Article compiled by Bonolo Sekudu and first published on News24 on the 17th of May 2023.
Photo: Getty Images
- Dating coach Leigh-Joy Mansel-Pleydell says a rebound relationship is when someone dates before they have processed their feelings for an ex.
- Using a rebound to avoid examining and processing your feelings can be counter-productive, prolonging how long you feel these painful emotions.
- A lack of commitment and long-term plans is a sign that the other person is still processing the previous relationship.
Go with the flow, they say. But can you imagine thinking you are on the same page only to discover that the person does not see you in the same way you see them?
Naturally, it is easy to think a strong connection could lead to something serious, but this kind of thinking may be one-sided when you are rebounding to the other person.
Dating coach Leigh-Joy Mansel-Pleydell says a rebound relationship is when someone dates before they have processed their feelings for an ex. This means they may have closed off their hearts in an attempt not to get hurt further. “They ‘fall in love’ again to mask or smooth over the pain of the breakup.”
Processing the ex isn’t a priority, and they would rather fall in love again to gloss over the uncomfortable feelings- which might mean that the relationship will be superficial.”
Being in a rebound relationship isn’t always easy to spot because the person may be hiding it so well.
Five signs you're in a rebound relationship
- You are regularly compared to the ex in a positive and negative way.
- They exhibit overwhelming feelings about their ex, like sadness and anger, or resentment and disappointment. They haven’t yet come to terms with their role in the breakup.
- They date you very soon after the end of their previous relationship. There may be lingering feelings for their ex.
- Your relationship is superficial and can lack intimacy, or they move quickly to try and catch up to their feelings of intimacy with their ex.
- There’s a lack of commitment and long-term plans because they are still processing the previous relationship.
Mansell-Playdell says walking away from this kind of relationship will help prevent further hurt.
“Walk away from a rebound relationship if they deny that you are a rebound. As this means that they are not conscious of where they are emotionally, and thus there will be more selfish behaviour. But if the connection serves where you are both at – then staying isn’t a terrible idea.”
The connection may be strong for some people, but it doesn’t mean they want it to be serious or lead to a commitment.
It can be heartbreaking for those who will have to deal with the disappointment of having a “potential relationship” not work.
“Rebounds affect your mental health. Using a rebound to avoid examining and processing your feelings can be counterproductive, prolonging how long you feel these painful emotions, which could negatively impact your new relationship.
“By contrast, if both partners know the relationship’s potential from the beginning, a rebound can help you affirm your new start and promote personal growth and closeness.”
She adds that many people struggle to process their lingering feelings after a breakup and don’t know how to find the emotional balance to move on to a loving, trusting relationship with someone else.