When a previous relationship comes to an end, many of us can feel lost. This is particularly true if it was a long-term relationship or a marriage, as it’s likely that you’ve both lived together for a number of years. So, when that relationship ends – even if it was your choice to end it – many of us begin to feel lonely and long for someone new in our life to message and meet for dates.
Which is where the idea of a rebound relationship comes in, where rather than giving ourselves time to heal from our previous relationship, we go straight into the next one and hope for the best. However, as tempting as the rebound might be for most of us, these rebound relationships go through 5 inevitable stages before ending as quickly as they started. So, whether you’re newly single and thinking or a rebound or you’re currently in a rebound relationship and you want to know the signs – here are the 5 stages of a rebound relationship
Rebound Stage 1: Finding Someone To Rebound With
For most people looking for a rebound relationship, the new person you choose is often based around how your previous one ended. As we will want to choose the total opposite in personalities and looks in our new partner. So, for instance, one of the following scenarios would make sense for a rebound relationship:
- If you were cheated on, you’ll likely choose a new partner who is boring and doesn’t have a large social life. As, because that person doesn’t go out a lot with friends, they are less likely to cheat on you.
- Past partner older/younger than you? Well, your new partner will likely be much older or younger than that person.
- If your ex had a very serious job, such as a lawyer or accountant, you’ll likely look for a new partner with far less responsibility such as an artist or actor.
- Even something as simple as dating someone blonde in the past can make you more prone to look for a new partner with darker hair.
The idea here is that, because your last relationship didn’t work out, you think that by choosing someone completely different that person is far more likely to be perfect for you. Therefore, this new partnership is likely to last forever. Especially since, any issues that you might have had in the past, such as your partner working too many hours or spending too much time out with friends, won’t be a problem in your new one. Which will fool you into thinking you’re starting out a far more successful relationship.
In reality, though, you’re setting yourself up for failure, as there was likely a reason why you loved your previous partner – whether that be attraction or personality. By choosing someone who is completely opposite to someone you’re usually attracted to, it’s likely that you’re only committing to this new partner based on the fact that they’re different, not because you actually like them.
This often leads to something called “relationship blinkers” where you fool yourself into thinking you really like someone purely because they are dissimilar to their ex. Which means it’s likely not to last, however, it can still be a positive experience, where you heal yourself from that past relationship and prepare yourself for love again in the future.
Rebound Stage 2: The Honeymoon Phase
When it comes to the stages of a rebound relationship, the honeymoon phase is often the happiest part of that relationship. Indeed, despite our friends often warning us against a rebound, many of us will ignore this advice and continue with this new rebound partner – just because this rebound phase is so fun.
That’s because the start of a relationship is fun – particularly when you’re on the rebound. You both find even the most annoying of habits cute in each other, you’ll likely not have worked out each other’s worst traits yet and will instead be in a happy little bubble where everything seems perfect.
For those in a rebound relationship, this makes for a happy and laidback time. You’ll go out for wonderful dates to restaurants, concerts, and the cinema, both thinking you’re in a perfect relationship as it’s nothing like your last one. You’ll probably avoid spending time with your friends, though, as although you think you’re on to a winning relationship, your friends will easily see through this and tell you the truth about your rebound journey.
Yet, this advice is something you should be listening to, as the honeymoon rebound phase is doomed not to last. Eventually, you will both learn too much about each other and the cracks will start to show as you both realize that you’re perhaps not as suited to each other as you might have hoped. How long a honeymoon phase lasts in a rebound will entirely depend on your own situation. However, the more time you spend together, the sooner it will be to end.
It’s not all bad news, though, as even when this loving phase ends, you still got to live in blissful denial for a while. As, even if it wasn’t altogether real, you got to be happy, enjoy fun dates and benefit from lots of affection, allowing you to recover from your past relationship. Which might just make starting a rebound seem worth it!
Rebound Stage 3: The Breakdown
You might have believed that your rebound relationship has been going well. In fact, even though your friends tried to convince you that most of these rebound relationships are doomed, you were sure that this new relationship was the perfect one for you. That is until the stages of a rebound enter the breakdown portion. This is when you will start to notice all those annoying little cracks that will eventually lead to your relationship breaking down.
It could be simple things, like leaving the toilet seat up or not making the bed in the morning. Or maybe you’ve never noticed how much of an annoying laugh that they have. Whatever it is, this new person in your life who you thought was amazing now has a host of annoying quirks that drive you crazy.
This is also likely where you realize that choosing a new person who is so different from your past relationship becomes an issue. For example, perhaps you used to date a lawyer and are now dating a struggling artist. In the beginning, the carefree attitude of this new person was endearing. True they might have been the most responsible for arriving to dates on time or even letting you know they were running late. Nor were you too bothered that you had to foot the whole bill as they don’t have a regular income. Over time, though, you’ll miss the stability of your past relationship and the way that they would whisk you off for dinner at a fancy relationship.
The same goes for an age gap. Often, if you were in a long marriage with an ex, when you get out of that relationship, you’d like to date a younger man or woman who just wants to have fun. Particularly if you felt like you were stuck in a rut in that relationship. Now, it might be the dream to start a relationship with someone twenty years younger than yourself, however, the reality is never usually as fun. Especially when you get to the breakdown stages of a rebound.
