Rebound Relationships – 5 Signs Your Ex Is In One & Why They Fail

Rebound Relationships

Let’s talk about rebound relationships. You know, that thing you’ll never label your ex as being in.


Because you are more comfortable convincing yourself that they’ve changed – that they are a better person in a better relationship with someone who’s everything you never were. Your insecurities can’t get you to believe that your ex is only capable of toxic relationships.

After breaking up, the next step is moving on. You may have even gotten to the point where you start to feel yourself getting better, thinking about him/her every few hours (instead of every second). And then…

You find out from a mutual friend that they’ve moved on.

This can’t be real.

It’s not a game but it feels like your ex just won. They beat you to it. All the progress you convinced yourself you’ve made is gone. You feel like a forgettable loser and brace yourself for the inevitable proposal that was supposed to be yours.

But maybe, this could actually be a good thing. You heard me.

Maybe the joke’s on your ex, karma is slowly kicking in, and he/she is in the biggest relationship joke of them all: the rebound.

What is a rebound relationship?

Rebound relationships are a specific type of toxic relationship that forms quickly after a breakup. They are generally with someone that your ex will claim (on social media especially) to be serious with, committed to, seeing a future with, loyal to, and emotionally invested in.

Rebound relationships are adult security blankets composed of 0% cotton and 100% self-serving avoidance of guilt, confrontation, responsibility, accountability, and reality. 

Rebound relationships are nothing more than distractions. Period. The reason that they usually result in an epic fail is because of the very distraction they provide.

As long as you’re “distracted,” you never get to emotionally heal and deal. You don’t get the chance to better yourself by learning from your mistakes and evolving.

You are still the same toxic person in the same, non-mutual, toxic relationship – no matter who you’re with. This is how “bad luck” with relationships is developed and why people keep dating different animals but the same toxic species (and keep getting the same result). We are hesitant to label our ex as being in a rebound relationship because we are vulnerable and our only source of happiness has been taken away. It then becomes much easier to subscribe to the story that our ex is new and improved.

All of the insecurities that their behavior activated now seem valid. So WHY NOT believe that he/she happy?

It gives you a license to continue to remain invested through closeted and humiliating means. This does nothing but justifies your stalking, obsession, and further demolishes your confidence and sense of worth.

If you are now beginning to think, “My ex is in a rebound relationship”…

1. They started the relationship before they ended it (or as they were ending it) with you.

Healthy relationships don’t come from a situation like this.

2. If it’s been a relatively short amount of time (it’s all relative, but I like to say three months or less), since the breakup/last time he/she spoke with you… It’s highly likely that this is a rebound relationship.

Is My Ex Over Me? Well, if your ex quickly jumps into a new relationship shortly after your breakup, it often indicates a deeper layer of denial, avoidance, and unresolved pain. Moving on so rapidly can be their way of sidestepping responsibility and avoiding the tough conversations about why they’re still single. It conveniently shields them from addressing yet another relationship that didn’t work out in their history. This new relationship serves as a diversion, pulling their focus away from thoughts of you, from facing their responsibilities, and from potential questions from curious family and friends. Essentially, by being with someone new, they evade confronting why things fell apart with you. And let’s be real, individuals who display such behavior, especially those with narcissistic tendencies, rarely enjoy discussing their mistakes or shortcomings.

3. Even if your ex doesn’t directly flaunt his/her new relationship, they make it known on social media that they are happy/changed/successful/”busy”/”enlightened,” etc.

This is nothing more than image managing and attention-mongering at its finest. It’s an attempt to see if they can still get a reaction out of you. If you freak out and start texting your ex, it does nothing but inflate their ego and make them feel like less of an a**hole for the breakup (because if someone truly screwed you over/broke your heart, you throwing a fit because they are with someone new translates to them that you still care. And if you still care, it means that he can’t be that bad of a person because if they were really that bad… you wouldn’t be giving them the time of day or giving a sh*t about who they are now giving theirs to). It also affirms that they made the right decision by breaking up with you.

4. Friends/family/coworkers are surprised that he/she is in a new relationship already.

5. The new partner is vastly different from you.

Why do rebound relationships fail?

Rebound relationships fail because no evolution or change takes place on your ex’s end. No healing, no dealing. It’s hard to form a mutual, genuine, connected, and long-term relationship with someone where the relationship was either built on deception or has happened directly after a previous relationship has ended.

If your ex was a selfish, emotionally unavailable partner with you and they’re now dating someone after you’ve broken up…

You can bet that they are still the same person with their new partner – no matter what they post on social media. And it doesn’t matter how amazing their new partner is either. Ultimately, no one can make anyone change out of being who they are at the core. This is why many rebound relationships are short-lived and non-mutual.

I know it’s hard, but your ex moving on has absolutely nothing to do with you. The reason it feels like it’s all about you is because you’re tying your value to their behavior. You keep looking to them for validation. Just because they’ve made the decision to date someone new, that decision doesn’t devalue who you are. Someone else’s decisions and your value are two separate entities; completely independent of one another.

You’re giving this person too much credit. 

Your ex is just as validation-hungry as you are except, he/she needed a quick distraction from having to address their own issues. So, they started to look for someone else to fool. Instead of dealing with their emotions in a healthy way, they chose to get involved in a rebound relationship because that’s what emotionally unintelligent, toxic people who are incapable of empathy DO. You chose to rise above the bs.

So what do you do now?

You stay on your white horse, remain non-reactive, and get out of the compare game.

How long do rebound relationships last?

I know it’s hard but this new fling will not last. Your ex is still the same disconnected person that he/she was before you, with you, and that they are continuing on to be. This is who they are. It doesn’t matter how amazing of a person you think they’re with or how convinced you are that they’ve really moved on and changed. They haven’t.

Go about your business and do your thing. Don’t give in to the urge to gossip to friends, analyze the crap out of what’s going on or contact them and play into the “desperate ex” part that he/she is so certain you’re going to play, their ego has already written the part for you.

Let them have their victim card. Don’t get preoccupied with being “right,” “heard,” “chosen,” or “winning.” If they treated you with an absence of respect, believe me when I say that there is absolutely nothing to “win.”

Every time you miss your ex, come here to the blog. Even if he/she gets married tomorrow, none of it is an indicator of a changed and evolved person. If that were the case, there would be no divorces in the world.

Change and evolution take time – time that you are no longer willing to waste by waiting around.

Written by: Natasha Adamo

If you’re looking for further and more specific help; if you’re tired of waiting to be chosen and ready to choose yourself, personalized coaching with Natasha Adamo is the answer. Book your one-on-one session today.

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Author of Win Your Breakup, Natasha Adamo

About Natasha Adamo

Natasha Adamo is a globally recognized self-help author, relationship guru, and motivational speaker. With over 2.5 million devoted blog readers and clients in thirty-one countries, she is a beacon of inspiration to many. Her debut bestseller, "Win Your Breakup", offers a unique perspective on personal growth after breakups. Natasha's mission is to empower individuals to develop healthier relationships and actualize their inherent potential.

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