It’s a Game of Thrones-style plot twist you never saw coming. You look down expecting to see a bloody cavity in your chest where your heart used to be. Breakups hit you on every level of existence; emotionally, physically, and mentally. In the depths of your pain, a new romantic interest can provide you with a space of divine healing. But wait, rebound relationships are supposed to result in stormy seas rather than a pleasure cruise. Aren’t they?
Despite popular opinion, desperation and uncertainty aren’t always the primary fuel for rebound relationships. According to the cerebral sorcerers at Psychology Today, there are instances where a rebound relationship can work out in our favor. Let’s take a deeper dive, shall we?
Before delving into why a rebound relationship can be good for you, let’s go back to why they have such a bad reputation in the first place. By not giving yourself adequate space and time after a breakup, you deprive yourself of the chance to fully reset and “restock” your emotions and mind. Just like you need to apply a cast to a broken bone and give it time to heal, the same principle applies to a broken heart. Jumping into a new relationship is the equivalent of putting too much weight on a bone before it’s had time to heal. While you’ll always be working on some aspect of Self no matter if you’re in a relationship or single, you have much more to sort out in the aftermath of a breakup. It’s even more difficult if you involve someone else in the clean-up process.
Couples break up for different reasons. There are situations where one person has been left a hollowed-out shell while the other person recognizes the fact that sometimes doing what’s best involves unintentionally hurting someone else’s feelings. Both move on and may choose to venture into their own love affairs. Those are called rebound relationships, and as we said, they’re not always bad for us.
Relationships that only lasted a short time or relationships where both people agree they’re not vibrating on the same wavelength are exceptions to the rebound rule. Under such circumstances, it makes perfect sense to enter into a rebound relationship. It also makes perfect sense for that rebound relationship to endure. It doesn’t matter if you were the one who was left or the one who did the leaving in the relationship, catching a rebound can fully replenish emotional energy. Your rebound beau can help you emotionally and mentally detach from your ex and repair your shattered confidence. You may find your new relationship to be more rewarding than you imagined, and more satisfying than your last go-around with love.
With this new insight into rebound relationships, there are still pitfalls to be aware of. First, you have to be honest about your compatibility with this new person. Is the other person also fresh out of a relationship? Does this new relationship extend outside of the bedroom? Are you catching feelings for this person, or are you merely basking in the glow of how they make you feel without giving anything back? Falling for someone can cloud your judgment, no matter if you’ve been single for a while or if you broke up with someone a few weeks ago. With both, you have to take out time to walk through your emotions by yourself to develop a frame of reference for yourself as well as the other person.
Another variable to add to the rebound success equation is raw honesty. Are you mainly in the rebound relationship to try to stop yourself from missing your ex? Is the rebound relationship going as well as you think or are you lying to yourself? Would it be better if you and the other person took things slow? Not only do you have to open up and be honest with yourself, but you also have to do the same with your new love interest. This level of introspection has the benefit of allowing you to heal and grow on a personal level while improving the odds of your rebound relationship working out.
In the end, it’s best to neither completely refuse a rebound relationship nor go into one at warp speed. Instead, you want to proceed slowly and take your time, much like you would while driving in the snow. Allow yourself to live in the moment and enjoy the journey of this new found love as it happens. That way, your final destination is sure to be warmer and sunnier.