Complicated relationship

Everything You Need to Know About the Stages of a Rebound Relationship

Written by Lauren Dover

Rebound relationships aren’t a myth and they are formed out of regret and great sadness. They follow a breakup where you weren’t ready for the relationship to end and that throws your mind into a confused state. As much as you can get through that over time, it isn’t easy and that’s why many people end up in rebound relationships. It will be unfair to the other party though if they are not after the short-lived fun fling you want to get your mind off your ex-boyfriend. There are various stages of a rebound relationship but you also have to observe the no contact rule so that you don’t push your ex into the arms of a rebounder. If you find yourself on the receiving end of a rebound relationship you weren’t aware of it will hurt. Learning to pick out the signs of this kind of relationship can help you avoid taking the bait.

Stages of a rebound relationship

Everything You Need to Know About the Stages of a Rebound Relationship

There are various stages of a rebound relationship but you also have to observe the no contact rule so that you don’t push your ex into the arms of a rebounder.

1. Relief through easy romance

This is the first stage of a rebound relationship. The dumper is looking for an emotional or physical relationship but they are not ready for a relationship yet. This is mainly because the dumper is afraid of emotional pain. The person they pick for a rebound relationship is simply there to numb their pain after the breakup. However, this is the stage of a rebound relationship where it can evolve and change completely especially if they start believing they are indeed in love. It is referred to as Limerence and it isn’t the same as true love. The temptation is for a connection without a relationship but prolonging it increases the chances that it will proceed to the next stages of a rebound relationship.

2. Desire to prove

Your ex, especially if he was the dumper in the breakup will be aware of rebound relationship concepts and be sensitive to the things said about them. It is said that they are temporary and there to serve the purpose of getting over a breakup or wanting to be in a relationship. Your ex or the dumper might be eager to show everyone that what he has with the new partner isn’t just temporary. That’s why most rebound relationships last for a while. Your ex will be making a lot of effort to show how happy he is in the new relationship especially when around friends and family.

3. Nostalgia and comparisons

This is another of the stages of a rebound relationship. The dumper will get tired of having to prove that the relationship is indeed based on love and open his eyes to the reality of the new partner. This is the point where he’ll recall the good things the two of you had. The more he misses what you had the more he discovers the mannerisms and personality traits of the new person that don’t appeal to him.

4. Regret and disappointment

This comes fourth in the stages of a rebound relationship. It will be the most difficult for the dumper. He realizes the new relationship was more about projection and imagination and not necessarily reality and tangibility. This is the stage where your ex misses you terribly despite him being the dumper. He’ll start losing interest in the rebound relationship and he may even reach out. However, this will not be the best thing for the new person because they’ll react by becoming needy and clingy.

5. Re-connection and abandonment

Your ex ends the rebound relationship and reconnects with you. However, it is possible that he goes back to the second phase of the stages of a rebound relationship to prove the relationship was indeed real. Nevertheless, this will be shortlived and he’ll come back to you eventually. Thus, don’t curse him out for being the dumper if you are still in love. Analyzing how the dumper or dumpee was hurt isn’t the main agenda but rather seeing whether you can get past the broken trust and be together again

Rebound Relationship Signs

Everything You Need to Know About the Stages of a Rebound Relationship

1. It begins immediately or a few weeks after a breakup

After a breakup, it is important to take some time to breathe and get a hold of your life. It also gives you time to define the direction you want to take as far as romance goes. Jumping into a new relationship immediately will interfere with that. The breathing space also allows you to analyze what went wrong with the previous relationship so that those mistakes are not repeated with the new relationship.

Many people who get into rebound relationships do so with the hope that a new partner will help them forget their ex-boyfriend and the hurt he caused them. As soon as the new relationship runs its course they will be on to the next one. However, what you may not realize is that the rebounding will only numb your wounds and not heal them. The sooner you face the pain the sooner you can heal and stop rebounding.

2. Compromising in the hope you’ll be loved back

A lot of rebounders will seek to rekindle an old relationship too. Thus, if someone you haven’t talked to in a long time makes contact out of the blue you need to put your guard up. This usually happens through social media most of the time. They may make a scene, cry, repent about things that weren’t their fault and even surrender. Seeking out an old relationship they had moved on from doesn’t mean they have developed feelings. It is all a plow to avoid being alone. In addition, they’ll come out as clingy and needy. Love doesn’t overcome all and there are a lot of things needed for a healthy relationship.

A rebounder who compromises for love should be avoided because that won’t be about reconciliation but rather taking cover after a heartbreak. On-off-on relationships are toxic rebounds and if you want the real deal you need to stay away from such exes.

