Are You A Rebounder Or A Mourner?

A friend texted me and asked me what my take is on rebound relationships.

I don't really have one, to be honest. But I do have a lot of thoughts on this matter, and depending on whether people will take is as an advice or otherwise, it's really their choice as to whether such relationship is the right thing to do or not.

Have you really let go?

When a relationship ends, the chances are you’d find yourself either rebounding from it or you’d take the time to mourn the relationship or there are cases where people do both.

So what are you?

More often than not, people get into a rebound relationship immediately - 3 to 6 months - after their most recent relationship ends. I supposed it’s understandable and probably a only a normal thing to do, considering that after a break-up, one needs to feel wanted, needs a distraction from the pain of their sorrows and fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, it is also a quick-fix to one’s damaged self-esteem.

Usually, after a bad break-up, the person on a rebound could be in a state of emotional turmoil. The feelings of anger and sadness, minds filled with lots of unanswered questions as well as the classic 'could've-should've-would've’ scenarios. And there are also those who might even feel that time was wasted and hence, the need to jump into a new relationship.

Rihanna and Drake: A classic example of a rebound relationship

But how does one know if they’re in a rebound relationship as opposed to being in one where they think they’ve truly moved on and that the current relationship they have is for real?

Honestly, I think you just know, y’know?

While there is no step-by-step guide to fully ascertain if you’re in a rebound relationship, I like to believe that, at the core of your being, you know.

In essence, when you still spend time wondering about your previous relationship or when you are still hurt from not only the experiences you went through but also with what your ex currently does or when you still focus on one or more particular issues within that lost relationship or, and more importantly, when you still experience deep feelings of pain, regret and angst whenever something reminds you of the previous relationship, then you are in a rebound relationship.

Are you still thinking of your ex?

When you find yourself in any of the aforementioned scenarios, then the chances are you haven't fully let go. I’d even say that your focus in not yet fully on your new relationship. No matter how much you want to discipline your mind to think that you’re ready to or you have, move on, the same discipline could not be applied to how you feel.

And you're only lying to yourself.

Some people are very good at hiding their feelings and thoughts from their current partner and it’s really hard for the new partner to know whether the person they’re with has moved on or not. It’s really almost impossible unless you know how they behaved in their previous relationship; at least that way, you’d know whether their behavior is normal or whether they’re still affected by the unfinished business with the ex. They could show you how much they enjoy your company and that they even love you but what happens when they go home and are alone is a totally different matter.

Maybe, the person you're with just wants someone to talk to, to make them feel special

Personally, I pity the new partner. I really do because there’s no way to know whether your current partner has truly moved on and that their relationship with you is as real as their relationship with their ex, yknow?

I wish there was a clear guide to tell us how to know but there isn’t. If you are the new partner, do you then commit to the relationship even if you are not sure whether the person you’re with is on a rebound or not?

In any relationship, especially in the early romantic stages, there's always that danger that you're going to think that that is the best relationship you've ever had and you'd ever have and you'll want to commit too early. And it’s perfectly understandable, more so, when you’ve secretly wanted that person for quite some time, even when they were still with their ex.

Do you really understand what you're getting into?

I say, take it slow. Even if you feel that they’re the one, you just have to force yourself to take your time. At least this way, if it’s truly a rebound relationship, you won’t be as hurt as you’d be if you give your all.

Statistics – sorry, I’m a Planner – show that when the party who’s in a rebound relationship has finally worked through their emotional pain from the previous relationship, the current one normally ends shortly after. And always, transactional relationship - as they are called - ends up badly!

Of course, there is a chance that rebound relationships would work. But it’ll only work if the non-rebounder is open to be abused, compared to and loved less. Anyone who is ok with being treated like a 2nd choice, then yes, there is the possibility that it could lead to a fairy tale ending. But we also know that not all fairy tales end up happily.

On the other hand, I am a mourner through and through.

Being a mourner is being true and giving the demised relationships it's due

I allow myself the time and space to mourn the loss of a relationship. I really don’t see the point of jumping into a new relationship when I still have issues to settle with the previous one; it’s not fair to the new person nor is it fair to me. In all my relationships since I was a teenager, I’ve always approached break-ups this way.

Being a mourner is not easy. There is a danger that you could be stuck in that zone for a very, very long time and when you do, you could miss the opportunity to have met someone who’s right for you.

You have to be instinctive and very strong mentally and emotionally should you decide to be a mourner. Of course, and it’s just my personal opinion, being a mourner allows you to properly say goodbye to the demise of a relationship and when you’re ready to move on, you are really ready. There is no second thoughts and no holding back of any emotional baggage.

A mourner doesn't tell his/her stories; they prefer to keep it to themselves and eventually, keep it in their memories

But that’s just me. I have always been different and I love being different.

Whatever approaches anyone of you takes, just make sure that it’s not only about yourself but the other person as well.


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