Most of us have likely heard the term ‘rebound relationship’ being used, but what does it mean?
A rebound relationship is when someone bounces into a new romance before fully coming to terms with the end of a previous relationship. These types of off-the-cuff romances do have a bad rap, and there is no denying that rebound relationships can come with a variety of risks.
The main concern is that building a new partnership on such ad hoc and unstable foundations can leave those involved open to hurt, pain and future trust issues.
As with all matters of the heart, there are no hard and fast rules about how long you should wait or how quickly someone can heal after the demise of a relationship.
There are, however, some key signals you can look out for if you are worried that you may be romancing a rebounder.
In The Fast Lane
Falling in love can be entirely unexpected and can happen fast. There are no concrete canons with courtship, but often a rebounder will move at the speed of light when it comes to showering you with affection.
If you feel that they are using terms such as “love” or “The One” when you have barely had a few dates, then, this could be taken as a crucial warning signal that they may be on the rebound.
The Hare and The Tortoise
A rebound relationship can sometimes move at two very distinct speeds. The first is that of The Fast Lane (warning sign number 1) where your significant other is moving at an unprecedented pace, declaring their undying love and suggesting you move in together. But in the same vein, the deeper connection you share is moving slower than a tortoise.
Look out for those grandiose declarations that are paired with a lack of genuine commitment or a deeper understanding of one another. If you feel that you’ve bypassed that new-couple stage and skipped straight to a sudden routine that they have set, then it’s likely you’re being slotted into their ex-partner’s position.
Talking about your past, your former experiences and lessons you have learned are normal in any healthy relationship – it is a critical way in which we share emotions and get to know one another.
But warning signals should start ringing when your partner uses one of two extreme measures. Either they talk about their ex obsessively or refuse to discuss their past life at all.
Neurotic Nattering: A sign that you may have been inserted in their ex’s space is that you feel that their former partner is still around. This could mean that your significant other talks about their ex incessantly, keeps mementoes or pictures nearby, still cries about their heartache or makes excuses to attend events so they can parade you about in front of their old lover.
Stone-Cold Shut Down: A refusal to talk about their ex altogether can also be a point of concern – because it can indicate that they are profoundly burying their emotions, finding avoidance techniques and possibly using you as a way of escaping their pain.
Spending time to grieve the loss of a relationship before moving on is an essential and vital method of healing. When a person is aware that their relationship is in its final stages, they often start the mourning process earlier and then take less time to heal after it ends.
However, if you’re dating someone whose last relationship ended prematurely or out of the blue, the odds are that they haven’t had that adequate period of grief and healing. They have launched into a new relationship hastily to patch-over or use you like a band-aid on their emotions.
Most people have a healthy sense of self. However, those romancers who haven’t had time to come-to-terms with the end of their former relationship, or are even chronic rebounders, often lack a solid awareness of who they truly are.
Is the person you are dating unable to talk about their hobbies or future goals? Do they seem to have no other interest aside from you? Or do they ultimately adopt the same common activities and future plans that you have?
It’s natural to alter during the course of a relationship, but most take the time to find their core selves again during the healing process. If you find that the personality and goals of your partner are fluid, or that they are even changeable like a chameleon to suit whatever you want, then it could be a sign that they have not taken the time to find who they are, in lieu of their previous relationship, and therefore you could have found yourself in a rebound situation.
There is often no better measure than going with your gut. You may not see any big glaring signs warning you that you’re in a rebound relationship – perhaps there are lots of small nagging issues that are concerning you.
Do you feel as though you are always being compared or judged comparatively against someone or a similar situation? Maybe you’re overtly being told how much better you are than someone else – as though you’re in a competition you didn’t know about.
Do you have a feeling that something doesn’t entirely fit, that you may have just been a convenient person to meet at a difficult time?
Don’t ignore those little worries that you may feel. While it’s possible your partner may not have gone into this relationship deliberately knowing they were rebounding or wanting to hurt you, by not acknowledging your concerns intentionally, you may be leaving yourself open and vulnerable to unnecessary hurt.
If you are worried, talk to your friends, family or confidant and remember, every person deserves a relationship that is real, honest and open and you will find that love when the time is right for both of you.
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