If you’ve ever dealt with a breakup, maybe someone told you in disguise that all endings are beginnings. There is also the age-old advice that to get over someone the best way is to get under someone else.
In the midst of a pandemic, dating after the breakup can seem impossible. But, despite the challenges (first FaceTime dates and swipe apps galore), you might find that you have options for moving pretty quickly (and safely). Enter: the bounce relationship.
It’s not clear where the term “rebound relationship” comes from, but think of your little heart as a basketball that turns into a hoop of enduring love. You’re flying high, ready to sail through the net when you suddenly hit the edge and bounce away from your last relationship. These breaking conditions let you ripen for a rebound.
Admittedly, the basketball metaphor is rather bleak, which might explain why the rebound has such a bad reputation. But it can also be quite precise. Bouncing is part of the post-breaking process where you might bounce back a bit. You could be having more dates than usual and hitting what is starting to feel like too many virtual happy hours. You might fall in love with a new person before you deal with your past pain. So how do you know that you are responsibly “getting back to the field” rather than bouncing back in harmful ways? We asked experts for their advice.
What can go wrong with rebound relationships?
As you can imagine, the rebound is not inherently harmful. “[Rebounding] has a bad influence because a lot of people associate it with violent negative decisions, and it can be, but it isn’t always the case,” said Emily Jamea, Ph.D., LMFT. “When people are on the rebound, they can look for ways to feel good again about themselves. This can mean accepting more dates than one normally would. It may mean being a little more violent, but it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing, ”she says, adding that it can be an opportunity to restore parts of yourself that you might have lost during your trip. your last relationship.
But, just like situations, there is room for misinterpretation and heartache. Why? When you get out of a relationship or even a situation, you could have a hard time. Your last romantic entanglement may have involved a lot of time, care, and attention. You might even feel things like anger, shame, or grief.
So the new person, who’s probably adorable (hopefully), isn’t the inherent problem (and neither are you, BTW). The problem is, under the gloss of a exciting and new relationship, your old, unprocessed feelings might linger. It could be a bad thing for your own emotional health, but it could even be unfair to those you bounce with if they think you’re all-in.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with finding distractions and healthy ways to keep your spirits up after the breakup. So if you’re going on a bunch of Zoom dates and happy hours and you’re feeling really good and hopeful, more power for you. However, if you ignore the lingering feelings you have after the breakup, things can get a little more complicated, especially if you are focusing on a new relationship.
Okay, but how to know if you’re rebounding?
Sometimes, soon after ending a relationship, you fall hard for a new person. As you read this, you might be thinking about that couple you know who fell in love immediately after breaking up with other people and who lived happily ever after. That’s why, when you’re in the throes of something new and exciting, it can be hard to tell if you are bouncing in a way that distorts your perception or if you’re just lucky. Still, there are some signs.
Another red flag? Any interactions that seem unhealthy or self-destructive (like fighting, possessiveness, or any abusive behavior) are signs that you might bounce back into a prejudicial situation. Dr Jamea also says that the way you talk and feel about your ex is a good indicator of whether you are too on the things that you suspect you are. It’s normal to have pain and residual anger during a breakup, but “if you feel more uncommitted about it, exploring other relationships is less likely to have negative consequences,” says -it.
How to know when it’s time to end a rebound?
As long as you aren’t in a dangerous or unhealthy situation, you don’t have to break up with the person you love. Nonetheless, you need to “assess whether or not you are doing it with the right intentions,” says Dr Jamea. Check with yourself how you feel about the past, how you think about your future, and ultimately how you feel about yourself. (Pro tip: If you focus on your ex’s jealousy if he saw you, you might be in a less-than-healthy rebound situation.) This may involve talking to friends for support, writing a journal about your feelings, or just think about what you want out of the situation.
If your intentions are pure, but you’re moving faster than usual, recognize that feelings from the past may be a factor. Once you admit that you are not as far removed from the past as you had hoped, you can moderate your expectations or adjust the pace of your relationship as needed, says Dr.Jamea.
It might also be a good idea to talk to your new partner about all of this. “Be honest and open in telling that you ended another relationship or you usually don’t start dating that quickly,” says Dr. Jamea, adding that you can mention that you would like to continue dating this new person. You don’t have to give too many details about your last relationship, says Dr. Jamea. In fact, if you’re in the mood for a long tirade about your ex, it could be another sign that you’re not as emotionally available as you think. However, calmly explaining your situation is a healthy way to foster togetherness with someone new.
In the end, bouncing back isn’t inherently terrible. But bringing another person into your life in the midst of a pandemic is a big decision, so you want to respect your new partner as much as possible. Transparency and thoughtfulness don’t just benefit you. It shows your new partner that you value their independence. If you speak openly about where you are, “they are able to make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to continue with you,” says Dr. Jamea.