is stick to your standards. In fact, go ahead and raise them a little just to add a safety buffer. If the person you’re thinking about dating is less kind, less intelligent, less anything that you’d normally want, stay away. The people don’t make for good relationships, rebound or otherwise.

 

Beware of the handiest person

When we look for someone to rebound with, we need someone fast. We don’t have time to “waste” looking for someone we really click with, so we tend to latch on to someone we already know and have at least some rapport with. It might be a close friend, a co-worker, even someone who works at the grocery store down the street. If you find yourself falling for someone you’ve never been the least bit attracted to before, stop and think about what’s really going on here.

 

Take time for yourself

Instead of filling your time with go-nowhere dates, get out and make some new friends (that’s “friends,” not “lovers.” There’s a difference.) Get involved in something you’ve always wanted to do but never had time for. Whatever you do, don’t sit around pining for your ex or scouring the bookstore shelves for self help books.

 

Be gentle with yourself.

Even if your not sobbing into your pillow every night, the end of a relationship will naturally make you feel a little bummed out and low on energy. Take that into account and try not to start any major projects for a few weeks. Instead, treat yourself to some time out to do something you enjoy.

 


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Things That Only Feel Like Love
Rebounding

Everybody has heard of the rebound fling. This is a relationship that comes very quickly on the heels of another relationship ending. Rebounds are rarely based on love but are really a way of alleviating the loneliness people feel when a relationship ends. Even people who wanted their previous relationship to end can fall for the rebound phenomenon. Rebounding can feel like love for the simple reason that the people involved want to be in love. They are used to being in a relationship and feeling in love and more than anything else they want to feel those things again. They convince themselves they are in love when in reality they are really missing the relationship they left behind. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they want their old partner back it just means that they want to be in a relationship with somebody… and in a rebound phase that somebody could be anybody. Rebounding is shady because usually one of the people involved has genuine feelings for the other and this person ends up getting hurt when the rebounder comes to their senses (sort of speak). You can never be open to a new love when a part of you is pining for one that has been lost. Rebound relationships are really just emotional band-aids and new love can’t be found when old love wounds haven’t been given time to heal. How can you tell when enough time has passed between the end of one relationship and the beginning of another? How can you protect yourself from a rebound-based relationship? The answers are complex. There is no proven amount of time needed to move on from a relationship and for this reason it’s hard to say how one can protect themselves and their heart from a rebound. However there are some very clear signs that you (or your new beau as the case may be) aren’t quite over a lost love. If the old relationship keeps coming up or interfering with the progress of a new relationship than chances are good that you’re stuck in a rebound. If the rebounder keeps rehashing problems from the past relationship within the new relationship this is a clear sign that they haven’t moved on enough to fall in love again. Finally, if there are unresolved issues from the old relationship chances are very good that the new relationship is a rebound. Bottom line, if you feel as if the old relationship is a third party in your relationship yours is not a relationship that is based on love. You can’t find new love when you are harboring feelings for an old love or when you are longing to be in a relationship. Love can’t be forced at will, it must be found, and that can only happen for real when our hearts and minds are free. 


Lust

You know the feeling… that unexplainable and often sudden physical draw to another person that hits you like a ton of bricks within moments of meeting. This is the feeling that is all too often mistaken for “love at first sight” but that is really nothing more than an intense physical attraction. When we fall in lust we often think we’re in love for three reasons; the attraction is instantly intense and therefore feels pre-destined, you are essentially strangers meaning that your idea of who the person is resides almost entirely in the realm of fantasy and fantasies always seem perfect, and finally, you have yet to really see the other person for who they are because you are so caught up in a whirlwind of desire that you see only what you want to see. If love blinds then lust gouges out your eyes and renders you an irrational mess. Overwhelmed by the physical allure people in lust can’t keep their hands off of each other, they think about and talk about one another 24/7. If you are inexperienced in matters of the heart it is hard to see that lustful feelings are only of a surface nature. Lust differs from love like night differs from day. When you are in lust you are still in the dark about the other person, they look good because you haven’t seen them in the clear light of day, but eventually reality will take hold. Only once you know the object of your lust better and see them flaws and all will you really know if you have found love. In the early days of a relationship lust rules and when the dust settles many people find they don’t really like the person to whom they were so intensely physically attracted. When this happens the relationship abruptly ends and leaves people wondering where the love went. But love is more than a physical longing, although physical attraction is definitely a key ingredient in any romantic relationship, and if all you have between you is attraction you’re not really in love. Really loving another person takes time, it takes perseverance and it can’t be based on physical attraction alone. Until you know somebody well you can’t really be in love. 


Obsession

Obsessive feelings are often mistaken for love because people rationalize that, “It must be love if I can’t think of anyone else.” Obsession is similar to lust but it is much more misleading and destructive. While lust is often fleeting, fading as two people come to know each other better, obsession sticks around once people have seen each other flaws and all. In fact, obsession can be made worse with time while lust always fades. Love can grow out of lust but obsession kills love every time. The more time and effort invested in an unhealthy obsession based relationship the more intense the obsession can become and the more damage is done. People in an obsessed state have a one-track mind where the other person is concerned to the point where they often lose touch with who they are as an individual. This loss of individuality creates a vicious circle of behavior where the obsessed person grows more and more dependant on the other person and on the relationship in general. Even so called unrequited love (love that is not returned) can become an overwhelming obsession. This is where obsession gets dangerous. When one person believes they are in a relationship that doesn’t truly exist, or when one person is more invested in an existing relationship than the other, the foundation for an obsession has been laid. So how do you recognize an obsession? There are signs. If all of your time and effort goes in to satisfying the needs of another or in chasing after another person then you are at risk of becoming obsessed. If one person is always trying to please the other person or if the relationship is without consideration and compromise then it could be based on obsessive feelings rather than real love. Real love is nurturing and helps people grow but obsession is debilitating and takes away from the psyche of the person caught up in it. If you feel like you have lost yourself, if you are always striving to please your partner without them doing the same for you, and if you find yourself making all your decisions in your life based on the feelings and needs of the other person you are obsessed and not in a real love relationship. 


Rebounding

Everybody has heard of the rebound fling. This is a relationship that comes very quickly on the heels of another relationship ending. Rebounds are rarely based on love but are really a way of alleviating the loneliness people feel when a relationship ends. Even people who wanted their previous relationship to end can fall for the rebound phenomenon. Rebounding can feel like love for the simple reason that the people involved want to be in love. They are used to being in a relationship and feeling in love and more than anything else they want to feel those things again. They convince themselves they are in love when in reality they are really missing the relationship they left behind. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they want their old partner back it just means that they want to be in a relationship with somebody… and in a rebound phase that somebody could be anybody. Rebounding is shady because usually one of the people involved has genuine feelings for the other and this person ends up getting hurt when the rebounder comes to their senses (sort of speak). You can never be open to a new love when a part of you is pining for one that has been lost. Rebound relationships are really just emotional band-aids and new love can’t be found when old love wounds haven’t been given time to heal. How can you tell when enough time has passed between the end of one relationship and the beginning of another? How can you protect yourself from a rebound-based relationship? The answers are complex. There is no proven amount of time needed to move on from a relationship and for this reason it’s hard to say how one can protect themselves and their heart from a rebound. However there are some very clear signs that you (or your new beau as the case may be) aren’t quite over a lost love. If the old relationship keeps coming up or interfering with the progress of a new relationship than chances are good that you’re stuck in a rebound. If the rebounder keeps rehashing problems from the past relationship within the new relationship this is a clear sign that they haven’t moved on enough to fall in love again. Finally, if there are unresolved issues from the old relationship chances are very good that the new relationship is a rebound. Bottom line, if you feel as if the old relationship is a third party in your relationship yours is not a relationship that is based on love. You can’t find new love when you are harboring feelings for an old love or when you are longing to be in a relationship. Love can’t be forced at will, it must be found, and that can only happen for real when our hearts and minds are free. 

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Signs of a Rebound Relationship
Unhappiness and Inability to Forget the Ex Reveal a Rebound

Even though there are many signs of a rebound relationship, it is not always easy to decide if an unhappy relationship is a rebound relationship. When a lover is the rebound date (i.e. he or she is not the one who started this relationship), it is even more difficult to identify correctly if an unhappy relationship is a rebound one.


The two main signs of a rebound relationship are the inability to forget the ex and unhappiness with the present partner. James Houran, Ph.D lists more signs of a rebound relationship but even the inability to forget the ex and the unhappiness with the present partner are enough to ring a bell.


While these signs are easy to spot, one shouldn't jump to a conclusion that any relationship where they are manifested is a rebound one. Fair judgment should be applied because every relationship, no matter if it is a rebound one or not, is different.


Can't Forget the Ex

It is true that there are exes, who can't be easily forgotten, even after a long period of time, but when this interferes with the present it is not good. There are many ways in which an ex can't be forgotten – one can constantly be thinking of him or her, one could mention his or her ex too often, one could try to reestablish contacts with the ex, just to name a few. Sometimes the love for the ex could be hidden from the new partner and this makes it more difficult for the new partner to figure out that he or she is simply being used as a rebound date.

One of the most unpleasant things for a rebound date are the constant comparisons to the ex. This could be really humiliating because, in a sense, the rebound partner is competing with ghosts from the past.


Unhappy With the Present Partner

The second common sign of a rebound relationship is unhappiness with the present partner. The present partner might surpass the ex in any area but still the rebounder is not happy with his or her new date. While in some cases it could be expected that as time passes by, the rebound dater will start liking the present partner (or at least won't voice his or her dissatisfaction so loudly), this is not something to rely on.

Remember, the rebound relationship started as a means to mend a broken heart, not because the two partners were genuinely attracted to each other. What is more, sometimes it is possible to accept the shortcomings of the other party, but as the relationship develops, these shortcomings become more and more irritating.

The situation gets more complicated if the rebound relationship evolves into a rebound marriage, because in this case it is even more difficult to quit. It is sad how many people are in such a situation only because they didn't quit the rebound relationship while they could!



Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at  MetroSexual LA

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