On the Rebound

“The quickest way to get over someone is to get under someone else”.  I’ve heard this quoted to me in the past and it made me stop and think.  A lot of people after a break up are just looking for a distraction right?  They don’t want to think about the pain they are in.   Sounds reasonable, but is this the best way to get over a break up?  Well, you are reading a blog by a counselor, so guess what I’m going to say???  No, I don’t think the quickest way to get over someone is to have sex with someone else.  What I think is that it can temporarily distract you from your pain, but it can’t magically make you all better.

The definition of a distraction is just that…it is a temporary break from reality.  It doesn’t last.  A few distractions during a break up is actually a good thing.  I don’t think it is healthy to sit in your pain for days on end.  Sometimes you have to go out with your friends and pretend you’re fine for a few hours.  You may even decide that hooking up with someone is a good distraction as well.  However, when you go to lay down in bed at night be prepared to have it all come back and hit you again.  Your life kinda sucks right now.  It is hard to really run away from that.  You can try to push it away, but eventually it will come back to bite you.  I also agree that what works as a distraction for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for someone else.  So, please be picky about the distractions you use during this time.  Some may make you feel worse, not better even temporarily.

This is why I am more discouraging about rebound relationships.  Some people say if you immediately jump into another relationship, you will never take the rebound seriously.  Why might this happen?  Because you haven’t resolved feelings from your recent ex.  Does this mean ALL rebound relationships fail?  No.  I will explain why in a minute.  However, most of the time it doesn’t work.  You may feel better at the moment because someone is flattering your ego by being into you, but realize the sadness is still inside you somewhere.

It may even start out as just as a hook up or someone to hang out with at first.  However, it becomes easy to just start dating this new person.  Let’s be honest, you have a hole to fill.  For the first month or so, you probably will be totally distracted and actually feel somewhat happy.  You may even believe that you weren’t as into your ex as you thought because it was so easy to get over them.  Then you get a text from your ex or accidentally run into him or her.  All those feelings suddenly rush back and you feel like your heart has dropped into your stomach.  You feel  a rush of emotions which you didn’t realize you were holding back this whole time.  You may even be shocked that you’re actually happy to see or hear from your ex, and are mad at yourself for realizing you would say yes if they asked you to hang out.

What if they do want to hang out?  Do you spend time with them even though you are now in a new relationship?  Do you tell your new partner you ran into your ex and had a conversation?  Do you mention they want to try to work things out?  This makes things complicated to say the least.  Maybe your ex doesn’t even want to get back together, but now you’re thinking about them again anyway.  Your partner may notice something is off with your mood, however you feel bad telling them about it because it concerns your ex.  How do you tell them you now realize you still have feelings for your ex, but not to worry, it doesn’t affect your feelings for them?

There is a proper time to grieve a relationship.  You need to give yourself that time.  If you try to push it away, then those feelings come back later when it is really inconvenient.  Your friends are going to look at you like your crazy for talking about your ex now, when you’ve told them you’ve been fine for the last few months.  They won’t understand why you are now missing your ex and even considering hanging out with them again.  Your new partner is definitely not going to understand unless they are the truly selfless type.

Zachary said it perfect in his blog when he stated, “There isn’t a formula to calculate the success rate of a potential relationship by multiplying the amount of time spent mourning a previous one.  If you truly feel ready to pursue another relationship, you shouldn’t let a few stupid relationship rules stop you.  This advice comes with a caveat: you must be certain you actually feel ready to commit yourself to another person before you start dating. Many rebound relationships fail, but this isn’t a “rule.” They fail because people pretend to be ready for another relationship, when really they just want to procrastinate mourning their last big love”.

Sometimes a person has really grieved the loss of someone before they are officially broken up.  If  you’ve gone through a long drawn out break up, you may be ready to really move on by the time it actually totally over.  A person can also get over someone pretty easily after a break up if they weren’t completely into the other person.  In certain situations you can jump right into a new relationship and have it work out just fine.  You can also jump too quickly into a new relationship,  go through the big mess I listed above, and be able to work through it with the “rebound” person who then actually becomes a real long term boyfriend or girlfriend.  It does happen, but it is smart to wait rather than jump into something and go through potential drama.

“Rebounds in life are just like rebounds in sports. They have potential, but they can be ruined by how we approach them.  If we receive a rebound while our mind is elsewhere, our distractions will lead us to drop the rebound just as quickly as we caught it.  But if we receive it with a clear and focused head: a rebound can be quite the game-changer”.   Zachary Austen

3 comments on “On the Rebound

  1. Pingback: You can get your Ex-back | Essence of Marriage Magazine

  2. This blog or article actually made me feel better. Just had a very bad break up recently. We were on for two years and two months. She broke up with me, she said that she fell out of love and jumped in to another guy whom she said she had no feelings before. We were so in love, she knew my family very well, I know her family very well. I’ve always been self-contained, I keep all my problems but I would love to hear some more advice about my problem.

    • Thanks for your comment! I really appreciate it. It sucks to go through a break up and not have all the answers you want. You could try to talk to her, but she may not even know herself what caused her to fall out of love with you. If you do love her, give her some time. In the meantime, grieve the loss and take care of yourself. If she is only scared, she will hopefully come back, but I have no way of knowing what is going on her mind. I always tell my clients to focus on what they can control and not to let themselves get caught up in things they can’t. I wish you luck and hope things work out for you.

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