For one, you might find that your new relationship is very active on social media, wanting to post lots of photographs of you both out on nights out. Not only can this feel cringy for you if you have older children who use the same social media sites, but it also puts a lot of pressure on you to go out a lot. Now, for most of us, going out to a nightclub every weekend is long in the past – especially if you feel like the oldest person on the dancefloor. You’ll start to miss the days of a relationship where you can both enjoy a night in front of the TV with a glass of wine.
Whatever your reason for feeling like your new relationship isn’t as good as you first thought, for most of us in rebound relationships, we won’t want to give up just yet. This means that you’ll start to bottle up your feelings and bit your tongue – as you don’t want to go back to being single just yet!
It’s not all negative, though. This stage of a rebound relationship can really teach you to understand what you would actually want from a future relationship. True, you might not want someone exactly like your ex, but you also don’t want to date someone totally opposite to your hobbies and interests either.
Rebound Stage 4: The Beginning/The End
As far as the stages of rebound dating goes, the breakdown stage can last a while. Especially is you really want that relationship to evolve into love and a long-term relationship. Which is why many couples will live in denial for a long time. Unfortunately, though, for most rebound relationships, you will inevitably end up heading towards the end stage of the rebound. By this point, neither of you can hold back on all those little niggling issues that have been getting on each other nerves.
You see, the problem with the breakdown stage is that it fools you into thinking that communication is bad for your relationship. That’s because, although your new guy or woman isn’t bad, they just aren’t quite the kind of person that you like to date. Which again links back to the first stages of a rebound relationship where you actively went looking for someone who had nothing in common to your ex. In fact, something as silly as a person wearing the same perfume or aftershave as your ex would have been enough to make you run the other way.
However, you’ve now got to the point that you can no longer hide the fact that you are not only not in love with this new person, but you’d struggle to ever see yourself in love with that person. Now, you might want to pretend for a while, as you can’t stand the idea of being single, but eventually your incompatibility will come to the boil leading to a fiery fight and possible breakdown of that relationship.
Not to worry, though, this breakup isn’t as likely to be as bad as the one with your ex that lead to you looking for a rebound relationship. Indeed, the new person in your life might be feeling exactly the same as you. Meaning you both spilt amicably and move on to a new relationship, without the need for a rebound.
On the other hand, this may not signal the end of your relationship – it could even be a new beginning! That’s because there is a chance that your rebound could end up being the beginning of a much better relationship for you both. You see, at the heart of every good relationship is communication, so by sitting down with your new person and explaining how you feel and why you think it’s not working you might find that you can both work through any issues you have.
Plus, for many of us in the breakdown stages of a rebound relationship, the things we find annoying can easily be fixed. Not going out enough? Arrange a date night once a week. Going out too much? Arrange for a romantic night in with a takeaway. It might take some work, but you can easily grow as a couple in a rebound relationship into a couple merely in love.
Of course, it really does depend on the person as to whether you manage to make it through this final stage of rebound relationships. However, whether you become a couple or you decide to split up, either way, you’ll have grown through this rebound and leanrt a lot about yourself and what you would like from any future relationships. You may even know what to look for in a person – even if they do resemble your ex a little!
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Are Rebounds Good or Bad?
Even though most of your friends or family will tell you that a rebound relationship is a bad thing, is this correct? Well, frustratingly, this really depends on both the new person and how bad your relationship was with your ex. Generally, though, a rebound relationship can actually be a very healthy journey for you to undertake to work through any emotional problems.
What you need to do, though, is be honest with your new partner. As, if you’re looking for a casual rebound, this is something you should tell them upfront. As the other person might be walking into that relationship believing you’re in it for love. Of course, it’s hard to know this at the start of a relationship. You could well walk into it thinking you will fall in love again and that person is ‘The One’. So, if it doesn’t work out that way, don’t beat yourself up too much about it. Every relationship is a risk at the end of the day. So, rather than banning yourself from dating and instead focusing on getting over your ex, instead, get out and date.
True, that rebound relationship might not have the best chances of lasting into marriage or kids, but it does give you the opportunity to grow and find out more about yourself. Which means, when that next special relationship comes along, you’ll be emotionally ready to commit and make it work. Plus, to a certain extent, every new partnership that we enter has the potential to be a rebound. As, unless you are both high school sweethearts with no previous relationships, we all have a past with an ex or two, meaning we bring that emotional baggage into every new pairing we start.
At the end of the day, whether or not you’re rebound dating will depend on how emotionally ready you are for that next relationship – something which most of us don’t know until we start that new coupling. The worst thing you can do, though, is lock yourself away from dating entirely. Otherwise, you’ll soon find you’re years down the line, past your best dating years and feeling incredibly lonely. Which seems a very high price to pay just to save yourself from a rebound.
When it comes to a relationship, you can only listen to someone else for so long. Instead, make sure that whatever you choose romantically – whether it be to get back with an ex or start a rebound – is totally up to you. So, live your life to the fullest and have as much fun as you can!
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