shutterstock_78391027When a relationship fails, and you find yourself back out there, sometimes it is hard to decipher if your next relationship is a rebound. It’s not like you can put a clock on when a rebound is a rebound, or when it’s not? You break up and you’re alone for two months? A year? Seven days? Does it depend on how long you were in that previous relationship, or, does the intensity of a relationship determine how much times it takes to get over it? There are no clear answers to these questions, but recently I considered the idea of what constitutes a rebound. Sounds confusing, it is.

“Oh, you’re on the rebound.” A classic saying one might hear after breaking up with a previous partner.  You date someone that you consider a rebound after the end of long-term relationship and think ok, been there done that, but what if the next guy is just another rebound? Society puts a lot of weight on casual cliques to understand complexities of relationships and calling someone a rebound can be rude and hurtful. I’ve even heard people say, “He’s not a rebound, he’s the real rebound, the rebound after your rebound, the one that is supposed to be the real rebound.”

It is all so confusing. I don’t think there are any true tools to discover the difference between a rebound versus a new fresh relationship with the term rebound looming over your head. Being back out there after a failed relationship is going to breed havoc in understanding such things. And there really are no answers to whether someone is a rebound or not. It’s all grey.

I ended a long term relationship awhile back and took months working on myself. Building my independence back, going through all the stages of pain, regret, and suffering that accompanies a break up. It took months to find myself again and in those months I casually dated here and there and definitely knew in the back of my mind that I was rebounding. I practically made an effort to line up my stable of rebounders. It helped me move on and stop obsessing over my previous relationship. It was nice. And thankfully I knew these flurries of men were just light dating. Then, I met someone.

I met someone that was the exact opposite of the person I broke up with, and the opposite of the stable of guys I lined up for my rebound phase, and it scared me. Since I had made huge strides working on myself and purposefully filled my calendar with dates here and there, dates that I consciously knew were rebounds, it made me stop and wonder, is this a guy a stage two rebound? Is this for real and does it count? It seemed too good to be true.

Often times when we end a bumpy relationship and find ourselves in a healthy one it can be scary. You fear that person could be another wave of rebound and although you are out of your rebound stage, there is no way to successfully determine if it is the real deal without time. With all the complexities that entail a break up, and time alone after a break up, and rebounding after a break up, it’s hard to find clarity, which is okay. Time will tell. If that clique is really all you can have to fall back on and, if you are going to fall back on other imposed societal clique, why not that one…e

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