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What Does It Mean to Be on the Rebound?

by Stacey Elkins

The end of a relationship can be devastating, heart wrenching and emotionally draining. No one wants to face the pain of a breakup, so some people immediately get involved in another relationship to help ease the pain. Subconsciously, a rebound relationship is a way of trying to avoid all of the negative emotions associated with the relationship that failed, says Nathan Feiles, a psychotherapist and author of "Are Rebound Relationships Doomed?" on the website, PsychCentral. It's important to be aware of the possibility of rebounding after the breakup of a relationship and the possible repercussions.

Emotional Vulnerability

Following a breakup, you are emotionally vulnerable, as you grieve the loss of your previous relationship. As a person looks for internal stability and feels he can't generate it, he may turn to an unhealthy new relationship that buries the grieving process of the past relationship, says Feiles in the article, "How to Get Over a Breakup" on PsychCentral. The excitement of a new relationship seems to distract you from your loss and dealing with your hurt emotions. Unfortunately, the unresolved emotions often pop back up, creating an environment that is even more emotionally confusing and problematic, says Feiles.

Poor Decision Making

It is often thought that the person on the rebound lacks the ability to make a good decision regarding a new partner, because feelings about her past partner affects her decision making, says Mary C. Lamia, a clinical psychologist and author of "Rebound Relationships" on Psychology Today. You may simply choose the first person who shows affection or who makes you feel good about yourself. Rather than have genuine feelings for your new partner, he could simply be a replacement for your ex-partner. You could also fear being alone and may latch onto someone new to keep yourself from feeling lonely.

Lack of Self-Exploration

Jumping from one relationship to the next doesn't allow you to process the end of your last relationship. If one doesn't take time to realize where his last relationship went wrong and learn from it, the chance of having the same problems with your next partner is high, says Feiles. For example, if you don't take time to reflect on your last relationship and realize it failed due to lack of communication, your next relationship is likely to fail for the same reason.

Give Yourself Time

To avoid a rebound relationship, it is important that you give yourself time to heal before jumping back into the dating world. Give yourself time to grieve, then let go of the hurt from the breakup and move forward with your life, suggests TwoOfUs.org in "Am I Ready to Date Again? After the Breakup." Take dating slow and don't rush into another relationship. When you find a potential partner, make sure you want to be with him because you are truly interested in him, not because you are feeling lonely and hurt.

About the Author

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.

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