Rebound relationships are usually defined as relationships that are fueled by the need to fill an emotional gap that was ripped away when a previous relationship ended. While these new relationships are initially passionate and all-consuming, they often end after a few months once the rebounder has had time to come to grips with their emotional neediness and insecurity. Unfortunately, the rebounding party will usually drain (I’m not using this word lightly – I assure you) affection and strength from their new partner in order to hasten “getting over” their previous long-term partner.
But, of course, you already knew that. So what’s really going on here? In order to answer this question as thoroughly as I can, I have subdivided the rest of the article into the most common questions I get when talking about rebounds. Without further a-do — here’s my take.
How long do rebound relationships last?
In my experience anywhere from a couple of months to a year. Long enough for the rebounder to find peace and balance. Of course, there is always the chance that a rebound relationship transitions smoothly into a healthy relationship if the new partner is the right kind. The biggest problem with rebound relationships is that they are borne of trauma. A break up, whether or not it makes sense to the afflicted parties, will threaten self-esteem, emotional stability and ultimately our ability to make objective decisions. Leading to some rather poor romantic choices. In time, self-esteem will tend to oscillate upwards and strike a balance, bringing objective clarity, higher standards and usually — a break up.
How do I tell if I’m the rebound guy or girl
We all carry some pain with regards to our exes, but the single greatest tip-off that you are being rebounded by someone is when your partner simply cannot shake the past, for whatever reason. A healthy relationship, while never quite fifty-fifty, will involve a measure of emotional symbiosis. In rebound relationships it’s more of a one-way ticket where confusion, pain and need by the rebounder often create the following scenario:
- Rebounders constantly (even subtly or internally) bring up the past or compare their new partners with their past relationships.
- The courtship process was unusually fast.
- Bi-polarity of affection. For instance, bouts of neediness followed swiftly by almost total withdrawal of affection.
- Signs of depression, interspersed with manic moments of hyperactivity and happiness.
- Rebound relationships can be almost desperately passionate, but end as quickly as they began.
The combination of all-out-affection, need and withdrawal create the perfect storm for an addictive relationship, and while short, these kinds of events can be devastating to the reboundee.
What do I do if I think I’m in a rebound relationship
Communication is paramount to keeping the relationship alive. You must accept, without rancor, that your partner is not quite as free from their past as they may have initially advertised and may still love their ex — or you risk a double knockout. Resist the urge to chase them when the house of cards comes crumbling down (and it will), but offer your support.
The real risks you face are co-dependency, addiction and trauma, because of the constant hot and cold actions by your partner. If you notice any of these traits emerging in your thoughts and actions, it’s time to take a step back and put yourself and your happiness first again. If you manage to weather the storm by mixing passion with objectivity, and unconditionally offering space when it is needed, the chances aren’t as bad as you think. But sometimes, no matter what you do — you will be left out in the cold (so don’t take it personally).