How To Tell The Difference Between A Rebound Relationship And The Real Thing

 / 

,
how to tell the difference between a rebound relationship and the real thing

How do you know that the relationship you are in right now is a genuine, and healthy one, or is it simply a rebound relationship? Knowing the difference between the two can save you a whole lot of heartbreak, you know.

Rebounds can be weird. It can be hot and cold at the same time. It can move fast and slow simultaneously. You feel like spending more time with them, yet there might not be a real connection.

But how can you know that you’re with someone just to get over your ex or if you are actually falling for them? What if they are The One?

Knowing the difference could save you from another heartbreak.

The funny thing about being in a rebound relationship: it’s never just the two of you who are in it. There’s always someone else lurking in the corners. Namely, your ex. Maybe even your rebound partner’s ex, too.

Regardless of who is taking refuge in the rebound relationship, the whole thing is a bit, shall we say, crowded.

You might go into a rebound relationship with both eyes open and both partners willing. You might even think love has swooped in to rescue you from the agony of your recent breakup.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Rebound Relationships Do More Harm Than Not

No matter how you enter a rebound relationship, there are several tell-tale signs that will distinguish it from the real thing.

The most distinguishing characteristic of a rebound relationship is that it’s a distraction. It’s a band-aid for your broken heart and all those feelings you haven’t been able to bear to feel since your break-up.

The rebound relationship is all about feeling better and filling the void left by your ex’s removal from your life. It’s about not feeling lonely. Sometimes it’s even about not feeling at all.

The irony of the rebound relationship is that those who are in it truly want to be in love. They miss the security of being in love. And that yearning, conditioned by memory and not the present reality, can make a new relationship feel like love.

Perhaps you meet someone who flings you into that hormone rush of “love at first sight.” The feelings are sudden, intense, and unmistakable. You’re convinced (thank God) that you haven’t, in fact, lost your lovability – you are still lovable!

When a physical attraction is all-consuming, you can be pretty sure it’s lust, not love, at the helm. Love, after all, takes time and is about so much more than physical attraction.

A rebound relationship isn’t devoid of benefits — depending, of course, on how you view “benefits.” It’s no secret that rebound romance is, to a great extent, based on sex. Whether you are friends-with-benefits or two desperados, sex is an easy distraction from what you don’t want to face.

What’s unique about a rebound connection is that its magic lasts only as long as the two of you are together. Sure, you feel cheered up, and you keep all those nasty emotions at bay. But as soon as the other person heads home or off on a business trip, your thoughts return to one person: your ex.

The person you miss isn’t the one you just slept with. It’s the one you will never sleep with again.

Surprisingly, rebound sex is rarely as mind-blowing as you might think or hope. It may be decent enough to keep you feeling happy for a while, but it lacks the palpable passion of true love.

And that’s the thing about “the real thing.” You feel it. The sex goes beyond lust to true passion and concern for the other’s fulfillment.

But in a rebound relationship, when the sex wears off, the relationship usually ends.

The danger of rebound dating, of course, is that one person falls for the other and gets hurt. And the second s/he announces a desire for more in the relationship, a decision has to be made. If the relationship isn’t grounded in true love (or at least its potential), it usually comes to an end.

When a relationship is a real thing, one person’s expressed desire for more is welcomed by the other. It’s a non-threatening revelation of the relationship’s natural progression.

But in the rebound relationship, one person asking for more becomes a wake-up call to the other person’s true motives.

Not everyone realizes that s/he is being used by someone on the rebound. And that recognition of unrequited love can be humiliating and deeply painful.

So how do you know if your new relationship is the real thing or just a rebound destined to fail?

It’s natural to struggle with how to be in a relationship after a breakup. If you haven’t done the full grief work to heal from your divorce or breakup, you may not be ready to pursue a serious relationship.

Likewise, if you haven’t braved the self-examination that reveals your personal accountability for your breakup, any new relationship will likely be short-lived. Relationships, after all, never succeed because of just one person. They also never fail because of just one person.

If you go into a new relationship with a “victim” mentality, your personal work isn’t done. And it will be unfair to place onto a new partner the responsibility of being better than the ex you can’t forgive…or forget.

If you are truly over your ex, you will be able to feel joy in your new relationship even when your partner isn’t around. And, just as importantly, your thoughts won’t turn to your ex.

Related: 5 Signs You Are Dating A Rebounder

You also won’t be comparing your new partner to your ex because you will feel an authentic connection with your new partner. You will both want more than a rebound relationship and will be willing to wait for one another if necessary.

When a relationship is a real thing, opening your heart feels natural and safe. There is mutual openness and mutual acceptance, no matter what is shared.

This emotional availability isn’t present in a rebound relationship. It’s too risky. And rebound relationships are all about avoiding emotional risk.

