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5 Reasons Why Rebound Relationships Do More Harm Than Not

reasons why rebound relationships do more harm than not

What is the flip side of rebound relationships? 

An intimate romantic association entails huge amounts of emotional investment, lots of moments of togetherness, and an entire journey of ups and downs. The two people involved are so enmeshed with each other, emotionally, physically, and otherwise, that separation to some might feel like having to strangle a part of oneself. Dissolution of a relationship becomes more difficult when it’s not mutual.

To see another person walk out of our life without a closure can leave us in pain, shame, anger, guilt, completely devastated and leave us questioning our self-worth.

After a breakup, a person invariably suffers from complex emotional stress and loneliness. It is under such aftermath of heartbreak that we instantly and immediately itch to jump into another relationship. We seem to become so absorbed with the motivation to find and replace what we lost that we unknowingly engage in a rebound.

A rebound relationship, as defined by Researchers Brumbaugh and Fraley, is “A relationship that is initiated shortly after a romantic breakup—before the feelings about the former relationship have been resolved.” (1) Followed by a breakup a person is psychologically incapacitated to take logical decisions degrading the choice of partners. Hence, it’s understandable that a rebound partner is usually thought of as a transitional mate or a stepping stone on the way to a more legitimate relationship. (2) In other cases, it is the fear of being alone without a partner that prompts a person to seek new romance in the arms of another person.

The luring attraction, the heat of passion, the intoxicating high might all seem dream-like as you start falling head over heels in love with this new person but it’s soon enough that things will turn upside-down. Generally, a relationship so quick paced will end too soon.

Rebound relationships are thought to have a soothing effect but instead they will eventually torment the soul.

Here are 5 reasons why rebound relationships can destroy you:

1. You walk into the relationship unsure of your feelings.

A rebound relationship is a recipe of mess. You meet someone; you instantly start feeling the heat of attraction rising, especially because you recently got your heart singed. It seems like a perfect displacement for all your invested feelings on the previous partner.

Everything about this new person is amazing – the way they make you feel, the way they connect to you, the way they care. Their every single action is like a balm to your broken heart. You are so blinded in ‘love’ that you only judge them on their ability to fulfill your needs and desire and not based on the real person that they are.

You are certainly sure of the effects their actions are having on you but you have no clue about what you exactly feel for this person. You like what they do for you but you are not at all ready to emotionally invest in them. This, itself, strikes as a bitter truth to you.

You are utterly confused about what you are feeling and you keep swinging from being highly interested to being totally indifferent to the other person.  

Related: If You Really Want To Give Love A Chance, Here’s Why Sleeping Together Too Soon Is Not A Good Idea

2. You end up hurting the feelings of your new partner.

Suppose your partner has planned a dinner with you and you both are sitting at a well-furnished restaurant, highly excited about the night that lies ahead. Suddenly out of the blue your partner mentions how he/she had a similar dine out with his/her ex in the same restaurant you both are sitting right then.

How will you feel? You will unquestionably feel like a fool.

If you are indecisive about your feelings you subconsciously end up bringing your ex in between both of you which is not healthy for your new relationship.

Under such circumstances, it’s natural for your partner to feel insecure, jealous, worthless, incapable, and lost in the relationship. Like you desire to feel special, he/she also deserves your undivided attention and love. If you carry unresolved conflicts from your previous relationship you will always be half-hearted with your new partner which is unjustified from the point of view of your partner.

Your residual feelings from the past relationship will hold you back from committing to your new partner.

3. You are put at a higher risk of being manipulated and exploited.

Heartbreak leaves us vulnerable to the core. We feel lost, purposeless, and in no control of ourselves and our lives. We become more prone to making impulsive decisions when we are not emotionally stable.

Before you start dating again after a breakup, you need to free yourself of the past baggage. Rebound relationships are so fast and captivating that we lose our rational sense. This puts you at a greater risk of being manipulated by people who will make use of your propensity to hook up, engage in sex, and other impulsive relationship decisions because they know you are ready to do anything to secure a partner.

4. Temporary solutions for bigger issues.

Rebound relationships hardly turn out to be long-lasting relations. They end as fast as they initiate. These relationships are temporary fillers for the void you feel after someone you love leaves you.

Another typical characteristic of rebound relationships is that they are highly toxic and comes with a number of red flags. A person, who is going for a rebound relationship, will clearly be obsessed with the new partner, might have trust issues and insecurities brought about by the feelings of isolation from the previous relationship. This will eventually turn the relationship into a toxic one, leaving no space for true intimacy to grow.

Give yourself some time to heal your wounds before you engage with another dynamic individual. 

Related: 18 Reminders After A Relationship Ends and You Are Hurting

5. Makes you highly susceptible to narcissistic abuse.

Narcissists are control freaks, trying every possible way to feed on your submission.

Narcissists enjoy toying with the emotions of their victims; Sentimental individuals are perfect fodder for narcissists to work their malignant artistry on. All they need to do is manipulate their target’s desire to find a meaningful relationship. (3)

Who is a better alternative victim to a narcissist than a person desperately in search for a romantic partner?

You could never really understand when you have fallen into trap of their love-bombing spree. The moment you trust the narcissist to heal you with their undying love and devotion, your emotional intensity becomes an easy subject for their abuse.

Rebound relationships might seem to be a great start to forever together but remember not to let loneliness drive you into the arms of a person with whom you don’t belong.


Brumbaugh, C. C., & Fraley, R. C. Too Fast, Too Soon? An Empirical Investigation Into Rebound Relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. (2015)

Lue, N. (2012). Rebound relationships in a nutshell: Transitionals, buffers and why you should step away from the light when they’re not over their ex. Retrieved May 10, 2012, from

5 Qualities Malignant Narcissists Look For In Their Victims – And How They Use Them Against You

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reasons why rebound relationships do more harm than not pin
5 Reasons Why Rebound Relationships Do More Harm Than Not

Shreyasi Debnath

An editor and writer keeping keen interest in painting, creative writing and reading. I did my Masters in Clinical and Counselling Psychology and have been a counselling psychologist at a primary school for the past 1 year. I love doing absolutely anything that mends a mind and soothes a soul. Most often than not, I ponder over to come up with poems. A wandering soul in search for meaning.View Author posts

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