March 27th, 2013 by Jenn

5 Ways to Have a Successful ‘Rebound’ Relationship


The traditional interpretation of a rebound relationship makes it seem like an inevitable, messy and emotional component of any breakup. It’s earned its negative connotation by being exploited in tv shows and movies, characterized by one night stands and disrespectful treatment of the rebound participant. It conjures images of men using women for easy sex, and women attaching themselves to men like a stage-5 clinger.

But not all rebounds are this distasteful, and in fact, some are actually helpful. They can provide a much needed self-esteem boost, serve as a reminder that there is a future out there and you will not be alone forever, and be a stop-gap for some hard-to-break relationship habits. You just have to go about them in the right way.

Recognize it for what it is. There’s no shame in needing some temporary companionship – after an intense relationship ends, there’s going to be some withdrawl from your couple habits – cooking dinner together, spooning at night, Saturday morning dog walks, etc. It makes sense to fill some of the holes left by your former partner, but don’t allow yourself to ignore what is happening and convince yourself that you’re fine.

Choose your rebound partner wisely. For example, if you’re a guy who just got out of a 4 year relationship and you know you need some time to grow and learn on your own, don’t begin a casual rebound relationship with a woman who has been single for a couple years and is eager to start a family and settle down. That’s disrespectful to her, and it will end in disaster for both of you. Choose someone who is looking for the same things you are – something fun and casual and short term – and make sure they’re aware of what you’re looking for.

Set some boundaries. Your rebound fling doesn’t have to meet your friends or your parents, they don’t need to accompany you to weddings or engagement parties, and they certainly don’t need to be identified as your significant other. These things lead to a slippery slope that gets messy quickly, and when you’re trying to recover from a break up – and trying to not be disrespectful to your rebound – the less complicated the better.

Keep your expectations low. Rebounds are great for the post-break up phase while you find your footing and come to accept your status as a newly single guy or gal. They might lead to a happily-ever-after in the movies, but since when has Hollywood depicted real life in an accurate way? Don’t expect your rebound to turn into your true love, because chances are you’ll be disappointed.

Don’t rub it in your ex’s face. This one is commone sense – don’t be an asshole.

Have you ever had a successful rebound relationship? How did it end?

photo credit: Keoni Cabral via photopin cc


Jenn is a northern transplant currently living and dating in Atlanta, Georgia. She keeps herself entertained with weekly trivia nights, a kickball league, and cozying up to her DVR full of crime dramas. A blogger for over four years now, she’s not sure how she would communicate if she couldn’t share her life stories with strangers on the internet. For advice and words of wisdom in 140 characters or less, you can find her on twitter at @jenniferalaine and Google+.

One Response to “5 Ways to Have a Successful ‘Rebound’ Relationship”

  1. March 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm, S Mac said:

    I have had a successful rebound relationship. I was asked out and was hesitant to say yes knowing my heart was still pretty broken. I decided to go out anyways and was completely honest. I told him I couldn’t give him 100% and he couldn’t at the time either. It was a self esteem booster and worked out well for both of us. It lasted a couple months longer than I thought it would but ended well.


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