Can a Rebound Relationship Work?

Signs of a rebound relationship

Take a minute to google the term “rebound relationship” and you will likely get hit with a barrage of results that tell you how to spot a rebound relationship and why you should be careful about getting into one. In fact, online therapy website ReGain provides a number of signs of a rebound relationship you can watch out for.

And with good reason. While there are no official statistics to indicate the percentage of rebound relationships that eventually fail, mental health counselors have long warned clients about the potential emotional dangers of getting into one. 

But is it possible for a rebound relationship to work out in the long run? The answer may surprise you. Before we go much further though, let’s define what a rebound relationship actually is.

What is a Rebound Relationship?

A rebound relationship is a relationship that is initiated shortly after a romantic breakup—before the feelings about the former relationship have been resolved. While there are no strict rules as to how long you should wait after a breakup, many counselors agree that getting into a new relationship too soon may increase the chances of relationship issues with your new partner. The general belief is that rebound relationships are not legitimate relationships, as one partner may be using the other as a stepping stone to someone better. Added to this is the fact that there are real physical, sexual, and emotional risks associated with getting too close to someone too soon.

Can a Rebound Relationship Be Beneficial?

As strange as it may sound, rebound relationships do work out well on occasion. A 2014 study conducted by Brumbaugh and Fraley found that rebound relationships can be healthy. Their study indicated that people who went into a new relationship soon after a breakup had increased self-esteem, a greater sense of well-being, and more respect for their new partner. Overall, emotionally stable individuals who experienced a breakup tended to spend less time as single people before they entered a new relationship.

While it is true that some people may use a rebound relationship simply to get revenge on their ex or satisfy their sexual needs, other people may recover faster from the distress of a breakup by participating in something new. So how can you tell if a rebound relationship will work? Here are five predictors of future success:

  1. You are willing to speak with your new partner about your recent breakup and discuss the real reasons behind it.
  2. You can be your true self in your new relationship
  3. You accept that the previous relationship is over and you do not sink into long term grief over what you lost
  4. You do not constantly compare your new partner to your ex
  5. You are willing to introduce your new partner to your close friends and family
  6. You and your ex separated on good terms
  7. You are the person who brought your previous relationship to an end

Brumbaugh and Fraley’s findings suggest that getting into a new relationship may be a healthy way to manage the trauma of a recent breakup. Rather than taking the time to lick your wounds and wallow in pity, perhaps you’re better off getting right back in the saddle.

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay