The Harm of Rebound Relationships

Dating feels insanely amazing, energizing, fresh and exciting, especially at the early stages. Those late-night talks, thinking about the person throughout the day, radiating your happiness and excitement to surrounding people, feeling good about yourself, and many other wonderful things which come with infatuation. But sadly, not every relationship is instantly perfect or leads to something long-lasting.

Breakup is an inevitable experience that most people go through in their lives. It is intense, it feels like hell on earth, no wonder the top reason for all suicides worldwide is a broken heart. It is indeed a loss. Especially if you are being dumped, it feels bad that someone is living out there and still deciding not to choose you.

The pain is very intense, so oftentimes people tend to go into rebound relationships. And this is completely understandable, our self-esteem is usually shattered, we feel unwanted and failed and because of this, we want to feel better. But the thing is that the roots of such relationships have weak reasons and wrong motives.

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Dean Drobot/

What Is A Rebound Relationship?

First of all, it is a tool for numbing heartache. And it usually implies that this person is not fully present in a new relationship, because his/her mind and heart are wandering somewhere else, they are not capable of providing absolute attention, love, care, and energy towards the other person, which he/she may truly deserve. A person, who has recently gone through a breakup often ruminates about the ex-partner, fantasizes about him/her, and talks about a lot with friends and family, including a new partner. In this light, the new partner is more beneficial for comfort, sex, and time to spend, he or she is of little interest as a person. But healing you is not this person’s job, it is a therapist’s job.

This other person may be in a right place mentally to have a healthy and lasting relationship and might be serious about this relationship in particular and even more, he/she might develop true feelings and so using this to plug up the hole is incredibly irresponsible and cruel.

Rebound relationships are usually forced and rushed. Dating a new person fast does not create space to process the break-up properly and draw conclusions from the mistakes of the past. Heavy emotional baggage and unresolved issues are eventually projected to the new partner and cause conflicts in that couple. When such relationships fail, it leaves the second person heartbroken and may even cause him/her to go to therapy, which instead the first person should have done in the first place. Thus, creating a chain of broken hearts.


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Motortion Films/

Why Rebound Relationships Don’t Work

We are different and unique and we have different stories, but we are all already traumatized in a way and for this reason, we shouldn’t add more trauma to our lives. Let’s stop the cycle of hurt and start being accountable for our actions. Let’s stop having consumer attitudes towards people and start caring about their feelings. Let’s choose empathy. Embrace the pain and loneliness, give yourself time to grieve and be sad, do not escape from negative emotions, and do not rush the mourning process. It is okay to be alone after a breakup. In fact, this is a delightful opportunity to change our lives for good and to do things that will be constructive and meaningful rather than destructive.

However, if you still feel like jumping into a new relationship shortly after a breakup, at least try to warn the other person that it is a rebound for you.


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Roman Samborskyi/

Love Yourself First

Now, I need to admit I hate to say that you need to love yourself first before loving someone else. I think “self-love before love” is slightly overtalked these days, it adds a stigma to our mind that you can’t have a relationship unless you fix yourself and puts additional pressure on not being good enough. Instead, I want to point out the importance of healing and at least getting over an ex. So please don’t get me wrong, I am not objecting to self-love. Self-love is beautiful, for example, it allows us to have self-respect which is crucial to create boundaries. But we are social species, we are not meant to live in isolation. Sometimes seeing how other people love you can actually show you the way you can love yourself. But this is a whole different story in an endless world of dating.


Illustration: GoodStudio/

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