Rebound or real love?
Whether you were in a 6-month relationship that you thought would go the distance, or a 10-year marriage that didn’t make it to 11, breakups are emotionally difficult. You may find yourself jumping into a new romance quickly and wondering if your rebound relationship can go the distance. Or, you may be terrified that you’ve fallen for someone on the rebound who doesn’t really care for you. “When you’re hurting from a past relationship and want to avoid feeling the pain, [and] you jump into another one right away – that’s a classic rebound relationship,” says relationship expert Audrey Hope. Rebound relationships are defined by more than just speed. A person who is rebounding may be trying to avoid their feelings about the breakup. Fixating on someone new is a great way to do that. “In a rebound relationship, there is no space and time to process the truth of the past love. The rebounder uses the technique of denial, plus moving on quickly, to stop their feelings. They might be moving so fast [that] they never stop to learn or grow from what was left behind,” Hope explains.
Your phone has become a lethal weapon
If you’re constantly listening for your ex’s special ringtone, or need to stop yourself from sending him/her/them text messages, that’s a red flag that you’re holding on and not ready to connect with someone new. “If you still have your ex’s number in your phone, you may be subconsciously holding out hope that they’ll reach out again. It may also feel too final to delete their number. Either way, keeping an ex’s number handy is a sign you’re still hung up on them, and not present in your new relationship,” says therapist Kimberly Hershenson. While it may be natural to hold on for a short time, this can be a sign that there are issues you need to work through before you can deeply connect with someone else.
If you think your new honey is a rebounder, their phone may also provide clues (but don’t go snooping, that’s just creepy). If their wallpaper hasn’t been changed since you’ve been together, and their ex’s face is still the one they gaze at every day on that screen, have a heart-to-heart conversation about the issue, and be ready to move on to greener (more available) pastures.
You’re being tortured by social media
The internet is forever, but that’s not such great news for relationships that end in the meantime. If your rebounding honey is spending more time sneaking peeks at their ex’s social networks than they’re having fun with you, that’s a clue that they’re rebounding, instead of falling. “If you’re checking your ex’s social media frequently, such as looking at their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts on a daily, or even weekly basis, it’s a sign you’re not over them. The need to see what your ex is up to should not be a priority if you are truly ready to move on in your new relationship,” says Hershenson. It’s common to peek into your ex’s life for a little while, but this behaviour, if it lasts longer than a few weeks, is a masochistic and toxic way of staying connected. It keeps the hurt alive, making it harder to move on.