Everything changes after narcissistic abuse. The person who existed before your encounter with a narcissist is no longer there, and honestly, you probably feel that you’ll never return to your old self.
As you finally break free from the shackles of a narcissist, you realize that you have no idea how to live life on your own. You’re so used to having someone by your side, even though that person was never good for you. But sometimes, we all feel it’s better to be with anyone than to feel alone.
Even though you’ve saved yourself and escaped from an abuser, you don’t know what step to take next. Being on your own doesn’t seem like a good idea, so you start looking for a distraction. You need someone who’s going to help you heal and move on, but at the same time, you’re not looking for anything serious.
In that case, a rebound relationship might sound like a perfect plan. You assume that you’ll have enough time to fight your own demons, but at the same time, you won’t be completely alone. Whenever you need company, you’re going to reach out to your rebound partner, and it will all work out great in the end.
But are things really this simple? Is it actually a good idea to get into a rebound relationship right after narcissistic abuse?
What are the risks of rebound relationships after narcissistic abuse?
Rebound relationships may seem like a great way to get yourself back on track after a heartbreak. But when you’ve been involved with a narcissist for too long, it’s not that easy to move into another relationship, even though it’s nothing serious.
There are some risks you should be aware of before you decide to look for a rebound partner. Here’s what you should keep in mind.
1. You’re mentally exhausted
You could be over the moon because you’ve finally freed yourself from a narcissist. But what you don’t realize is that you’re also mentally exhausted.
After everything you’ve been through, you’re not emotionally ready to get involved with someone. Even though you’re doing your best to keep your smile on, deep down, you don’t feel like yourself.
This is completely normal after narcissistic abuse. After all the games he played with you, your narcissistic partner changed you, and honestly, you’ll never go back to your old self.
Right now, all you need is some time for everything to settle down and for you to realize that you’re finally safe. But if you walk into a rebound relationship right away, you’ll only prolong your healing time.
2. You’re vulnerable
A relationship with a narcissist feels like a battle. Your feelings are all over the place, and you no longer can tell what a person wants from you. You don’t trust people anymore and you’re always worried that they’re going to hurt you.
At this stage of your life, you’ll be at your most vulnerable. You’ll cry over simple things and at times, you may feel like you’re going crazy.
But what you don’t realize is that the main reason why you’re feeling that way is because of everything you’ve been through. You’re not actually crying because the waiter didn’t get your order right. Instead, you’re devastated that someone had so much control over you and that you now can’t function on your own because of them.
You can only imagine the risks that come with entering a rebound relationship at this point. There’s emotional havoc going on inside of you, and getting involved with someone right after narcissistic abuse won’t help you.
3. Your previous relationship made you anxious (or depressed)
Once they get out of a relationship with a narcissist, most people develop anxiety and depression. This doesn’t come as a surprise after everything your manipulative partner put you through.
If you feel that you’re always on alert about something or that you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning, chances are that you’ve developed anxiety or depression. Your previous relationship took a toll on your mental health, and you no longer feel capable of doing even the simplest tasks.
At this point, getting into a rebound relationship would only increase the risks of worsening your condition. What you need right now is a good support system and potentially even therapy.
You need someone to listen to everything you’ve been through and help you cope with your emotions in the best possible way. And that’s not what you’re going to get with a rebound partner.
4. You can’t differentiate between good and bad
Right now, you can no longer tell the difference between good and bad. Your view of life is so distorted that you sometimes feel like you’re learning everything from scratch.
You’re so used to having your partner tell you what should and shouldn’t be done that now that you’re single, you can’t do anything on your own. You don’t know whom to trust and whom to avoid. You have no idea what’s good for you and what’s bad for you.
Your narcissistic partner had so much control over you that you don’t feel like you can function on your own. Now, imagine what’s going to happen if you get into a rebound relationship right away.
Your rebound buddy can easily use your vulnerable state against you, becoming toxic and manipulative. And the worst part is that you won’t be able to tell that because of your previous experience.
5. You may end up with a narcissist once again
Since you can’t tell the difference between good and bad, there’s a high chance that you’re going to end up with a narcissist once again. Even though that’s not part of your plan, it will be hard to see the truth for what it actually is.
You’ve already been involved with a toxic person who manipulated you into thinking that love is supposed to look like that. What makes you think it won’t happen a second time? How can you be sure that you’re going to stay away from narcissists this time?
Usually, a person who’s been cheated on in the past ends up with a cheater again. Those who’ve been in abusive relationships end up with abusers. We as humans often return to patterns that feel familiar. That’s why it’s so hard to escape from a relationship that’s not good for you since it’s the only kind of love you’ve ever known.
Even though you’re not looking to start a rebound relationship with a narcissist, there’s still a chance that you’re going to end up with one. Why? Because you’re conditioned to think it doesn’t get any better than that.
Now, you can only imagine the consequences of ending up with the same kind of person who broke you not so long ago. It will be devastating and can only deepen your suffering.
6. You’ll have trouble setting boundaries
After experiencing narcissistic abuse, you no longer know what boundaries are. The concept of protecting yourself and walking away from a relationship when it no longer feels safe or comfortable is foreign to you. And that happens because your partner convinced you that everything was the way it was supposed to be.
When you’re so used to ignoring that tiny voice inside, you also end up ignoring the need for boundaries. You let others treat you however they want because you don’t know how to react. You don’t know what to do to protect yourself.
All in all, you’re at a serious risk if you get into a rebound relationship right after narcissistic abuse. Even though you wish to heal and get yourself back on track, you’ll only make things harder for yourself.
So, instead of rushing into a new relationship, take some time and process everything you’ve been through. A rebound might feel like a fling and nothing more than that, but it can still tear you down when you’re emotionally not ready for it.