Perhaps the most telling difference between a rebound relationship and the real thing is the underlying motivation of the heart.

If you are on the rebound, your goal is to make yourself feel better. The relationship is about what you get, not what you give. And when you stop getting what you need (or when your partner wants more), the relationship ends.

When a relationship is a real thing, however, the need to feel loved has matured into a yearning to love. And that love opens the heart to give.


Written by Dr. Karen Finn
Originally appeared in Dr. Karen Finn
rebound or real
Difference Rebound Relationship Real Thing pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Up Next

How To Get Women To Approach You: 20 Tips To Become A Chick Magnet

How To Get Women To Approach You: Science Backed Tips

Have you ever wondered why some individuals seem to effortlessly attract others? The secret often lies not in chasing, but in drawing people towards them. Let us explore how to get women to approach you.

Do You Know How to Get Women to Approach You?

So how can you make women approach you? Picture this: You’re at your favorite café, sipping on a latte and reading a book. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot an attractive woman. Instead of mustering the courage to approach her, imagine if she came over and struck up a



Up Next

Meet The Top 3 Most Boring Zodiac Signs in Dating History

The Three Most Boring Zodiac Signs To Date: Swipe Right or Left?

Is your date a bona fide bore? Well, you can blame it on their zodiac! Take a look at the most boring zodiac signs to date in the history of dating. 

Dating can be an exciting adventure, full of surprises and memorable moments. However, sometimes, you might find yourself on a date with someone who seems to lack that spark of excitement and spontaneity.

While astrology can provide insight into personality traits, it’s essential to remember that everyone is unique. That said, here are three zodiac signs that some might consider the most boring to date, with a little help from TV characters who exhibit these traits.



Up Next

When The Stars Say No: 8 Zodiac Signs That Are Not Meant To Be Together

Zodiac Signs That Are Not Meant To Be Together In Love

Have you ever wondered why some relationships just seem to fizzle out no matter how hard both parties try? Well, sometimes it’s written in the stars—or rather, in the alignment of the sun signs. Let’s quickly look at incompatible zodiac signs that are not meant to be together.

While opposites can often attract, some combinations spell trouble from the very beginning. These are the zodiac signs that don’t get along, become cosmic adversaries, the incompatible pairs.

Understanding zodiac signs that are not compatible can actually be a helpful tool for improving your relationships



Up Next

What Women Wish Men Knew: 10 Biggest Turn Offs For Women In A Relationship

Biggest Turn Offs For Women In A Relationship

Ah, the age-old quest of understanding attraction! Just when you think you’ve cracked the code of what makes someone tick, a misstep might make it seem like you’re back to square one. While every individual has their unique preferences, there are certain universal and biggest turn offs for women, that are absolute no-nos. 

It’s like that one out-of-tune string on a guitar or a splash of too much cologne on a first date—some things just stand out. And often, it’s not the grand gestures or the overt mistakes that raise eyebrows, but the subtle nuances that can make all the difference.

Ready to dive into



Up Next

Dating Disasters: 15 Biggest Turn Offs For Guys Revealed

Biggest Turn Offs For Guys That Are Pure Dating Disasters

Do you know what are the biggest turn offs for guys? Well, if you’ve ever asked yourself this question, you’re in the right place. Let’s uncover the mysteries of the male psyche by discussing the biggest dating turn offs for guys.

15 Biggest Turn Offs For Guys

Have you ever found yourself on a date, watching a movie, or deep in conversation, wondering what might be running through a guy’s mind? Or perhaps, pondered on why he suddenly seems disinterested after a few encounters?



Up Next

Orbiting Dating: The Trend That Keeps You From Moving On – Are You Guilty?

Orbiting Dating Trend: Eight Warning Signs To Look Out For

In the ever-evolving world of the dating scene, you might have heard of this new phenomenon: the orbiting dating trend. So, what exactly is it?

What Is Orbiting Dating Meaning?

Well, orbiting dating meaning is a bit like ghosting, but with a social media twist. Imagine this: you break off direct contact with someone you’ve been dating, but you continue to engage with their online presence.



Up Next

Dating Someone With Relationship OCD? 7 Strategies For Supporting Your Loved One

Dating Someone With Relationship OCD? Seven Essential Insights

Relationships are built on trust, understanding, and commitment. These are the pillars that hold a relationship steady, even when storms come. And just like any challenge in life, some storms are tougher than others. One such challenge is when you are dating someone with Relationship OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). 

This condition can bring unique difficulties, but with knowledge and patience, you can meet these challenges head-on. When you are dating someone with OCD and anxiety, both of you must make an effort to understand this disorder.

When both of you are informed, you can navigate the challe