What Is A Rebound Relationship? Things To Know

Gwen Adams

Rebound relationship

A Rebound relationship is perceived as unhealthy by many people but the truth is that they are sadly villainized because they have the power to be healthy too. Many renowned therapists recommend rebound dating for getting over a terrible breakup or a previous partner.

The main key is to be upfront about it so that there’s no miscommunication about the intentions of both partners involved in a relationship rebound.

There is a popular theory on rebound relationships called ‘The Bad Pancake Theory’. A lot of people subscribe to it. This theory was covered in an episode named ‘P is for Pancake’ in the American sitcom ‘Younger’! The episode portrays the dilemma of a woman in her twenties trying to decide with the help of her friends whether it is too soon to move on after her bad breakup.

Rebound relationship

The Bad Pancake Theory suggests that the first romantic relationship one gets involved in after either calling it quits with a long-time partner or a devastating breakup will not work out; exactly like the first pancake in the batch that is destined to burn. Ain’t that the truth, now?

What is a Rebound Relationship?

The dictionary answer to what is a rebound is ‘coming back up after a downfall’, so then what is a rebound relationship? A rebound relationship is identified as a follow-up relationship after a breakup- the breakup being the downfall in this case.

This typically happens after a bad breakup between coupleor breakup from a long-time partner that leaves unresolved feelings behind. In this, the person rebounding is trying to get over their ex by getting into a romantic relationship with a third person, the rebound.

A relationship rebound can help in getting over one’s ex-partner but if led on under the false pretence of a genuine relationship, it can mess with the third person’s head pretty badly.

What is a Rebound Relationship?

Why do people seek rebound relationships?

People seek rebound relationships for mainly three following reasons:

  • Self-validation: After a significant breakup, people effortlessly slip into the chains and ropes of self-doubt. They start to believe that they are unlovable to everyone around them because there is something wrong with them. Hence, they tend to grow closer to anyone who compliments them.
  • Jealousy: A person might enter into a rebound relationship to spark jealousy in their ex. Or it could be to show that the person rebounding is over their ex if the ex has started seeing someone else too.
  • Sex: People might seek a relationship rebound just to get their physical needs fulfilled, i.e. sex.

Signs You’re in a Rebound Relationship

For all you know, you could be mistaking a rebound relationship for a love-at-first-sight because it is possible to not know if you are being used as somebody’s rebound. Many times even the person who is rebounding might not be aware that they are in a rebound relationship. So, here are some signs to help you identify if you are in a rebound relationship:

Signs You’re in a Rebound Relationship

They’re keeping it casual

Rebound relationships are doomed to a definite end as they don’t have the strong, trusting foundation required for a long-lasting relationship. The person rebounding might be aware of that impending doom and therefore, would not want to take things to the next level in the relationship to save you both some heartache.

The other reason for keeping things casual could be the fact that they just got out of a serious relationship and are not ready yet for going all-in in a relationship with somebody else. Either way, you must confront your partner civilly before drawing conclusions on your own. And figure the solution out together.

They talk about their ex all the time

It is one thing being friends with an ex and going out for a casual lunch with them every once in a while, but dragging them into every conversation is a totally different thing. If your partner talks too fondly of their ex, it only proves they are still in love with them. Or if they talk too furiously about them, it proves they still have the residual anger from their past relationship.

Both of these things plainly indicate that your partner is not over their ex yet and hence the relationship you have with them is what is considered a rebound relationship.

They constantly compare you to their ex

The endless praises you receive at the expense of your partner’s ex, for example, “you are so much more understanding than what my ex was”, or “your clean home reminds me of my ex’s just-had-a-storm place”, are a dead giveaway that you are in a rebound relationship and so is the criticism that comes, for example, “you work on Saturdays unlike my ex”, “you don’t like watching movies? My ex was obsessed with them!”.

These statements evidently signify that your partner is constantly comparing all your traits to their ex’s in their head. This recurrent comparison is the exclusive sign that you are only a rebound for your partner as they are not over their ex yet.

They’re using you for sex

If you are noticing that your partner is leaning in for sex all the time, it is not because of your irresistible personality, it is because you are their rebound. Just as mentioned above, sex is one of the reasons why people seek rebound relationships.

Everyone has physical needs that they want to be fulfilled but if your partner is not showing any interest in a balance of emotional and physical in the relationship by being closed off and not sharing things about them with you, it simply means they are using you for sex. This issue needs to be talked about as soon as possible.

They’re giving you mixed signals

Getting over someone after a bad breakup is quite like coming to terms with the death of a loved one. The grief goes down the same five paths in both of these situations,i.e. denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and last but the most important, acceptance.

Your partner might be fine with their relationship with you for a moment and in the next, they might be closed off, thinking about their ex and the future they could have had with them. Such mixed signals show that your partner has not had enough time to heal themselves from their devastating breakup and come to accept it for what it is.

They are not entirely positive about what they want from themselves let alone from you and this rebound relationship. And since your partner is not ready for any serious relationship, it is better for both of you to call it quits unless both of you agree to a casual relationship.

They won’t commit to any plans that aren’t immediate

Your partner trying to avoid coming to your cousin’s wedding event a couple of months from now could be because they aren’t even sure if you guys will be in a relationship at that point in time. They might be all yes for a coffee date tomorrow but a business event a month later might be denied with a bunch of work excuses.

A rebound relationship comes with a tag of an uncertain expiration date and that is the reason why your partner is dodging all these plans that are not occurring immediately. Because nobody should go through the hurt of RSVPing to a wedding with a plus one and then showing up alone.

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The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that a rebound relationship can be considered healthy if both the partners know and agree that they are looking for the same thing, i.e. a casual relationship but if the intentions of the person rebounding have not been cleared in the beginning then it can get deeply upsetting for the rebound upon uncovering the truth of the relationship.

It is difficult to identify if you are in a rebound relationship but once you are sure that something is wrong, you must talk it out with your partner with all due respect and decency and if you are not ready for a casual relationship then it is better to break it off before one of you gets hurt.


Why do rebound relationships feel like love?

A rebound relationship can feel a lot like love as the person gets the self-validation they need again after a breakup that caused them to feel unlovable.

How long do rebound relationships last on average?

Rebound relationships can last a few weeks, or a couple of months depending on when the realization of your situation hits you.

Do exes come back after a rebound?

It is possible for your ex to come back after rebound dating because the rebound might make them miss you but, in many cases, people move on.

What to Do If You’re in a Rebound Relationship?

There’s only one thing you can do: speak with your partner about this situation and figure out if both of you want the same things from the relationship or not.

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