We’ve all been there: You emerge from an apocalyptic breakup, when suddenly, a mere four days into singledom, you randomly meet your soulmate or the hurt of previous break up makes you crave those things you miss. You met someone, he says he likes you, you alive again, while blacked out and stumbling home, and he calls you “shorty”, you just connect on a really profound level, all of a sudden You’re in love again, LOL! And you’re so over your ex, you probably wouldn’t even recognize him if you ran into him.
Back to reality: Of course you’re not in love—you’re an emotional maniac. In fact, you’re on a rebound. After a big breakup, the idea of going cold turkey into going solo is low-key terrifying. Without someone to do nothing with, the days are suddenly so creepily long.
The ending of a close romantic relationship is difficult for all involved. There’s no one “best” way to cope with a breakup, and much depends on timing, but one likely outcome is that people look for rebound relationships. When those involve sex, especially casual hookups, the impact actually may be to magnify the extent of the loss.
After the trauma of a breakup, should we beat ourselves up for being desperate, drunk, and delusional? Or are rebounds a natural even healthy part of the relationship life cycle?
Rebounds refer to an undefined period following the breakup of a romantic relationship with the desire to ease the pain of losing one’s partner through sex or emotions. When a serious relationship ends badly, these partners suffer from complex emotional stresses of detachment. This in combination with the need to move forward leads previous partners to have uncommitted relations called rebounds. If a rebound were to occur, it will happen on average about six weeks after a break up.
However, the nature of a relationship, and the way it ended, play important roles in determining who becomes involved in a rebound romance. In the first place, the partners left behind were initially angrier and more distressed, using rebound sex as a coping strategy. Levels of commitment to the relationship while it was in existence also served as predictors of rebound sex involvement.
Those with higher commitment to their ex were less likely to have rebound sex, at least immediately after the breakup. However, when they did have rebound sex, they were more likely to admit that they used it to help cope with their loss.
Those with lower commitment to the relationship got involved in rebound sex more readily, but for them the sex was not a way to help them cope.
There are two types of rebounds. The classic rebound, where you leave a breakup, immediately start dating someone new and get way too serious way too fast because you can’t cope being alone. The funny thing about a classic rebound is that, often, everyone can see that you’re rebounding except you
Type two is the “rampage rebound,” which is when you basically run as far as you can in the opposite direction of “serious” and just have sex with anything nearby and remotely sentient.
A rebound immediately follows either a debilitating heartbreak or a relationship that felt mind-numbingly stagnant, after either of which, to suddenly have even a low level attraction to someone can feel transcendent when compared to the hell you just crawled out of. “I hadn’t been in love with my ex in a while, so it was thrilling to feel any connection with someone. Like, I was obsessed with him, and yet I didn’t take the time to get to know him, or to decide for myself if I even liked him.” “Ugh, I can’t believe I dated him—he’s so boring!” on few occasions, the reasons for rebounds are always valid if the previous relationship was a complete waste of time.
Not everyone leaves a relationship and quickly lies to themselves about finding “the one”, for some people, it takes a village. The technical term for this is “fucking through your feelings.” Maria is a 37-year-old jewelry designer who recently ended a 15-year relationship “I hadn’t had good sex in so long, so my thing was like—I want to get out there and fuck. I just wanted to feel sexy again. But then it went a little rogue. The rampage commenced when, just days after her breakup, Maria got a flirty Facebook message from a guy she dated in her 20s, who’s now married. “At first I was like, ‘No, I’m not going to bone a married dude,’ ” she said. “But then he told that me he hadn’t had sex in a year, and I was like, ‘Okay, I have to do my part for mankind.’
Often, a rebound is about proving to ourselves that we’re not ugly and boring—that we’re still fun, and that people still want to have sex with us. But in the process of reminding ourselves of all of this, sometimes we end up overcompensating. Of course, during a rebound period, you’re ending up in bed with people who, under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t even register as human when scanning a dance floor.
How likely it is that someone will go back to an ex after a rebound?
The answer to this question is a bit more complicated. People usually break up for a reason, and so the chances of getting back together with an ex depend on whether the issues that led to the breakup have been resolved.
Those that break up and get back together multiple times indicates that some of the most common reasons for getting back together with an ex include things like improved communication (e.g., getting along better, working through issues together), or improvements with the self or partner (e.g., being more understanding or supportive, working on flaws that bothered the partner).
So, instead of moving on too quickly, here are the things you should do after a breakup:
- Reflect on your failed relationship once you’ve determined the problem, fix it. Work on what you did, so that the next time, you won’t repeat the same mistakes. You will be able to avoid these problems. You can learn a lot from looking back on your past relationships. You can find something to fix every time. In this way, once you’re ready for a new relationship, you’re a better you than you were before.
- Find yourself. After being with someone for so long, you become accustomed to having this person around and depending on him or her, without realizing it, your personality has altered to match this person’s. Well, it’s time to become an independent person, take time to do things on your own, learn to like it.
- Take time to grow. If your relationship failed, chances are, you weren’t growing too much. Focusing on yourself and your life goals is 100 percent easier when you’re not also thinking about someone else.
- Let your heart heal. Breakups not only fuck with your head, but your heart. Being able to trust someone with your heart after a bad breakup isn’t easy. It takes There’s no way you’re ready to move on to a new relationship too soon after a breakup. It’s like super glue: You can glue the pieces together, but if you move too quickly, it will remain broken
- Get a pet or find a distraction,could be a job, interest, hobby, anything.
The point is, we can all give ourselves a break for being sexually psychotic, post-breakup. Sometimes you just need a cushion. Like, if I’m going to jump out of a burning building, I’d always prefer to land on an air mattress (with abs)—I’ll still probably end up crippled, but it will hurt a little less
Your chances of engaging in rebound sex are likely to be highest for a few weeks after a relationship’s ending. If you’re still seeking casual sex as a way to fill an emotional gap, it might be time for you to seek other, more adaptive ways to find relationship fulfillment.
Being single is the best way to really get to know yourself again. Spend some time adventuring and being alone with your thoughts. You never really know everything that’s going on in your head. Find yourself and live.