For Now Vs Forever: The Difference Between A Rebound And The Real Thing

In my experience, people don’t just get one rebound. In fact, the last four years of my life were basically filled with rebounds. Rebounds and “friends with benefits.” I’m not going to lie… it was a fun few years.

The problem with rebounds is they aren’t meant to last. They’re meant to keep you occupied for a while, but then you're meant to part ways and to live separate lives.

Rebounds can be both helpful and harmful, depending on the mindset with which one enters such an arrangement. The goal -- as far as I understand it -- is to eventually find a partner to spend your life with.

Rebounds are really only bandaids, helping you cope with the pain of your last breakup.

They’re meant to fail.

Their value lies entirely in their function as a distraction from reality; they’re meant to help you forget that you still have a broken heart.

The issue is that your heart will remain broken -- rebounds aren’t meant to put you back together; they’re simply meant to hold you in place so that you don’t fall apart.

Sooner or later, however, you’re going to arrive at the conclusion that this sort of relationship just isn’t enough. You’re going to need more. And hence we arrive at the issue and the topic of this post:

It’s sometimes difficult to tell whether the person you are dating is just another rebound or whether he or she's the real thing.

You have to understand that, even when you want to start dating someone seriously, there’s always a chance it will end up being nothing more than a rebound relationship.

Personally, I didn’t plan on filling nearly a half decade of my life with rebounds. I went into each potential relationship with the hopes of it becoming something serious.

Unfortunately, it never worked out; they all just ended being rebounds -- ways of forgetting, if only for a few hours, about the one that got away.

There are a few distinct characteristics, if you will, that are required for the real thing to be the real thing, and not just another rebound. Here are a few markers to look out for:

Rebounds make you happier while they're around; the real thing has a lasting effect.

Rebounds are great because they cheer you up. You’re still working on getting over your last relationship and need that bit of extra support.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. What good are human beings if we can’t support one another when we need it? Sure, support in this case mostly involves sex and not tuning into your emotions, but it does help. And, to be honest, it’s usually a good deal for both parties involved.

The issue is that as soon as you part ways, lose that distraction, your mind will likely wander back to your ex.

It may not even hurt quite as badly, because you just got laid, but if you were to break things off with the rebound, you wouldn’t miss him or her. You’d miss your ex.

When it’s the real thing you know it’s the real things because that person makes you happy from the moment you wake up until the moment you get to bed.

Real loves make you happy and whenever they’re not around, you miss them.

Rebounds are anywhere from decent to good in bed; with the real thing, you can feel the passion.

Woody Allen says it best: “Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go, it’s pretty damn good.”

Sex can be bad -- believe me -- but it’s usually pretty fun. Rebounds are great because they don’t ever last too long, but just long enough for the sex to stay interesting.

In fact, it’s usually when the sex goes downhill that the rebound-rebounder relationship comes to an end.

However, rebound sex is never mind-blowing sex, and mind-blowing sex can only happen if what you two have is the real thing. You want your sex life to be passionate; you want the entire relationship to be passionate.

If there’s no passion in the sack, then I’m afraid it’s not the real thing. You can’t fake passion.

Rebounds may care about you, but you will only care about the real thing.

This is the darker side of the rebound/friend-with-benefits/booty-call world. Someone usually ends up falling for the other.

In my experience it’s usually the woman -- not something to be ashamed of at all (if anything it ought to be applauded) -- but it can often also be the man.

Just because someone is your rebound doesn’t mean that you’re a rebound to that someone. You may be, but it isn’t necessarily the case.

I feel like eventually things fall apart in these situations precisely because one person begins to ask for and expect more from the relationship.

This is sort of the moment of truth. If someone asks you for more -- and you want to give it to him or her -- then it might be the real thing.

If, however, you can’t do it, if you know you don’t care enough about the relationship to give it a real shot, then you need to break things off. Otherwise, it’ll get very messy very quickly.

Rebounds are about feeling loved; the real thing is about wanting to love.

Every relationship is a rebound of sorts if it doesn’t end in love. You’re either distracting yourself from the pain left from a previous relationship or distracting yourself from the pain that often is everyday life.

The only reason you ought to ever be in a relationship with someone is if you think there is a possibility of the two of you falling for each other. There is no other respectable reason.

Rebounds are only meant to be kept until we’re certain they aren’t the real thing.

You don’t always know that someone is great for you right from the start; it sometimes takes time, which is understandable. However, as soon as you realize that he or she's just a rebound, cut things off.

There’s no reason to lead anyone on, and there’s even less of a reason to distract yourself from your reality indefinitely.

Eventually, the distractions will cease and you’ll be forced to face that reality. Better to do so earlier than later. It minimizes the chances of your reality warping into something real ugly.

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