This is Dan from North Carolina. I need your opinion regarding something. My ex and I broke up a couple months ago. This was like a mutual breakup where we both agree in the end to go our separate ways, but she doesn’t seem to be happy in her new relationship. So I’m wondering, is she in a rebound relationship?
After a breakup, it’s common and perfectly normal to wonder whether it’s possible to reunite with your ex. This is especially common when you were the one who got dumped, although some people do feel “dumper’s remorse” and regret breaking up with someone afterwards.
Though the pain may heal, as pain does over time, it can return with a vengeance when your ex starts dating a new person. Perhaps you get signs of this on social media, or you bump into them (awkward!) with someone else. It’s only natural to wonder whether your ex has moved on, replaced you, or whether they still miss you as much as you miss them. Maybe this new person they’re with is just someone they’re dating on the rebound.
What does that mean, anyway, “on the rebound”? And is a “rebound relationship” somehow less real or less true than any other relationship?
Rebound generally refers to the chaotic, short-term period after a breakup. During that wild time, a person’s emotions fluctuate crazily, swinging from calm optimism (“This is all for the best, and will work out OK”) to utter despair and deep misery (“My life is over! I would do anything to get my ex back!”) and everywhere in between.
People are vulnerable during the post-breakup rebound period because they can’t think straight. This is the period when stupid ideas, like texting your ex at work, or calling them at two o’clock in the morning to beg them to take you back, seem like good ideas. Eating an entire tub of chocolate ice cream or going in debt to buy a new sports car you don’t really need can also seem like good ideas.
Common wisdom says that during this rough period, people also enter into romantic relationships that aren’t good for them. They are lonely and just want to be with somebody – anybody – and their standards are lowered.
So, when you see pictures online of your ex laughing and smiling on the beach with a new person, or when you bump into them on the street with their arm around someone who isn’t you, it’s normal and natural to wonder if your ex is rebounding, especially if you hope to win them back.
How can you tell, then, if your ex is in a rebound relationship? The truth is, you can’t, not by yourself. That’s an unhappy fact of life, but it’s true. Since you aren’t a mind-reader, telepathically able to connect to your ex’s mind and read what they’re thinking and feeling, you have no way of knowing how they feel, either about you or their new partner.
The only way for you to tell how your ex is feeling is for them to tell you. And it’s not likely that shortly after you break up your ex is going to volunteer that they are only dating this new person because they’re on the rebound. So you’re never going to know. Let it go.
From your ex’s point of view, the relationship they are in now is necessary. It gives them something they need right now, and it’s their right to enter into whatever sort of relationship they choose. From the outside, you may consider it a “rebound relationship.” A few years from now, your ex may look back and say the same – that was a “rebound relationship.” But you can’t tell them that; it’s for them to judge, not you. And while it’s going on, it’s a real relationship, and it’s their business, not yours.
It’s a waste of time, therefore, for you to sit around trying to decide if your ex is rebounding or not, and scheming to use that information to break them up with their new partner so you can swoop in and win them back. The worst thing you can do is start lecturing your ex about how you know what’s best for them and they should listen and do what you say. [RELATED: 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Ex]
Fortunately for you, the solution to winning back your ex is the same whether your ex is in a rebound relationship or whether they are single – ignoring them for a long period, at least a month, while working on improving yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually. By staying focused on yourself, by making yourself a better, more interesting and attractive candidate, by using your mind to learn new things, you give yourself the best chance of winning your ex back. A strict period of silence, during which you don’t contact your ex at all, will create a little mystery as they wonder what you’re doing, wonder if you miss them. The period of silence will also prevent you from doing stupid things like showing up outside their window at three in the morning to beg. [RELATED: Role Reversal: How to Make Your Ex Chase YOU!]
Meanwhile, as you rebuild yourself emotionally, spend time with your friends, travel, try a new hobby, and remind yourself that you are able to enjoy life, you will make yourself as attractive a candidate as possible to your ex and also to any new potential partners who come along. That gives you the very best chance of winning back your ex – when they are ready. [RELATED: The Law of Attraction: Why It’s a Mistake to Look for Happiness Outside Yourself]
So, to sum up: The bad news is you can’t tell if your ex is in a rebound relationship – only they can tell and it ain’t any of your business. But the good news is you don’t have to decide if they’re in a rebound relationship, because if you want to win them back the solution is the same in either case, whether they’re with someone new or still single. The solution is to take time off, reduce communication to zero for a while, and take care of yourself. Then you give yourself the best chance of finding a time to let them know how you feel. There’s no guarantee they’ll take you back, but following this system gives you the very best chance.
I hope that helps! Sign up for my coaching program to get an unbiased opinion on what to do next or if you want someone to get an outside perspective on things, and guide you accordingly. My Ex Factor Guide also offers a comprehensive, step-by-step instructions on how to go about getting your ex back. Good luck!