There’s a reason the expression exists – because it’s a common situation, repeated time after time by different people. And one that we’re all likely to come across at some point in our dating days, whether as the one on the rebound, or the person rebounded onto!
The thing about relationships, is that they become your everyday.
Day after day, you become used to a certain person playing a specific role in your daily life. And when that changes all of a sudden, it can be hard to adjust.
A few months ago, a male friend of mine was telling me excitedly about a girl he’d just met. They’d been chatting every night, he’d met her family, she’d met his family. To be honest it was adorable seeing how excited he was over her.
My friend shook his head. He was the exception, not the rule. After all – this new girl was texting him just as much as he texted her. She was instigating the calls at night. She was the one suggesting they go on holiday together.
A part of me liked seeing my friend like this. Not just because he was so happy, but because it was nice to see a guy act the exact same way so many of my female friends do when we think we’ve met someone who will play an important role in our lives.
But the sensible side of me – the girl who has been on more dates this past year, than in the last twenty-nine years of my life – knew the signs.
‘Just try not to move too quickly,’ I suggested. ‘I don’t want to see you get hurt.’
A few weeks ago, out of nowhere the girl broke up with him. She didn’t even do it face to face. She went quiet all of a sudden, cancelled their plans, and eventually dumped him over text message, telling him that she wasn’t over his ex.
‘I believe her.’ He admitted, when he finally told me what had happened.
I did too. I’ve been the victim of a rebound on a couple of occasions.
You know you should be taking it slowly. Deep down you know that you need to lay proper foundations, if the relationship is to become something long-term. And yet the person you fancy seems to fancy you just as much back! Why should you slow down, if you’re both going at the same speed?
I think it’s particularly hard if you’re a ‘relationship-type’ person. The things I miss most about relationships when I’m single, are the things which take time to build. Emotional intimacy. A full understanding of what the other person needs – on both a personal and sexual level. Having someone to share your life with – whether that’s silly texts throughout the day, or spending every non-working hour at your side.
Those aren’t things you can rush.
But someone coming out of a relationship doesn’t necessarily see that.
Their break-up has left a particular shaped void in his or her life, which they will try to fill as quickly as possible.
And so in replacing their ex, they rush to a stage in their new relationship that resembles where they left off with their ex – whether that’s planning a holiday, weekly dinners with the parents, or near-on moving into each other’s houses.
Life continues at the same pace it went with their ex, until one day they turn around, and realise you are not their ex. And in rushing straight into a relationship with you, they haven’t given themselves any time to get over their ex.
Yes, they may have split up for all the right reasons. Their ex may not have been the right person, and you may be a far better match, but until they have come to terms with their break-up, it’s unlikely they will recognise that. Instead, you are simply someone playing the role of their ex, without the shared history.
The worst part, is that when you go into warp-speed with someone who is on the rebound, it’s hard to slow down your own feelings. They sweep you up in their excitement. They call you all the time, share their life with you far more than a new boyfriend or girlfriend normally would, and catch you up in an excited whirlwind. Before dropping you out of nowhere when reality hits.
It might be a few months, or even just a few weeks … but the intensity of those few weeks will make it so much harder to get over than a normal-speed relationship.
So next time you find yourself in a situation like my friend, try to slow it down a bit. If someone is excitedly moving through the gears of a relationship with you, make sure you understand their history, before you get too caught up, too quickly. Slow starts lay heavy foundations, and hopefully foundations that will last. And if you do end up getting involved with someone who has just come out of a relationship, be careful not to simply become a replacement. Give the other person time to properly get over their ex before they rush into something with you. Yes, you might have to last a bit longer, but it will be worth it. Promise!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx