Rebound relationships are considered an effective mechanism to forget one’s ex. But do rebounds make you miss your ex more? Yes, this happens when you get into a rebound just to forget them. Sounds ironic, but let’s unpack this.
When my friend, Rachel, broke up with Amy, she found herself crying on Ash’s shoulder. Ash was a colleague who had a crush on her. Somehow they ended up sleeping together that night. The next day, Rachel asked me, “Do rebounds help you get over an ex? They do, right? My ex seems so happy with her rebound, maybe I can pull it off too.” I tried to warn her, but she ignored me.
She wasn’t over Amy. She would post pictures with Ash hoping to make her jealous. It became difficult for her to forget Amy and pretend to love Ash. In the end, he broke up with her and she was back to where she started. With greater grief.
What Is A Rebound Relationship?
It is important to know what a rebound relationship is before we answer ‘do rebounds make you miss your ex more?’. A rebound relationship is one that is pursued to get back or rebound to the state a person was in before their breakup. So, if you are:
- Newly single after a long-term relationship
- Trying to distract from the pain of a breakup
- Trying to move on from a previous relationship
- Trying to make your ex jealous
- Starting a new relationship just to fix any of the above problems
then it’s a sign you are in a rebound relationship.
How long after a breakup is considered a rebound? The rebound period, i.e. the time one takes to recover from the breakup, is still a matter of debate. However, a study has shown that it depends greatly on the length and the intensity of the relationship, who initiated the breakup, and the support group of the individuals in the relationship. Hence, it’s highly subjective and varies from person to person.
4 Reasons People Get Into Rebound Relationships
Sometimes, people get into a rebound relationship without even realizing it. It’s not uncommon for people to get into a temporary, casual situation after a serious relationship. Preferably with someone who makes them feel secure and loved. But why choose a rebound relationship when you’re already wondering, “Do rebounds make you miss your ex more?” Here are the reasons:
1. A rebound relationship is a good source of distraction
How long after a breakup is considered a rebound? The answer is not the same for everyone. If one doesn’t have a robust support system, then they may take longer to get over a relationship as discovered in a study. Participants in this study, mostly men, who had lower levels of support system were found to engage in a ludus, which is a playful type of love. Do rebounds help you get over an ex in such cases? Not really, but a rebound does become a distraction from the negative emotions created in the aftermath of the breakup.
2. Due to emotional insecurity
Research has shown that people with an insecure attachment style are more likely to rebound. A major reason for this is the fear of being alone. This happens when one has not developed their sense of self-love and self-esteem and depends on external validation to feel worthy. These people are likely to look for another partner soon after a breakup to fill that void. In such cases, people are also likely to look for a partner with minimal chances of rejection, like a friend-zoned person. Such new partners are often meant as replacements for the old partners and hold little individual value in the relationship.
3. “My ex seems so happy with her rebound” – Revenge dating
Revenge dating is prevalent in cases where someone may have unresolved obsessive feelings about their ex. It manifests as thoughts like, “Maybe I should show my ex I’m in a better relationship than them.”
Rebound relationships are considered a great way to get revenge on your ex. Do rebounds make you miss your ex more when you’re with someone only to get a reaction out of a former partner? Yes, but it also depends a lot on one’s experience in the rebound relationship.
4. A rebound relationship is a coping mechanism
Research has shown that a rebound may help one overcome anxiety from a previous relationship or trauma. For such people, a rebound could help in the breakup recovery process, but only if you wish to look forward and heal. Unlike Damon from The Vampire Diaries.
He jumped from one meaningless relationship to another to get over Katherine and was driven into enmity with Stefan out of jealousy over her. For Damon, it becomes a coping mechanism to deal with her absence. It’s not surprising that later he falls in love with Elena who is Katherine’s doppelgänger.
Do Rebounds Make You Miss Your Ex?
Contrary to popular opinion, research indicates that rebound relationships do help people in moving on from a relationship. However, these results depend on a number of factors from a rebounder’s old and new relationships. But do they work or not? Do rebounds make you miss your ex more than you already do?
One of the studies from this research showed that rebounders use their ex to understand their new partners. This suggests that though a rebound relationship feels like love, its identity is derived from the previous relationship. This study also found an unhealthy obsession with the ex, even in cases where they claimed to have moved on completely.
Since rebound relationships move fast, people often realize at the disillusionment stage of a rebound relationship that they do not have any emotional intimacy with the new partner. At this point, their unresolved feelings from the previous relationship materialize. In short, this is when they’re hit by waves of memories of their ex.
4 Reasons Rebounds Make You Miss Your Ex More
I met Rachel and Ash for lunch with some other friends after they got together. They looked happy. But she kept ordering dairy-free food for Ash, though he wasn’t lactose-intolerant. At first, Ash ignored it. However, when another friend pointed this out to her, it got awkward. Amy and her eating habits had materialized at that table even though she wasn’t present. It was as if Rachel couldn’t forget Amy even though Ash sat right there with her. But why do rebounds make you miss your ex more?
