Contrary to popular belief, the best way to get over one boy is not to get under another one. Rebounding post-break-up is essentially equivalent to taking a handful of Prozac. It may help to make you feel better initially, but it’s a temporary fix at best. Rebounding is a form of procrastination. It’s a distraction that allows you to put off dealing with your feelings about the initial break-up. I could hardly count myself a member of the ADD Generation if I took issue with procrastination; however the problem comes when this rebound-relationship inevitably falls apart and you’re forced to deal with the demise of two relationships at once. The sooner that you stop and evaluate your past relationships to determine what has worked and what hasn’t, the sooner you can begin to draw conclusions about what you are looking for. Knowledge is power, and knowing what you want out of a relationship gives you the power to refuse to settle for anything less.
It’s also possible that you may find yourself on the opposite end of the spectrum: dating someone on the rebound (i.e. you’re someone else’s rebound). If the relationship seems to get serious almost immediately, you may be their rebound. A person rebounds in order to fill the void left behind by their ex, which is why they will often start your relationship on the level that their previous one left off at. Texting 24-7 after only one date? Madly in love after less than a week? Enjoy it while it lasts because it won’t last long. These relationships are hot, heavy, and doomed from the get-go. He is not “the one,” he is filling a vacancy and you are likely too love-drunk to realize it. In order to avoid finding yourself in this sort of situation, I have a rule of thumb that I abide by:
For men, allow one week for every month that they were in a relationship.
For instance, if a guy dated someone for 6 months, they’ll need at least a month and a half to spend acting like a frat boy on Spring Break before they’re ready to start looking for anything real. A girl’s rebound period is not so easily calculated, however there are signs.
A girl is likely not over her ex if:
- Every compliment to you is an insult to her ex (for example: That is SO sweet that you brought me flowers! My ex never used to do anything like this for me. You are so thoughtful! It’s so nice to finally be dating someone who isn’t a totally self-obsessed jerk!) There is a fine line between love and hate, and you do not want to be playing border control. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.
- She cries every time she drinks
- She plans your dates based on where you’re most likely to be seen/not seen by her ex or her ex’s friends
- She tries to plaster you all over her Facebook wall by taking awkwardly posed pictures while on dates, posting questions on your wall that warrant a response, “checking in” literally everywhere you go, and tweeting love song lyrics that couldn’t possibly be about you, because you’ve only known her like two weeks….right?
- She is totally up-to-date with her ex’s life: he may have taken a job in a foreign country and moved twice since they broke-up, but he never fell off of her radar. She knows exactly who he is dating now, whether or not his new girlfriend’s boobs are real, and what their latest fight was about.
- She has idealized her ex and believes he can do no wrong. She likely blames the split on herself- she moved away, could never master Mandarin Chinese, was allergic to his dogs, etc. and constantly regales you of tales of her relationship past.
- She’s basically BFFLs with her ex. When you two get in a fight, she runs to him. Seriously, bro? Game over.
- She calls you by his name. RED ALERT!
Having said that, if you decide nonetheless, that you really want some distraction in the form of tall, dark and handsome, make sure that you don’t waste anyone with actual relationship potential by using them as a rebound. “Waste not, want not” also applies to men.