There is no law stating how long someone should wait after their breakup before starting a new relationship.
At the same time, it’s best not to get serious with anyone until you are over your ex.
Unfortunately, some people can’t bear to be single and work through the pain that comes with the end of a relationship.
Instead, they latch onto someone else at the earliest opportunity.
This is known as a “rebound relationship.”
Needless to say, you probably don’t want to be with a partner who is on the rebound.
But how can you spot the signs that you’re in this kind of relationship?
Here are 5 things to look out for:
1. They pay you lots of attention, but are not bothered about getting to know you on a deeper level:
Someone on the rebound is more interested in being in a relationship than finding the right partner.
They want to lose themselves in the fantasy of falling in love.
They want to forget about their ex, they want a happy ending – and they want it to happen overnight.
Be wary if someone bombards you with calls and texts, claims that you have a “special connection” even though they have only known you a short while, or goes over the top with romantic gestures.
They are acting out a dream relationship in a bid to escape from their pain.
2. They use you as a status symbol or as a way to make someone else jealous:
Someone who is truly over their ex doesn’t feel the need to impress them or make them jealous.
Be wary if your partner seems obsessed with posting photos of you on their social media, particularly if the photos are accompanied by captions claiming that your new relationship is amazing.
Even if they can’t admit it to themselves, your partner probably wants their ex to see that they have supposedly “moved on.”
Ironically, this behavior suggests that they are still very much attached to their ex.
3. They have a repeating pattern of long relationships broken up by short-term flings:
Some people just can’t cope with being single.
If their relationship ends, their first instinct is to seek solace in the arms of someone else in a bid to take the pain away.
Be careful if they’ve had rebound relationships before.
4. They use you as an unpaid therapist:
Responsible, mature adults who have been through a breakup work through their issues before jumping into a new relationship.
Someone on the rebound tries to use dating as a form of therapy, which is never a sensible strategy.
Watch out for anyone who spends a lot of time ranting, moaning, or even crying about all the things that have gone wrong in their life.
If you find yourself listening to their tales of woe for hours, there’s a good chance they are using you as an emotional punching bag.
If they want to talk about what went wrong in their previous relationship, they are looking for a shoulder to cry on rather than a new partner.
5. They want to accelerate the relationship, and act as though you have been a couple for years:
Someone who has been in a long-term relationship may feel as though their life has fallen apart if they suddenly find themselves single.
In a bid to get back what they miss most about their relationship – which is often emotional intimacy, someone to confide in, and someone to hang out with every weekend – they will try to shoehorn you into the role of long-term partner.
For example, they might give you a cutesy nickname within a few days of meeting you, try to engineer in-jokes, and ask you to do domestic choirs and mundane jobs like painting the living room wall or taking trips to the grocery store.
You might get the sense that they are trying to fill the hole left by their ex – and you are probably right.
Some rebound relationships can develop into meaningful love, but the majority are short-lived.
If you realize that your partner is probably on the rebound, you might feel used and disrespected.
However, your partner may be so deep in denial and so eager to distract themselves from their pain that they genuinely believe that they are falling in love with you.
Take a step back and ask yourself this:
Are you willing to wait around while they get over their ex, and try to build a loving relationship?
In most cases, the answer will be “No!” You deserve someone who wants to be with you for the right reasons.
Go find them.