10 Things You Learn From Rebound Relationships

I’m a firm believer in rebound relationships. Although the majority of them are doomed — because let’s be honest, you’re just not emotionally ready to get involved again — they still serve a purpose. They get you out of your rut, make you feel desirable again, and who doesn’t love to have sex to get over an ex?

But for all the good that can come with rebound relationships, there are some downsides, too. However, they’re part of the journey and there’s always more than a few lessons in every journey. Here are those things you learn from rebound relationships.

  1. They’re the ultimate distraction. Like, such a great distraction! Being wooed and desired by someone new can totally put your past relationship on the back burner. No amount of retail therapy or mass consumption of Ben & Jerry’s can distract you quite like a rebound relationship.
  2. You always end up going for the closest thing available. The thing with rebounds is that it’s not like you’re going for the cream of the crop. In many ways, you’re settling for what’s easily available, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You probably even know in the moment that you’re settling just to get your head off your ex.
  3. You’re not actually ready to love or trust again. One of the big pluses that comes with rebounds is how they teach us that we really do need some time on our own before we’re able to love again. But that’s also part of their charm, too, because they’re a baby step back toward a real relationship.
  4. They give you hope that you’ll love again. On the other hand, along with teaching you that you’re not ready to love again or be in a serious relationship, rebounds also give you hope that, yes, there’s more than one person how there who thinks you’re fantastic and when you’re ready, you’ll find them.
  5. You’re totally using the other person. In every rebound I’ve had in my life, I was forced to face a painful truth: I was using the other person. Although in each situation, the guys knew I was clearly on the rebound and knew it wasn’t likely to become serious, the fact remains that you are using that person. But if they’re on the rebound, too, then all’s fair in love and war.
  6. They can be really confusing. After the end of a relationship, emotions are high and it’s hard to figure out how you feel, what you felt, or what feelings you’ll have in the future. While rebounds do have their upsides, what you learn from them is that they can play games with your head and suddenly you think you’re in love with your rebound, because you desperately want to be in that head space of love again. If that happens, don’t go there. That is the most slippery of slopes.
  7. It’s almost always out of spite. You know what was the most common part of my rebounds? The whole “screw you” to my ex. Even if my ex was completely unaware of my rebound relationship, in my mind, I was proving to him that I had moved the hell on and was happily having sex with someone else. However, the reality was that I was mostly just trying to prove to myself that I had moved on ― which in some cases I had, while in others I definitely hadn’t.
  8. They can prevent you from going back to your ex. No matter how a relationship ends, there’s usually that period where the two people involved in the breakup do that whole drunken hooking up thing for old time sake. It’s always a bad idea, but weakness, man, it’s a bitch. A rebound nips that in the bud, because you’re too consumed with your new toy, to go back to your old crummy one ― the one that’s broken and busted anyway.
  9. They’re awesome for your self-esteem. When you go through a breakup, many people put themselves through the ringer by obsessively asking themselves what they did wrong, what they should have done better, and the ever-popular, “What’s wrong with me?” We beat ourselves up after a breakup, second guessing everything, but a rebound turns all that negativity around. Instead of wondering where we messed up, we’re too busy having sex with someone who makes us feel hot and sexy to give a damn.
  10. Rebound relationships never work out. While there are those cases where rebounds work out ― for the short term anyway ― rebounds aren’t meant to last. They serve a purpose, then you let them go. And when you’re ready for the real deal again, you’ll know it.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.