In the context of dating, the term "rebound" comes with plenty of undeserved baggage. If you are a rebound, you are automatically less than. In reality, being a "rebound" simply means you came after someone else. (Pun semi-intended.)
Dating someone after getting out of a long-term relationship does not necessarily mean you have nefarious intentions. Timing is weird, and sometimes you meet someone right after you break up with someone else. Other times, you swipe until your thumb goes numb because you need someone to take you out and remind you that you are worthy and attractive and still good in bed. No shame.
If you have a rebound in your life that you are dismissing because it feels "too soon," here are 11 signs you should make them something more.
1. They Give You Quality Cuddles
If your new zaddy/female zaddy — saying zommy feels weird — spoons you like a champion, take note. If you don't feel the desire to punt them out of your bed, maybe that's your first baby step to intimacy. Cuddles are kind.
2. You Get "Good Morning" Texts
And "good night" texts. And "just because" texts.
If your rebound is reaching out just because they feel like it, I think you should get on board, or pass them my number. And if you find yourself sending them "just because" texts? Girl, dive in.
3. You Get Seamless Together
Netflix-and-chilling does not a relationship make, but if your rebound is willing to get down with some Sunday night takeout soggy nachos in bed with you, the grease on your sheets is a sure sign they get it. Finding someone willing to be as gross as you are is hard, so maybe upgrade this "rebound" to "bound."
4. They Order Seamless To You
You can stop reading here because you've hit the jackpot.
Your rebound is first of all, an angel, and second of all, has your home/work address saved in a non-creepy way. (After all, you are effing.) This perfect specimen knows your order and wants to surprise you. This is what we call a keeper.
5. You Get A Blow Out Before Seeing Them
Or a manicure. Or an upper lip wax. (V important.)
This means you care what this person thinks of you, which is totally fine no matter how long ago you broke up with your ex. Follow your feels.
6. Their Friends Friend You On Social Media
If your rebound's friends are friending you as soon as you've left the bar, you know your new person speaks highly of you and sees something more long-term. As long as these friends aren't tagging you in creepy memes, this is yet another sign that things are getting serious.
7. You Share Feelings With Each Other
You suddenly feel that lump in your throat where you want to squeeze the other person so hard and tell them "please never let me go." Or maybe you're a little less sprung and you just open up about your ex. Vulnerability and honesty are really good signs this could be more than just a casual eggplant-in-donut situation.
8. You Wear Your Retainer Around Them
If either of you wears your equal parts cute and gross retainers/Invisalign/mouth guards in bed in front of each other, lock it down. Again, being gross together is a great sign you're going to be really good at dating seriously.
If you both have retainers? I can't handle it. Too much cute. Propose already.
9. You Talk About Therapy
Much like wearing a lisp-inducing mouth guard, talking about therapy in front of a casual rebound means that you trust them. If you both talk about your shrinks like it ain't no thang, put one more check in the "pro" list to making this thing more legit. Same goes for talking about politics.
10. You See Your Dating Apps As Fossils
When you get that email from Hinge begging you to "please come back!" and you give zero Fs, that's a great sign that you are happy with your rebound.
When you don't even remember what numb thumbs feel like because you haven't swiped since your rebound came into your life, call yourself on it. You like this person. Open the champagne already.
11. Your Ex Feels Extinct
The ultimate litmus test: You no longer pine for your ex. Or get angsty about them. Or really bother to check up on them. If your rebound has you all in attention-wise, go all in relationship wise.
There are two simple things to ask yourself before deciding whether your rebound — or any person in your life — should become something more. First, how do you feel about them? And second, how do they treat you?
Even if there are no retainers or surprise Seamless deliveries in the picture, if your rebound shows you that they are a truly awesome person who really cares for you, give them a real chance. Forget what people will think. There is no timeline for mourning your ex and waiting to move on. They didn't die. (Hopefully.)
Somebody likes you. You like them back. Deal with it.