Does Anyone Ever Actually End Up With Their Rebound? An Expert Investigates
What's that old saying? The only way to get over someone is to get under someone new? After a gnarly breakup, sometimes listening to Beyoncé, putting on your freakum' dress, and getting frisky with a new cutie can be exactly what you need. But if you're not interested in a one-night situation, it's natural to wonder: Does anyone ever actually end up with their rebound? If you're newly out of a relationship, is it possible to get into another one?
"A rebound has many definitions and interpretations," Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Elite Daily. "It can be anything from the next natural relationship following the breakup of a relationship to a targeting of a relationship in specific reaction to the breakup of another relationship." According to Dr. Klapow, some "rebounds" are actually just organic connections with a new cutie that happen to come after calling it quits with an old one, and some are not-so-natural hookups driven by your post-breakup emotions. Although everyone is different, Dr. Klapow shares that the process of a "rebound" becoming a real relationship is entirely based off the intention of the rebound in the first place.
"If there is a natural progression from one relationship to another relationship even if the next relationship is looked upon as a 'rebound' then the intentions are much more solid," Dr. Klapow says. "By contrast, if the new relationship is sought after to heal wounds from the first relationship, to soothe distress, to replace feelings of loneliness or at worst in retribution to an ex then the likelihood of longevity is slim." As Dr. Klapow expresses, although both situations (meeting someone soon after a breakup and hooking up with someone because you're bummed about your breakup) could be considered "rebounds," they are different types of connections that ultimately can lead to different types of relationships.
Although a new romantic connection may initially feel comforting, if you're trying to build a new relationship, Dr. Klapow shares the importance of healing your heart on your own. "You cannot expect to move from one relationship to another without healing your wounds yourself," Dr. Klapow says. "A rebound relationship that is there to heal old wounds is not a healthy relationship. We need to understand what we brought to the old relationship that contributed to its demise. We need to understand how we are coping now that it is over and we need to understand where we are going to be vulnerable and reactive in a relationship moving forward."
Of course, everyone is different and there's no universal time limit that one should wait between relationships. Still, Dr. Kalpow suggests making sure you're ready to move on before jumping into something new. "It’s not so much a 'waiting period' as much as a period of self-discovery, insight, and introspection," Dr. Klapow says. "You must understand and learn what happened in the previous relationship, how you contributed to the breakup, what are your issues moving forward and how will you cope with them and care for yourself before you connect with someone else. If we walk into a new relationship with unresolved issues from the previous relationship, we walk into the new relationship with toxicity." In terms of taking care of your own healing, Dr. Klapow suggests talking to friends and family, as well as seeking out professional help. Being open and honest with yourself can help you to understand what you're looking for out of love and how you want to move forward.
If you've done the emotional heavy lifting on your own and are feeling ready to move on, Dr. Klapow shares that people really do end up with their rebounds. "If in the process of ending a relationship you discover another person and if while you come to develop a bond with that person you are extremely careful to heal old wounds on your own terms by yourself and for yourself, i.e. you don’t rely on the new person to fix what went wrong in the last relationship — then a rebound can develop into a new and healthy relationship," He says.
As long as you're clear about where you are mentally and you don't expect your new relationship to fix your previously broken heart, Dr. Klapow attests that rebounds can, in fact, become real relationships. You don't always know when love is going to find you. Sometimes you meet your person three years after your last breakup and sometimes, you meet them when you're ugly crying into an ice cream cone at the park, two days after getting dumped. Whatever the case, being clear on boundaries and not pressuring your new connection to entirely fix or soothe your feelings can set you up for a sustainable new connection.
There is no one way to move on from a breakup. Whether you hit the clurb with your girls and make out with nine people or you get back on the apps, sometimes, finding a new connection can be everything you need and more. Still, if you're trying to build your rebound into a relationship, it may be helpful to be clear about what you're feeling. Your new boo may be everything you're looking for from a partner, but they still can't fix everything you're feeling. When it comes to love, if you're truly ready to move on, it can be totally natural for your rebound to become a slam dunk.