Click play to listen to this article.
I’ve been meaning to address this for a while now, the obsession some people have about figuring out whether their ex is in a rebound relationship or not. For those uninitiated, a rebound relationship is a relationship a person enters right after or soon after a breakup to suppress or escape their pain and feel less lonely. Or they get into it to somehow get back at their ex.
Most rebound relationships are toxic, shallow, and therefore short-lasting. And while there are exceptions, they’re rare. According to studies, these relationships last only from four months to one year, and 90% of the time fail spectacularly (1)
For an average person wanting their ex back, this information is heartwarming. It means they still have a chance at getting them back since their rebound likely won’t work out. But if it turns out their ex is in a real/non-rebound relationship, then there’s a much higher chance that it will work out, and so they wouldn’t be able to get them back.
It’s this uncertainty and unease around reconciliation that makes a person obsess over their ex’s relationship so much that they embark on a wild hunt for any signs indicating it’s a rebound.
Well, the whole thing is a total waste of time. And here’s why.
The Many Interpretations Of The Signs Your Ex is in a Rebound Relationship
Below are six signs your ex is in a rebound relationship. Each can be interpreted differently. Some interpretations are based on false hope, desperation, and neediness. Other interpretations are based on the uncomfortable and cold reality. No interpretation is conclusive. Read on and expand your awareness.
1. Your Ex Got Into A New Relationship Shortly After Your Breakup
Interpretation #1: If your ex got into a new relationship soon after your breakup (roughly speaking, a few weeks to three months later), it’s a sign that they’re in a rebound. Generally speaking, the faster they got into their new relationship, the likelier it is that it’s a rebound.
Interpretation #2: Your ex may simply be one of those lucky motherfuckers who found their next long-term partner faster than most people. Or they found someone who you think is a partner but is actually nothing more than a casual date. After all, we just fucking love prematurely jumping to conclusions when being desperate.
2. Your Ex Is Dating Someone Who Is A Polar Opposite Of You
Interpretation #1: If your ex’s new partner has a radically different personality, looks, and values than you, it’s a sign that your ex is in a rebound relationship. For example, you’re a religious and conservative blond, and your ex’s new partner is an atheistic and liberal brunette.
Interpretation #2. Maybe your ex just wants to experiment with different types of people since they realize that if a relationship with you didn’t work out, you’re probably not their type. Or perhaps their partner being the polar opposite of you is nothing but a coincidence, and you’re simply overthinking everything.
3. Your Ex Flaunts Their New Partner
Interpretation #1: If your ex is showing off their new catch, be it in real life (i.e., flaunting them to their friends) or on social media (i.e., aggressively posting pictures of the two of them enjoying themselves), it’s a sign that they’re in a rebound relationship. It can even mean your ex is trying to get a reaction out of you.
Interpretation #2: Wouldn’t you show off your new partner? Perhaps your ex’s behaviors don’t even have to do anything with you. Maybe you’re just so upset that you’re consciously or unconsciously misinterpreting your ex’ pride for their new partner as their attempts at making you jealous or pissed off.
4. Your Ex’s Family And Friends Are Stunned
Interpretation #1: If your ex’s friends and family can’t fathom or are confused about how they’ve moved on to someone new so quickly, it’s a sign that they’re in a rebound relationship.
Interpretation #2: Maybe your ex’s friends and family are shocked because they themselves never dated much and perceive having more than two partners in one’s life as something uncommon. Or you’re deluding yourself into thinking your ex’s friends and family are shocked because it hurts to admit that your ex is over you.
5. Your Ex Develops An On/Off Relationship
Interpretation #1: An on/off relationship is a toxic relationship where a couple regularly keeps breaking up and getting back together. Sometimes the cycle happens every few months. Other times it happens every few weeks. So if your ex formed an on/off relationship with their new partner, it’s a sign that they’re in a rebound relationship.
Interpretation #2: Maybe your ex is just an emotional wreck who attracted another emotional wreck into their life. And if that’s the case, another concern pops into mind: why get back with them? Are you stupid, naive, desperate, or a combination of all three? Now that’s something to think about.
6. Your Ex’s Relationship Is Moving Faster Than Normal
Interpretation #1: If you find your ex’s relationship rushing forward, tackling serious romantic milestones like planning a future, moving in together, marrying, or having a kid in less than a year, it’s a sign they’re in a rebound relationship.
Interpretation #2: Maybe your ex just has different beliefs about how quickly relationships should form. Perhaps you find marrying someone and having kids with them in less than a year abnormal, while your ex harbours the opposite opinion. Or your ex’s relationship is moving too fast because they have little to no relationship experience under their belt or because they’re a codependent.
The Reality Behind The Signs Your Ex is in a Rebound Relationship
The signs just aren’t worth fussing about.
Sure, it’s great to be confident that your ex is in a rebound, for it makes you feel as though you still have a chance to get them back. But that feeling is not always a reflection of reality.
The reality is that any relationship your ex gets into, be it a rebound or not, will lead them to get over you faster, for that’s the intrinsic nature of getting into another relationship after a breakup in general.
Even if your ex’s new relationship fails, that’s still not a guarantee that they’ll want to rekindle things with you. Most likely, they’ll find someone else.
Besides, if you’re the dumpee — which most people reading my site are — your ex probably fell out of love and got over you while you were still together. So when they dumped you, they didn’t need to do much grieving.
And to twist the proverbial knife even deeper, if you dated a toxic ex, they’ve probably lined up potential partners behind your back while you were still together — potential partners who made their transition from being in a relationship to being single much easier. Some toxic exes even go as far as to cheat with their plan B’s. Hopefully your ex wasn’t one of them.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot about this one: you probably shouldn’t get your ex back, even if you could. Because if you do, you’ll just break up again eventually. At least that’s what happens to most people.
All of this is a depressing reality, but a reality nonetheless.
But, but, but, Maaaaaax. These other ex-back experts are telling me the opposite. They’re telling me that I SHOULD look for signs my ex is in a rebound relationship. That I still have a chance. And that there still is hope.
Have you ever heard of the saying, “Feeling good sells”? Because that’s what your favorite ex-back experts are doing. They’re filling your brain with turds in the form of false hope so you buy their courses and overpriced coaching calls faster.
Get Into A New Relationship Yourself
Instead of mopping around, looking for signs your ex is in a rebound, wondering if their new relationship will last, or God forbid, trying to sabotage it, here’s a new approach to try out: shut the fuck up and get into a new relationship yourself.
Yep. You’ve heard me, bitch. Get into one even if it’s a rebound.
Contrary to popular opinion, getting into a rebound is usually worth the risk. Not only will it help you get over your ex faster and make you less desperate, which consequently makes you more appealing and attractive, but it also has the potential to change the entire trajectory of your love life for the better.
Because who knows, maybe your supposed rebound partner will turn out to be the next love of your life. And even if that doesn’t happen and your relationship falls flat, the whole experience could still serve as a valuable lesson illuminating several ways you can improve your future relationships.
A Provocative Perspective On Why You Can’t Let Your Ex Go
Perhaps the reason you can't let go of your ex is because you're scared and selfish — the same way I was years ago.
Your Ex Is Not Your Therapist
Your ex is not your therapist, nor should they be. And if you make them one, you'll be rejected in no time and never get them back.
How To Risk Rejection And Admit Uncomfortable Truths
A guide on how to tell your ex you still love them and want them back, and stop pretending you're okay with how things are between you now.
Going No Contact With A Fearful-Avoidant
Going no contact with a fearful-avoidant is tricky. But this guide will simplify everything so you can mend your relationship faster.
The Do’s And Don’ts Of Being Friends With An Ex
Few relationship questions are as polarizing as if you can be friends with an ex after a breakup. Here's my best attempt at answering.