Soon after a breakup, a dumper or a dumpee may decide to look for a new partner. They engage in a relationship that’s formed simply out of grief and great sadness. But what are the stages of a rebound relationship such as this one? And can this connection turn out to be true love?
The thing about ending a relationship, whether the breakup was mutually agreed upon or you were dumped is that you feel a sense of loss. This loss and pain bring up a lot of emotions and if you don’t have a proper coping mechanism you can get sucked into a black hole of emotions.
Rebound relationships are quite common at that point. They’re an effort to run away from all of the pain and loneliness you feel after a breakup.
It doesn’t really matter if you’re a dumper or a dumpee, you may look for a distraction that comes in the shape of a new relationship. That way, you’ll heal your broken heart easily, right?
Well, it’s not always the case since rebound relationships usually prolong the healing process. Yes, sometimes they work and in the end, you realize that your new partner is actually the one you’ve been looking for your whole life. But in 90% of the cases, you end up going your separate ways.
So, what are the stages of a rebound relationship? What’s something you’re going to experience on your attempted journey of getting over your ex?
5 usual stages of a rebound relationship
Healing after a breakup isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It demands your commitment to the process and patience. But some people simply don’t have the energy to do it so they look for a shortcut.
That’s where rebound relationships come into play. Most men and women nowadays believe that the best way to get over your recent breakup is to simply walk your way into a fresh new relationship.
For some of them, this method actually works. But honestly, the number isn’t high.
In reality, rebound relationships only make it harder to move on as they prevent you from having enough time to heal. That’s why these relationships usually have 5 stages. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dumper or a dumpee, the chances are that you’re going to experience similar feelings.
1. “I’m going to start dating again.”
This is a pre-rebound stage where you haven’t yet started your rebound relationship but you’re actively looking for a new partner.
At this moment, you just broke up and don’t know what to do with your life. You lost a person who meant a lot to you and honestly, you feel kind of lost.
You were so used to always having someone around that you don’t know how to behave now that you’re all alone. So, you start thinking about dating again as you assume that’s the best way to forget about your ex.
You’re probably actively going on dates, looking for a potential partner who seems like a good replacement for your ex. You’re trying to compensate and continue things right where they had ended (even though, deep down, you know that’s not possible).
But beggars can’t be choosers so you settle for the first okayish person that comes your way and sooner or later, you start a relationship with them. At this point, you truly want to think that your new partner will make everything better.
2. “I feel amazing right now!”
The second stage is the honeymoon stage and honestly, you have nothing to complain about. Your new relationship feels great and you enjoy every second of it. You feel alive again as if you have found another purpose in life.
At this point, you’re probably spending most of your days with your new partner. PDA is on the max level and you can’t stop kissing each other.
Even though we’re talking about a rebound relationship, the honeymoon stage is similar to every other long-term relationship. You truly believe that you have found the one and that nothing can destroy your romance.
Unfortunately, this stage doesn’t last forever. Sooner or later, you’ll have to face reality and be honest with yourself. Once you finally realize that your new partner isn’t as perfect as you’ve imagined, things will start to change.
3. “What am I doing?”
Fast forward a couple of months and you experience a real face slap. This is a stage in your rebound relationship where you’ll finally start to see things as they really are.
You’ll find out that your partner has some flaws and the time will come for you to figure out if that’s something you can live with. Are you able to tolerate this person exactly as they are, and not just their good sides?
This is usually a moment when most couples start fighting and having arguments. Up to this point, you led a dream life but now you realize that the time has come for you to take off your pink-colored glasses.
This stage can last a while since you’ll be torn between your own thoughts. You’ll finally start to realize that you’ve been faking perfection this whole time and that now, you have to deal with the consequences.
Even if you’d been pretending that your new partner was only showing you green flags, you’ll now realize that’s not the case. You may even spot a few warning signs that could potentially signify the end is near.
All in all, you’ll be in conflict with yourself, trying to figure out what to do next. Is it worth staying with this person or should you break up before it’s too late? This is a decision you’ll have to make on your own and I believe it’s going to be a hard one.
4. “Was my ex better than my new partner?”
Whenever you start questioning your own decision, it’s simple to guess what will come next. It’s a comparison stage where you’ll all of a sudden start comparing your new partner with your ex.
Who’s a better person? Who seems like a better partner? Who makes you feel more special in a relationship?
Your mind will truly create a battle between these two and you’ll start overthinking every second of their behavior.
What’s something that your current partner does better than your ex? Is there something that makes you realize how similar they are? And can you tolerate the fact that one of them has a better plan for the future than the other?
You’ll be faced with many different questions, but the worst part of it is that all this thinking about your ex may make you crave him back. You’ll spend too much time reminiscing about your relationship that you’ll think of getting back together.
That’s when you’ll realize that you never actually healed after your ex and that you simply rushed your way into another relationship. You assumed that a new partner could help you get over the heartbreak but the reality is way more different than that.
5. “I think I know what’s going on.”
In the end, you’ll finally realize that you’ve probably made a mistake. This new relationship was nothing more than an attempt to rush your healing process and pretend like you were okay. But once all of your emotions settle down, you’ll figure out that you’re not over your ex, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself.
If you’re lucky, you may realize that this new relationship brought you something positive and that your current partner is actually the one. But honestly, this happens so rarely since rebound relationships often end in a breakup and they don’t turn into something more serious.
So, what you’ll figure out in the final stage of a rebound relationship is where you want to go from there. Has the time come for you to break up and accept that this relationship was just a way of fooling yourself? Or have you truly fallen in love with your new partner and can you imagine your future together?
Whatever you choose, just make sure you stay honest with yourself this time. Don’t do anything you’re going to regret in a year’s time since you can’t trick yourself. You can pretend for a while, but at one point, you won’t be able to act like you’re okay when that’s clearly not the case.
Another important thing you should keep in mind is that relationships that come out of anger and a need for revenge usually don’t have a happy ending. You can fake your happiness to the outside world but deep down, you’re going to feel miserable and lost.
Please don’t sabotage yourself and ruin your own bliss just because you’re trying to prove a point. Your ex may feel jealous at first, but sooner or later, we all move on with our lives and leave the past in the past.
So, do you want to ruin your own life just because you want to see someone else suffering? I truly believe it’s not worth it and if you think about it for a second, you’re probably going to agree with me.
Give yourself some time and process your emotions. Don’t think that you can rush your way to healing just because you assume that your ex has already moved on. Choose your own pace and let your heart heal after everything it’s been through.