Why Do We Rebound After A Break Up?

Should we really be getting under someone to get over someone else?
The pair have supposedly split.
HuffPost US
The pair have supposedly split.

When you come out of a long-term relationship, the last thing you want to do is get into another one. Breakups can be messy, complicated, and emotionally draining, so you probably don’t want to be in another position where you can get hurt again. However, you can’t turn your feelings off and eventually, you will fall for someone, maybe even sooner than you think.

This might be the case for pop star Taylor Swift. Swift allegedly started dating Matt Healy just a month after she broke up with her previous boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn. However, Swift is reportedly now a single woman again as sources suggest the pair have called off their short-lived romance.

“She had fun with him, but it was always casual,” a source revealed in PEOPLE on Monday. Another source said, “They were never boyfriend-girlfriend or exclusive and were always just having fun.”

Could it be that Swift found herself in a rebound relationship, which is quite a normal thing to do after a breakup. But the real question is, why do we get into rebounds in the first place?

Jessica Alderson who is a relationship expert and co-founder of So Syncd shares some of the reasons why people might get into a rebound relationship after being in a long-term relationship:

1. They’re seeking external validation
In some cases, people seek external validation through rebound relationships to boost their self-esteem and feel desirable. After a breakup, people can lack confidence in their physical attractiveness or overall desirability; they can feel rejected or like they aren’t good enough.

Being in a rebound relationship allows them to get a fleeting confirmation that they are still desirable and have what it takes to make someone else fall for them.

2. They feel lonely
People sometimes get into rebound relationships to feel less alone because they miss the companionship and emotional intimacy that comes with being in a relationship. It’s normal to want meaningful connections in your life. In fact, it’s exactly what we’ve evolved to want and need. But it’s important to be mindful that the type of connection we are seeking will benefit us in the long run rather than just serve as a temporary fix.

3. They are looking for a distraction
It’s common for people to seek rebound relationships to distract themselves from the pain of their breakup. They keep themselves busy with someone new so they don’t have to sit with the negative emotions associated with the breakup.

4. They’re trying to fill the void of the last relationship
Sometimes people will use a rebound relationship to fill the void left by their previous partner. Feelings of loss and emptiness are common after a breakup. People may get into a rebound relationship as a way to fill the “missing pieces” in their lives.

5. They want to make their ex jealous
People might get into a rebound relationship to get back at their ex. Rejection is one of the most painful experiences anyone can endure, and some people act out in anger by trying to make their ex jealous. It stems from wanting to make an ex aware of what they are missing out on.

6. They’re afraid of being single

Some people get into a rebound relationship out of fear that they won’t find anyone else. This can leave them feeling desperate or even completely panicked. It’s as if they need to find someone as soon as possible, or they’ll be alone forever. This fear of being single can cause people to lower their standards and enter into relationships that might not be right for them.

Now we know why we get into rebound relationships the next question is: is rebounding a good thing? Alderson says: “Rebound relationships can be detrimental or beneficial, depending on the circumstances.”

Bumble’s sex and relationships expert, Dr Caroline West says they can actually be worthwhile connections if approached in the right way.

“When you’re ready to date again, it’s important to interrogate whether or not you’re truly ready,” Dr West says.

She continues: “Particularly if your break-up ended on bad terms or your relationship was rocky, it’s vital to separate the events of the past and your previous partner, with who you’re speaking to in the present - they are not your ex”.

West highlights that Bumble’s data shows that a third of daters are more than ready to get back on the apps after being in a long-term relationship.

“Whilst it’s important to take the time to process your emotions and ensure you’re not offloading issues from your previous relationship onto a new partner, this timeframe can look different for everyone,” West says.

Rebound relationships can be a source of social connection. “In this case, it’s important for the rebounder to be open and honest with their new partner about their feelings and intentions in order to reduce the risk of anyone getting hurt,” she explains.

Also, although it’s rare, your rebound could end up being your soulmate.

“However, they tend to be temporary due to the circumstances they are born out of,” Alderson says.

Whilst rebound relationships can be a source of comfort, they are often used as a way of avoiding having to deal with the emotions associated with a breakup and may lead to more heartache further down the line.

“More often than not, people enter into rebound relationships from fear, insecurity, or loneliness,” Alderson explains.

She continues: “They can be an unhealthy coping mechanism, giving the rebounder an excuse to avoid processing their feelings.”

Also, they can be difficult to navigate because of the emotional baggage that comes from a breakup. “The unresolved issues can cause tension and difficulties within the new relationship, making it difficult for a couple to stay together in the long run,” she says.

If you find yourself in a rebound relationship, Alderson suggests looking inward. “Ask yourself whether you are truly ready and get clear about your motivations behind seeking a rebound relationship,” Alderson adds.

She says you should take a step back and consider whether you’d be better off healing alone first. “It’s a natural instinct to want to quickly alleviate negative feelings and find comfort, but you need to balance the short-term with the long-term.”

As well as this you should try and maintain honest communication. “If you find yourself in a rebound relationship, it’s essential to be open and honest about your situation with your partner and yourself to reduce the risk of anyone getting hurt,” Alderson shares.