1. A low-quality rebound will make you more your ex more
Research has suggested that longing for one’s ex is linked with how you perceive the quality of your current relationship. If your relationship has less emotional intimacy than your previous relationship, then it can reignite the desire for your ex. This research also suggested that one may also begin to ignore the unlikable traits of their ex if their current partner doesn’t match their expectations.
Related Reading: The 36 Questions That Lead To Love
2. You have an insecure attachment style
Rachel stalked Amy obsessively on social media and replicated a lot of Amy’s posts with Ash. It was as if she was having a race with Amy to appear happier in her rebound relationship. When one has an insecure attachment style in relationships, they find it difficult to accept that their ex may not want them anymore. Separation from their ex arouses feelings of anxiety and depression. In such cases, people may often jump from one relationship to another to demonstrate their attractiveness to their ex.
3. Repressed emotions from the past relationship
When you’ve not gone through the stages of detachment from a previous relationship, repressed emotions may get triggered by unexpected stimuli. This is often the case when a suggestion by a new partner triggers a memory of an ex. Do rebounds make you miss your ex more? Yes, particularly if you feel angry or betrayed post-breakup. Psychologists say negative emotions such as anger can still keep you emotionally bound to your previous relationship. This will also inhibit attachment to the new one.
4. Unrealistic expectations with the new partner will make you miss your ex
Often people get into a rebound looking for things the old relationship could not provide. This could lead to an illusion that the new relationship is perfect and may make one ignore certain red flags. However, when that illusion shatters, you realize that the rebound has problems of its own. These unrealistic expectations can also put an undue burden on your new partner. This strains the relationship and may cause one to view their old relationship as better than the new one.
3 Ways To Use Your Rebound To Get Over Your Ex
Rebound relationships have garnered an unhealthy reputation. People often wonder “Do rebound relationships ever work?” Primarily because almost everyone believes that the answer to the question, “Do rebounds make you miss your ex more?” is yes. However, research has also indicated that rebound relationships can positively impact the rebounder’s mental health and emotional security. So, here’s how you can use a rebound to your benefit:
1. A high-quality rebound will help you get over your ex
Research suggests an interdependence between the new relationship quality and feelings for an ex. You need to ensure that you get into a rewarding, high-quality relationship. This means that your new partner has to provide what the ex could not so they can gradually replace the ex in your life.
You need to ensure there is emotional intimacy so you can talk about the breakup and the reasons behind it. You should be able to accept that the previous relationship is over. You should be able to identify if your rebound has potential problems, same as the ones which caused the earlier breakup. So make sure you’re not using a rose-tinted filter when imagining a life with someone new after a breakup.
2. Establish clear communication with the new partner to heal from the past breakup
If it is true that a rebound relationship feels like love, then how do rebounds make you miss your ex more? Due to a lack of communication. It is important to communicate clearly the intent with which you’re entering a relationship. If you’re not looking for anything serious, be straightforward with them. It will save many tears later.
It is also important to fix lack of communication in a relationship if your feelings for your ex are overwhelming you. For example, an urge to check their social media, or to compare the two people mentally. Talking about it with your new partner can help you get over the grief. Do not be worried about their judgment or be embarrassed about it. Such fears only decrease the quality of the relationship.
Related Reading: 10 Ways To Be Happy Alone & Resist Feelings of Loneliness
3. Keep track of your emotions
Do not get into a rebound thinking it’s a magic drug. Rebound relationships work well when the rebounder is trying not to repress the pain but to heal it. Do not use a rebound to get back at your ex. This only creates an unhealthy obsession. Before starting a rebound relationship, consider the following:
- Will I go back to the previous relationship if there is a chance?
- Am I getting into this relationship because I want to make my ex jealous?
- Do I want this new person just so I won’t feel or look lonely?
- Will I be happy only if everyone approves of my relationship choice?
- If you’ve done this before, think about your previous rebounds and assess this: Do rebounds make you miss your ex more?
These questions will help you analyze if the rebound will help you get over your ex. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you may not be happy in the rebound. This will eventually trigger feelings for your ex.
- A rebound relationship is one that is pursued shortly after a breakup to distract from the feelings of the breakup
- Rebounds can make you miss your ex more as the relationship’s existence and validity are derived from the previous one
- Rebound relationships can help you get over your ex if the new relationship is a high-quality rebound relationship
It could be difficult to lose feelings for someone after a breakup. People are complex and so, a rebound relationship can’t always be the answer to getting over an ex. Access your support system to help you through the process. Have new experiences. Talk to your friends and family. At Bonobology, we offer an extensive panel of skilled and experienced counselors to help you through this process. Remember, only elastics rebound to their original shape after stretching. And you are not a piece of elastic.
Research tells us that 90% of rebound relationships don’t last more than three months or past the infatuation stage. However, further research has shown that rebound relationships move fast and are considered unique due to their characteristics. So, the usual hypothesis about relationships may provide inadequate results. But if you can make it work, a rebound can last long and be rewarding.
Yes, it can. If you’re aware of your emotions and can process them healthily, then rebounds can help you heal. Do rebounds make you miss your ex more? Yes, but a high-quality rebound can last longer than your previous relationship. The longevity and success of a rebound depend strongly on the emotional intimacy and the security people feel in that relationship.