Your ex broke up with you and left you heartbroken. And while you are still trying to understand what happened and pick up the shattered pieces of your life, your ex has started another relationship.
You can’t believe that they’ve moved on so fast, so you consult your friend, search the Internet and everyone seems to say the same thing. “Your ex is probably in a rebound relationship”.
However, you are still not convinced. Your ex seems happy and their new relationship seems to be going perfectly. The new guy/girl seems completely opposite of you and yet your ex seems committed to make this relationship work. You are confused because everyone seems to be telling you it’s a rebound relationship while your instincts tell you that your ex has moved on.
It’s truly a gut wrenching feeling to think of your ex with someone else, especially if you are still in love with them and want to get them back. And the thought of it just being a rebound relationship is very comforting. But when your mind starts wondering whether or not it’s a rebound, you can drive yourself crazy analyzing their behavior and obsessing over every little detail about their new relationship.
In this article, I’ll lay out some signs that will help you understand the rebound behavior and figure out on your own whether or not they’ve moved on.
How Long Have They Been In the New Relationship?
The first sign is quite obvious. The longer they’ve been in the new relationship, the less likely it is to be a rebound. If they’ve been in the relationship for a few months or less, then it’s probably a rebound and it will end soon. On the other hand, if their relationship has been going on for over a year, then you can safely assume that the relationship is serious for them and it’s probably not a rebound.
Of course, it’s not really a surefire way to determine whether or not they’re in a rebound relationship. If their new relationship has been going on for a few weeks, you can’t say for sure if it will end in a few months or it will continue for years. The longer they’re in the relationship, the more you lose hope. And the more you lose hope the more you start analyzing their new relationship (and obsessing over them) trying to convince yourself it’s a rebound.
How Long Did They Wait Before Starting the New Relationship?
If your ex started dating someone else within a week of breaking up, then it’s more likely to be a rebound. On the other hand, if they waited an appropriate amount of time (like three to four months) before entering the new relationship, it’s less likely to be a rebound.
Again, it’s not a surefire way of telling whether or not it’s a rebound. Some people jump from one relationship to another without waiting at all. Some people keep someone lined up for dating before breaking up just so they don’t have to be single for longer than a few days.
On the other hand, it could be that your ex waited months before entering the new relationship and it could still be a rebound depending if they never really got over you.
That’s why it’s beneficial to understand the rebound behavior. If their behavior resembles that of a person in a rebound relationship, you can be know for sure whether or not you have a chance at getting back together. You will not be obsessing over them so much and you will be able to concentrate on your happiness more.
Understanding the Rebound Behavior
A rebound relationship is simply an attempt to fill a hole in your life that was left by an ex. Another way to describe a rebound relationship is an attempt to avoid the pain of the breakup. It’s an attempt to feel the same way you were feeling while you were in a relationship with your ex. It’s an attempt to have the same level of intimacy that you had with your ex, with someone else.
Being intimately close to someone gives us a feeling of security and a boost to our self-esteem. It’s the kind of intimacy that is built with time and effort that a relationship requires. After a breakup, that intimacy is gone in a matter of few days and you are left feeling empty.
A rebound relationship gives you hope. It gives you a chance to feel that level of intimacy again. It gives you hope to fill that empty feeling inside you.
This is the reason why most of the rebound relationships seem to move so fast. Because a rebound relationship is an attempt to reach the level of intimacy that only long-term relationships have.
Suppose the name of your ex is Jane. Jane feels empty after she left you. She knew she wanted to breakup with you but she didn’t expect to be so much miserable after the breakup. She has an old friend Garry who comforts her, she finds herself attracted to him. She feels that perhaps this guy can make all her pain and the emptiness go away. So she starts dating him. Whenever she is with him, her mind is not thinking about the breakup and you. She doesn’t feel as empty as she was before.
But still whenever she is alone, the pain comes back. She can’t let go of this feeling of emptiness even though she is a new relationship. She thinks perhaps it’s because she is not as close to Garry as she was with you. She thinks if Garry and her start having sex, she will feel much closer to Garry and perhaps forget you. Even though, she usually waits three months before sleeping with someone she is dating, she makes an exception in Garry’s case; simply because she thinks that sleeping with him will make her forget about you.
So they start sleeping together. Even though the sex is great, she is still not at peace with herself. She still can’t let go of the empty feeling when she is alone. She feels a little better when she is with Garry, but she can’t shake the feeling that this relationship is not giving her the peace that she expected.
