5 Early Signs You’re Someone’s Rebound, So You Can Protect Your Heart
One of the biggest red flags I keep an eye on during a first date is someone saying they've just gotten out of a long-term relationship. It's not an automatic dealbreaker, as we all have a past, and if you want to focus on the positive it means this person is capable of commitment, which... yay! But it can also mean that this person is still healing from a breakup. So, if you like them and want to keep things going, having an idea of the early signs you’re someone’s rebound is a great way to guard your heart, while still exploring if your connection with this person has the potential to last.
The good news is that, according to licensed mental health counselor Michelle Henderson, there are often some early warning signs that your relationship is of the rebound variety. "Sometimes, there can be obvious signs that you're someone's rebound if they talk about their ex frequently or if they say they're not ready for a serious relationship because they just got out of one," she tells Elite Daily. However, Henderson does warn that sometimes those signs can be a bit more subtle, especially if the person you are dating isn't totally aware that they are still healing from their last relationship. "They may think they are ready to get back into dating without acknowledging that they haven't fully healed from their last relationship. This can make it tricky to know if you're someone's rebound because they may not realize that they're rebounding in the first place," she explains.
With that in mind, here is what the experts say to be on the lookout for, in terms of both obvious signs and more covert ones, that mean you could be in a rebound relationship.
1. They Talk About Their Ex All The Time.
Do you find that the topic of your current flame's ex just keeps coming up? If so, Trina Leckie, breakup coach and host of the Breakup BOOST podcast, tells Elite Daily to take note. “[It] shows they are constantly thinking about them,” she says, which in turn likely means they are still getting over the split and could be rebounding to deal with it.
2. Things Are Moving Way Too Quickly.
If two people click, it’s easy to just sort of fall into a relationship naturally. In fact, that's kind of the goal, but Leckie warns that a relationship that seems to be going at an extra-fast pace can actually be a sign of a rebound. “You may almost feel like you’re being love-bombed, too much too soon, things aren’t evolving naturally. They seem so wrapped up in you, yet it also feels quite surface level. This shows they are trying to rush things along,” she explains.
Henderson adds that if the people around your partner are also commenting on how quickly things are progressing, that could also be a warning sign of rebound relationship. “You may hear things from their family or friends expressing surprise about how quickly they're moving on, saying things such as, ‘I didn't expect them to start dating again so soon’. Even if your partner may not be letting on that you're a rebound, family and friends as outsiders may see signs that you are,” she says.
3. They Are Still Connected To Their Ex On Social Media.
Does the specter of the ex persist on social media because your partner still follows their every move online? If so, consider that a not-so-subtle sign something is amiss, says Leckie. “[It] shows they can’t move on and aren’t quite ready to let go,” she warns.
4. They Are Confused About Their Last Breakup.
When the subject of their last breakup comes up, how do they talk about the reason it ended? Does your partner seem like they have closure around it? Or does it seem like they can’t quite get their heads around what went wrong? If it's the latter, then Leckie says this may be a cause for concern. “[If] they act completely shocked about their breakup and can’t explain to you why it happened because they’re still confused themselves. [It] shows they’re in denial,” she explains.
5. They Tell You They Aren’t Ready For Another Relationship.
The clearest sign that the relationship is a rebound, Henderson says, may be the most overt of all... but also one that many of us are guilty of ignoring, particularly if we really like the person. That’s when they tell you straight-up that they aren't ready for anything serious. “This means that they are still trying to emotionally recover from the breakup they just went through and may not be ready to fully invest in someone else,” she explains. In other words, if they tell you they aren’t ready, believe them.
While knowing that someone is on the rebound right away is super helpful, since it can help you safeguard your heart, what if you’re coming to this realization when you’re already emotionally invested? Leckie says your best bet is to take a beat and create some emotional distance. “It’s best to take a step back and give them room to heal, or else you could just end up going along for the ride and get hurt in the process,” she warns.
Henderson agrees. “If you realize you're someone's rebound, name the specific things you've heard them say or seen them do that indicated this to you. Hopefully they can acknowledge that they may not be as ready as they thought they were for another relationship and things can end mutually and on a good note. You deserve someone who is with you for who you are, not because you're a rebound from someone else,” she concludes.
While that may sound very dire, remember that these are just signs and does not guarantee that your relationship is a rebound, so don't panic if one or more of these occur. Instead, consider just taking in the information and talking with your partner about it. Trust your heart and your gut, and do what feels right for you.