Why you should think twice before getting into a 'rebound' relationship

sergey causelove/ShutterstockRebounds can have negative effects.
  • Getting into a relationship quickly after a breakup is often called a “rebound.”
  • According to a relationship expert, jumping into a serious relationship after a breakup can have negative effects on you and the person you’re dating.
  • Casual hookups can sometimes be an effective way to boost confidence after a breakup.

If you have ever gone through a breakup, you are likely familiar with the desire to go on a rebound – a.k.a find someone new to date ASAP – that can strike anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the split.

The impulse is easy enough to understand. No matter how amicable a breakup is, going through one can mess with your self-confidence and even make you lonely. A rebound is a simple way to help get those feelings back, however artificially.

But there are also many potential downsides to a rebound. To find out what they are – plus a few upsides – INSIDER talked to Dr. Paulette Sherman, an NYC-based psychologist and author of “Dating From The Inside Out.”

On a broad level, a “rebound” relationship can refer to anyone a person dates after going through a breakup

Couple kissing getty makeout romantic relationshipEmma McIntyre/Getty Images‘Rebound relationships are formed usually directly after a person just ended another more serious relationship.’

But in this context, it often describes someone who is dating just to distract themselves from the breakup and any subsequent grief it has caused.

“Rebound relationships are formed usually directly after a person just ended another more serious relationship,” Sherman told INSIDER. “Often, that person is still attached to their prior partner and has not yet grieved the breakup nor gotten over the loss of their former partner.”

In general, Sherman advises against dating too quickly after a breakup, particularly if you are seeking one out just to avoid thinking about your ex.

“It can be hard to emotionally attach to a new partner when you have not yet grieved the loss of your old one,” Sherman told INSIDER. “You may be unable to really give that new person a chance. Plus, you may be feeling sad and needy so you are choosing someone out of comfort rather than choosing them from a place of love, discernment, and strength.”

Not only can this hold you back from achieving a state of peace and understanding regarding your old relationship, but it might also take a toll on the person you’re dating.

“Your mind probably is not clear and you have not yet taken time to be alone, to feel balanced, and to process what happened or figured out the lessons learned in your past relationship,” Sherman told INSIDER. “So, you could take that old baggage or negative beliefs about relationships into your next one.”

That said, there is certainly a case to be made for the rebound

Dating phones appsKamil Macniak / ShutterstockRebounds aren’t all negative.

According to Sherman, some research shows that being with someone new physically can help boost confidence and, subsequently, help you get over your ex. But even in those cases, it is often better to do so in a casual hookup than by getting immersed in a new relationship.

“It may be best to go into a rebound relationship knowing that it’s a rebound and you are in it for that purpose,” Sherman told INSIDER. “You can go into it knowing that you still have to mourn and complete your past relationship before you will probably be psychologically ready to have another intimate lasting one.”

To do this, you’ll need to let the person you’re hooking up with know you have gotten out of a relationship recently and you intend to keep things casual until you’ve processed the breakup. (And, of course, you’ll need to make sure that you avoid inadvertently slipping into relationship-y habits with that person.) If you think you have the capability to do that, a rebound might just be the way to go.

“A rebound relationship might work if you just want to have fun, distract yourself, get back out there, and gain some confidence,” Sherman told INSIDER.

Just make sure you keep the lines between “rebound” and “relationship” crystal-clear.

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

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