3. Getting in a new relationship to make the ex jealous

People gauge whether their ex has moved on based on how fast they get into a new relationship. Even society labels the one who takes long before dating again the loser. However, you don’t want to be the one who is being used to make an ex jealous. This is one of the rebound relationship signs. You can tell someone isn’t over their ex if they keep bringing them up in conversation. If they can’t complete a single sentence without talking about, “My ex used to…” you need to let them go. Also, if they are posting on their social media more than usual you ought to be wary.

On the same note, rebounders tend to shower the current partner with too much fake attention, especially if it is in a scenario where the ex would notice. In a serious relationship, either party will give their significant other attention whether someone is watching or not. It is better to be alone than be the new guy the rebounder has landed on. It will end in tears after listening to too many stories about “my ex”

4. Getting into a casual relationship

For men, rebounding is about short-lived dating encounters. Within a short time frame, the rebounder will be seen with a series of women or men but in the real sense, they are really sad. You’ll feel like romantic relationships always end badly. When the heartbreak left you shattered this will be one of the consequences.

A casual company or a new guy will take your mind off the last relationship. Even if you date the new guy you are likely to have a no-strings-attached rule. Rebounders get into a new relationship to avoid the feelings of pain, regret, shame and hurt brought about by their last relationship.

Nonetheless, if you are unable to get past your previous relationship and you still want your ex back you will have a complicated romantic future. If you are afraid of a committed relationship after a serious relationship ended you are definitely on the rebound route.

5. Appearances take precedence over emotional intimacy

Rebound romantic relationships are formed just for the sake of having someone to have sex with. It will be more convenient to have a consistent rebound partner to sleep with as opposed to getting a one night stand every day. You’ll have no emotional connection with the person at all and once the honeymoon stage is over you are likely to move on to another rebound partner. If your current relationship is all about sex with no hope for future romance or compatibility then you are on the rebound route.

Don’t get this confused though, two people can decide to have just a sexual relationship and it’s okay if they have agreed on that. The problem with rebounders is that they never disclose this information beforehand and the other person will be left with a broken heart if they were hoping for something more.

How long do rebound relationships last?

Everything You Need to Know About the Stages of a Rebound Relationship

The thing about the ending of relationships, whether the ending was mutually agreed upon or you were dumped is that you’ll feel the sense of loss. It is normal to grieve for the loss of the connection and the partner. This loss and pain bring up a lot of emotions and if you don’t have proper coping mechanisms you can get sucked into a black hole of emotions. Rebound relationships are quite common at that point. However, understanding rebound relationships will help you process. In addition, even for rebounders, it is important to have an idea of how long do rebound relationships last.

James Almond, a relationship expert says rebound relationships can last up to a year. However, this is highly dependent on the state of the rebounder. If he/she feels ready to process the loss and be on his/her own again then the relationship will end. Nonetheless, it all depended on the person. One of the main issues with rebound relationships is that rebounders get right into them, especially if they are not the dumper. It is in an effort to run away from the pain, loneliness and broken heart that follows after the end of the relationship.

When you have been used to having someone around all the time your body will undergo withdrawal symptoms if you no longer have that. The dumper will already have prepared for the end of the relationship which is why he/she will not have it as rough as the dumpee. The dumpee will go to any lengths to numb the pain and heartache and that is why a rebound relationship will seem like a good idea at this point. However, it ends up being disastrous when not checked.

A rebound relationship can also be a good thing though. You are only to numb your pain for a few weeks or months until your head is straight and you are allowed to process the ending of the past relationship. Knowing how long do rebound relationships lasts allows you to check yourself when you feel the time frame has been too long or too short. A relationship expert would be helpful in such a case. You don’t have to carry the heartache alone when you have family members willing to help.

There is a possibility that a rebound relationship can turn into a serious one. However, the rebounder will always question the future of the relationship. Given that a rebound relationship time frame can go all the way up to a year, it will give the rebounder enough time to figure out whether they are in love with the other party or not. Nonetheless, if it goes on for that long the rebounder can end up with the exact opposite outcome he/she was hoping for. He/she have to deal with the ending of the past relationship as well as the rebound one.

It will be devastating having wasted all that time on something that was never serious. This can trigger another rebound relationship and it will end up being a vicious cycle dragging innocent parties in. Therefore, don’t think that rebounding isn’t a big deal because it can have far more devastating effects for the dumper and the dumpee as well. The good thing is that these outcomes can be avoided by being aware of your emotions and seeking professional help. It might seem like the sun will never rise again after a devastating breakup but this isn’t true. Start by getting “my ex” out of your conversations and lean unto your family members for emotional support and any other kind of support you may require.