At this point, most people realize that this new relationship will not bring them the peace and happiness they were hoping it would. But Jane is having a hard time accepting that. She thinks that the new relationship, despite not being what she expected, is still giving her some level of comfort. If she ends the relationship, she will have to face all the pain and emptiness alone and she doesn’t think she is ready to do it yet.
She continues her relationship, in hope that her level of intimacy with Garry will increase and the empty feeling inside her will slowly go away. She makes pathetic attempts to move the relationship faster hoping that she can gain the same level of intimacy that comes from long-term relationship. Attempts like moving in together after only 5 weeks of dating; meeting Garry’s parents and asking Garry to meet her parents; planning to move overseas with Garry. A few years ago, if you asked Jane whether or not she would move this much fast in a relationship, she would’ve called you crazy. But yet, here she is, rushing a relationship faster than a speeding bullet.
The story of Jane demonstrates a classic rebound behavior. Eventually, Jane would breakup with Garry and will try to deal with her breakup pain. She might feel that she is in love with Garry because Garry provides her with comfort and an escape from the pain that she desires deeply. Garry is a temporary solution that is alleviating the pain, but he is not the cure.
But soon enough, she will realize her relationship with Garry for what it is. A rebound. It did help her run away from the emptiness in her life, but it didn’t fill it. She is still empty and she can only be at peace with herself when she decides to face the breakup pain. (Read: How to Get Your Ex Girlfriend Back When She has Moved on to A New Boyfriend)
Who They Are In a Rebound Relationship
Apart from moving the rebound relationship too fast, another common behavior that rebound relationships have is choosing someone they’d not go for normally.
For example, suppose your ex always says he/she wants someone with a career goal. And after they breakup with you, they start a relationship with someone who has no career and no life goals whatsoever.
In some cases, your ex will choose someone who is completely opposite of you in every possible way. This is again, very common rebound behavior.
Why Do They Do This?
The reason behind this behavior is overcompensation. The relationship with you didn’t work and left them in pain. They think that finding someone completely opposite will probably give them happiness. In some cases, your ex will find a type of person they don’t usually go for. Someone who is not even compatible with their life goal. Someone who is not even their type. Just because they have hope that if they go for someone completely different, they’ll find happiness.
Some people go into a rebound deliberately and choose someone completely incompatible with them because they know it’s a rebound. They are not thinking of a long-term relationship. They are thinking of a short term rebound relationship which will hopefully help them get over the breakup.
Your Ex’s Behavior towards You
A very common sign of a rebound relationship is whether or not they are trying to rub in your face. If your ex is going out of their way to show you they are happy in their relationship and everything’s going great, then it’s probably a rebound and they are not doing that great in reality.
One of the most common indicators of this behavior is their social media profile (Facebook, twitter etc.). Your ex knows that you are checking their Facebook and if they are constantly posting picture with their rebound then it’s a sign that they are in a rebound.
Of course, this behavior is subjective. Some people are extremely active on Facebook and twitter while some people don’t usually post their personal life all over social media. You know your ex better than anyone, so you are the best judge if they are doing it to rub it in your face or not.
One of the examples of this social media behavior that I want to share came from one of my readers.
She posted on his Facebook wall whether or not he wants to move to Australia with her next year when she wants to do her PhD. He replied, he’d love to. How can she go for some guy who has no plan for his future and could move to another country just like that? She always said she wanted someone who has some goals in life.
First of all, which couple discusses big life decision on their Facebook wall? She clearly posted this message for her ex to see. Which shows she is not over him and is most probably in a rebound.
What if they try to hide their relationship?
On the other end of the spectrum, there are exes who will try to hide their new relationship from you. This is fairly uncommon and it could mean two things.
1. They know it’s a rebound and they want to get back together with you someday. They don’t want to upset you or want you to move on. They don’t want you to start dating someone else because they are not over you and are hoping you will wait for them to come back.
2. They want to take their new relationship slow and don’t want you to bother them. This might be true if you had been acting like a crazy, stalky ex who wouldn’t leave them alone.
If they are hiding their new relationship, then it’s completely up to you to figure out which category they fall into. After all, you know your ex and your situation better than anyone else.
What to Do If They Are In a Rebound?
If they are in a rebound, you still have to apply the no contact rule and follow the 5-step plan. If you haven’t read the main 5 step plan to get your ex back, then you should. It’s possibly the best free guide on getting your ex back on the Internet. In addition, you might also want to read this article on what to do if your ex boyfriend is in another relationship.