What Happens in Rebound Relationships?

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A rebound relationship has long been regarded as a path toward relationship destruction. A lot of attention has been devoted to the potentially negative effects of having a new relationship before you are over the disappointment of a previous relationship. Rebound relationships do invite comparisons between the former and current relationship, but the possibility also exists that both people could use the experience of the past relationship to grow individually, and as a couple.

Emotionally Needy Partners

Psychologist Mary Lamia Ph.D. states that individuals on the rebound can be emotionally needy and clingy, as they attempt to fill the emotional and physical space the previous relationship left. It may appear as if rebounders can't get enough of their new partners and want to spend as much time with them, as possible. This may resemble the early euphoric stages of new relationships, but these actions are actually rebounders' attempts to substitute an attachment for the lost partner with the new partner.

Feelings of Resentment and Failure

Individuals on the rebound can experience anger resulting from shame, because of failure in their past relationship and their ex. If these emotions are not properly dealt, with they may spill over into the rebound relationship, resulting in high tension and conflict. In the rebounder, this may reveal itself in a short-temper, impatience or excessive irritability. This negativity is often directed toward the new partner, who may not have done anything to deserve these reactions. Eventually, this can have a negative effect on the relationship.

Insecurity in the New Relationship

Both the rebounder and the new partner may experience insecurity in the new relationship. Rebounders may experience this insecurity, as they question whether the current relationship will go the same way as the previous. New partners may feel anxious about how strong of a hold any previous failures have on their partner, and they may wonder if they can fill the void the previous relationship left.

Rebound to Heal

Stephanie Spielmann from the University of Toronto researches individuals' attachments to their former partners, and notes that the rebound relationship can be a healing platform. In identifying the mistakes and negatives of the previous relationship, individuals on the rebound can try to avoid those errors. In addition, a healthy, new relationship with an affectionate partner who cares about you can be a strong source of healing and growth, as the rebounder refocuses attention on the new partner, instead of dwelling on the past.