What if the rebound relationship doesn’t work?

Everything You Need to Know About the Stages of a Rebound Relationship

A rebound relationship may not help you get over the breakup and you may still find yourself talking about “my ex” to anyone who cares to listen after the rebound ends. If you still want your ex back you can reach out and let them know. However, just because you want your ex back doesn’t mean they will agree to that. The confession can have the exact opposite outcome. In such a case, confide in someone close to you rather than getting looped into another rebound relationship. Getting a no isn’t a big deal but rather how you handle it.

Why do rebound relationships fail?

Everything You Need to Know About the Stages of a Rebound Relationship

No one enjoys listening to rebounders recount how “My ex was the best. I gave my ex the best and he still left me.” There are a lot of reasons that contribute to that though. After a heartbreak, your mind and heart won’t be in the best place to get involved with someone else whether you were the dumper or dumpee. After the honeymoon stage of the rebound relationship, you’ll get bored and move on to the next exciting. It doesn’t mean that it will last either. Thus, it is better to wait and get back to dating when you are ready. It is better to experience the real deal instead of struggling with rebounds. Some of the common reasons why rebounds relationships fail are:

1. High risk for heartbreak

There are different phases of a rebound relationship but you can still get your heart broken no matter the phase you are in. Whether you are the dumper or the rebounder, your heart will not be spared. However, most rebounders are men because they rarely talk to their friends about their problems. Women, on the other hand, will reach out to their female friends for support after a break up instead of running to the arms of a new partner when they are not ready for a long-term relationship.

2. Anger is the driving force for many rebounds

Many people are bitter with their ex and those negative feelings drive them to another relationship. The rebounder will still abhor hope that he/she can still get back with the ex. If you were no longer in love with your ex you’ll not be so angry. Once you start noticing signs of a rebound relationship it is better to get out early. There is a slim chance that the person will indeed fall in love with you which is why you need to leave before your heartbroken.

3. Rebound relationships are a distraction from the pain of the last relationship

Another reason why rebound relationships fail is that they are used as a distraction from the pain and hurt of the previous one. It is wrong to lead someone on when you know you don’t want a long-term relationship but only a distraction. Getting involved with a new partner means you won’t be focused on grieving and healing the pain from the previous relationship hence delaying the time taken to move on. A new partner cannot fix you. The pain will still be there after the honeymoon stage of the new relationship and that is why rebound relationships fail.

4. A vulnerable heart cannot love

No matter how strong you are, whether you are dumped or you are the dumper, a broken heart will leave you vulnerable. It is also an emotion and not a physical wound you can use medication and heal in a few days or weeks. You’ll have to sit with your broken heart and feel the pain in order to heal and move on. If someone is really interested in you after you have suffered a broken heart you should be careful because it is one of the signs of a rebound relationship. Men prey on vulnerable women and once you let them in they will take advantage of your vulnerability. You’ll be thinking you have found the one only to end up at a worse place than you were before. Thus, establish no contact with preying men or your ex and work on healing your heart.

5. A rebound relationship is unfair

No one deserves to go through a rebound relationship, especially unknowingly and that is also another reason why rebound relationships fail. It is unfair to the dumper and even the dumpee. Anyone who is looking for a long-term relationship should leave when they start noticing rebound relationship signs.

There are several stages of a rebound relationship and you are likely to recognize at least one. The honeymoon stage is only one of the phases of a rebound relationship and it will have you fooled until you are dropped. It is better to make no contact with these people who are out to break your heart. Keep your calm until your heart is healed. Thus, once you start noticing rebound relationship signs you should simply walk away.

6. Illusions cannot last

During the honeymoon phase of a rebound relationship, it will seem like you have found your relationship heaven but it is only an illusion and you shouldn’t fall for that. This is the first of the stages of a rebound relationship and getting out at this phase can save you a lot of frustration and pain. The more euphoric it makes you feel the harder you’ll fall when your house of cards comes tumbling down. You may end up hating love all because you fell for the honeymoon phase and you were left high and dry when it ended. You need to take things slow and process the heartbreak so that you are ready when you get into another relationship. If it seems too good to be true there is a high probability that it actually is.


People are rarely acting right when they are hurt. They’ll be doing whatever feels good to numb the pain and not necessarily what is right. You don’t want to be sucked into the life of someone who is acting on impulse. Thus, quit while you are in the honeymoon phase should you find yourself in a rebound relationship because the other phases of a rebound relationship will leave you in more pain.

Everything You Need to Know About the Stages of a Rebound Relationship