Rebound relationships are interesting. And by "interesting," I mean "semi-dangerous." Not physically, but emotionally. Still, I think the reason why so many of us fall prey to them is because when we consider going on the rebound with someone, even if it's just subconsciously, I believe that a basketball game comes up in our mind. When someone misses a shot and someone else immediately comes behind them and makes it, that's a rebound. Not only is that harmless, it's celebrated.
Yeah, but our hearts and bodies aren't basketballs and love ain't a game. When a relationship ends—no matter who ended it or how we feel about it—we need to give ourselves some time to recover. To process what happened, to think about the role that we played in it, to figure out what we will do differently in the future—and to heal.
If we don't do this but, instead, feel the impact of a break-up and then hurry up and look for someone else to distract us or help us to get over it, there's a greater chance that we'll end up disappointed, if not completely disillusioned. As a direct result, we have the original relationship and the rebound to work through. Double the trouble. Double the drama. And sometimes, double the pain.
If you're still not convinced that rebounding is NOT the answer to a break-up, maybe the following six (other) reasons will convince you.
Your Motives Are (Usually) Off
Let's not romanticize why we get into rebound relationships. We do it because A) we don't want to really sit down and deal with the end of our relationship; B) we want someone to make us feel better about ourselves and/or the situation or C) both. That's understandable but what it boils down to is we're using someone to get us through something. And using an individual is never a healthy way to handle anything in life.
Plus, you can't really trust your discernment when you're broken or feeling insecure. It really is a podcast series all on its own, how much we would spare ourselves, if we didn't pick via our pain.
Motives speak to the foundation of a lot of things that we do. To try and build anything on a rebound is like having cracks in your foundation from the start.
You're Bringing Someone Else into Your PainGiphy
We've all seen a television show or movie where, someone has recently broken up with someone, went on a date with someone else and did nothing but talk about their ex the entire time. It's tacky and then some, but when you haven't given yourself enough alone time to work through things, it happens.
Even if you're got enough couth to not talk about your ex to the next guy, you'd be amazed how your actions could still possibly reveal that you're not over him. Your ex slept with someone else, so when the new guy texts with a smile in front of you, you're wondering if it's some other woman. Your ex was never on time, so when the new guy is even five minutes late, you immediately cop an attitude. Your ex didn't want the kind of commitment you did, so you try and rush the new guy into something serious three dates in. Or worse, you want the new guy to make up for all of the pain your ex caused you.
It's no one else's job or responsibility to heal you from what your ex did. But if you're quick to jump into a rebound relationship, you just might waste time (and lose a really great person) trying to prove otherwise.
The Best Way to Get Over Someone IS NOT to Get Under Someone Else
Michael Anthony (who was one of the people to end up with a love match on OWN's Ready to Love) has his own YouTube channel now. It's called The Distinguished Barbarian. I check it out from time to time and one episode that particular caught my attention was "Your Vagina Does Not Belong in a Casino." Between the title and him starting off with "Everybody, give me a moment of silence for the vagina" (as he wiped away a tear), I had to hear where he was coming from.
The gist? "God entrusts life through a woman's body and it comes out of the 'honey pot'. And then once the man comes out of the honey pot, what does he spend the rest of his life trying to do? Get back in the honey pot." Shoot, that alone should make us be very particular about who we get down with. The rest of the segment gets into the fact that many of us gamble with our vaginas because since we base a lot of things on emotion, we tend to make assumptions. We assume that because we're having sex with someone that they are on the same page with us when they may not even be in the same book (that's my phrasing not his, by the way).
That's why I'm not big on thinking that we should have sex with some "new" dude in order to get over an old one. For one thing, it's a slick form of using someone (how would you feel if some man had sex with you for the same reason?) and two, all you're doing is setting yourself up to be attached to another individual…which could put you into the position of getting hurt all over again. Remember, when we break our arm in the same place twice, it takes longer to heal. I think the same thing applies to our hearts.
You Should Focus Getting over Your Ex Instead
The reason why most of us rebound in the first place is so we don't have to dig deep and deal with what happened with our past relationship. But that's exactly what we should be doing. One reason is so we can process and (if necessary) forgive our ex; otherwise, we'll carry a lot of slow burn anger and bitterness (whether we realize it or not) around. Another reason is because, although it sometimes happens, it's not common for rebound relationships 1) be healthy and/or 2) to last. Usually, they're a form of expiration dating (you know, starting something that you already know has an expiration date on it). When they do come to an end, guess who you just may go back to? YOUR EX. Now you're back in an emotional cul-de-sac—if not a dead end—all over again.
Yeah, rather than using a rebound relationship as a Band-Aid, focus more on getting some space to get over your ex. That way, when you really are ready for something new, you'll be approaching it with a truly clean slate.
You Need Time to Heal—ALONEGiphy
If you have a pattern of breaking up with guys and freaking out at the thought of being alone afterwards, you are one of the main people who needs to do just that—BE ALONE. I can't tell you how many people I've talked to who are absolutely miserable in their relationships because their partner is needy, clingy and looking for them to do things that they should be doing for themselves.
Break-ups suck. Trust me, I know. But if there is a silver lining, it's that it gives us all the opportunity to step back and say, "Wait. Who am I and what do I really want?" Not just out of love but out of life.
The time you're spending (or is it wasting?) getting caught up in another dude is the time you could be spending loving on yourself—so that the next guy you get with won't require you needing a rebound because you'll be in a space where you'll choose men and love differently.
Karma Is Real
I once read a quote from karma that said, "You will never understand the damage you did to someone until the same thing is done to you. That's why I'm here." Whatever happened in your past relationship, let karma handle it (and it will). But don't put yourself in the position where you could hurt someone else via a rebound. All that does is set you up for being on the receiving end of your own karma. I don't think you'll like it very much.
Rebound relationships may be a fun distraction for a season, but they tend to come with some pretty cryptic consequences. You'd be far better off breaking up and staying single for a while than getting into something just to be doing something.
Life and love ain't a game. Please choose wisely.
Featured image by Getty Images.