There’s a “rebound relationship” checklist that I use for every client that comes to me when another person is in the picture with their ex.
And today I’d like to share it with you.
You’ll find that the 6 signs that I talk about in this article are different than what some of my peers are telling you.
This is by design because I want you to understand the reality of the situation you’ve found yourself in and I’m not interested in lying to you to make you feel better.
So, with that in mind let’s begin!
6 Signs That Your Ex Is In A Rebound Relationship
Below I have compiled the checklist that I use for my personal coaching clients who ask me if their ex is in a rebound relationship,
- How quickly did it take for your ex to move on?
- How long your ex has been dating that new person for?
- Does your ex have a history of jumping from relationship to relationship after a breakup?
- Is your ex exhibiting a bit of the grass is greener syndrome?
- Have you considered the differences between stability and excitement?
- Is your ex showing off the new person to you to rub it in your face?
Now, if you are familiar with my work on Ex Boyfriend Recovery then you’d know that I am really big on giving you in-depth reasoning.
So, what I’d like to do is take a few minutes and expand on what each of these signs actually means.
1. How Quickly Did It Take For Your Ex To Move On?
In case you were wondering Psychology Today has gone on the record and defined a rebound relationship as,
A person getting into a relationship shortly after their previous one ends.
I’ve actually found that reality is a little more sinister than that when dealing with exes.
In fact, what no one usually tells you about an ex “going on the rebound” is that they typically meet that rebound when they are still in a relationship with you.
Basically they start forming some type of emotional or physical bond with them while they are still committed to you.
This introduction of a third party into your relationship can sometimes be enough to cause the breakup itself,
This leaves your ex pretty happy initially with the new person and you pretty devastated, searching the internet for answers.
Here’s my point.
We are here to look for the signs that an ex is on the rebound and one of the most important things to take a look at is how fast it took for them to move on to the new person.
As a general rule of thumb the quicker they move on the more likely it is to be “a rebound.”
That’s what all of my peers are going to tell you and I will agree with them on that.
But what about that situation I discussed above?
What about if your ex meets this new person while they are with you?
Is it a rebound then?
Well, that’s why we don’t hang our hats only on one sign.
2. How Long Has Your Ex Been Dating The New Person For?
About a month ago I filmed a really interesting video on YouTube that tackled one of the most asked questions I get by clients,
“How long does the average rebound last for?”
I answer that question in the video and write up below,
Now, the interesting thing I found when I went to Google and started searching for the answer was that no one really had any data on how long rebounds lasted for.
People had guesses…
And a few of my peers who I won’t name were quoting ridiculous things like,
“60% of rebounds last less than three months”
Never mind the fact that when I actually did a fact check on these statements I couldn’t find any proof to back them up.
So, seeing as how there wasn’t any research that I trusted I decided that I would create the research for myself.
So, I went out and did the following things.
- Looked at my own internal notes on how long it took for a rebound relationship to end
- I went to every forum I could think of and compiled the data from what people said
- I went to every answer website that had written an article on the topic and scanned the comments to see if I could learn anything there.
The whole process took me a good 3 hours.
Now, my goal with all of this was to create a benchmark for my clients who were wondering at what point a “rebound” turned into a “real” relationship.
I wanted to put a timeline on it. I wanted to be able to point to something and say,
“You can expect the average rebound to last (x) amount of months.”
Turns out that when you compile all of the research together you get the following number,
Now, does this mean that your ex and his new person is going to break up at exactly 5.2 months?
However, it gives us a benchmark to grade sign #2 on.
Generally speaking if your exes “rebound” has lasted longer than 5.2 months that is starting to get into more serious territory.
3. Does Your Ex Have A History Of Jumping From Relationship To Relationship After The Breakup
This is an often overlooked factor when it comes to determining if your ex is in a rebound relationship or not.
By simply looking at your exes past you might be able to determine if them jumping into a rebound is common or not.
It’s not exactly rocket science…
But let me throw some fascinating knowledge your way.
Do you think getting into a rebound relationship is healthy?
Think carefully before you answer.
Most of your friends and family will tell you that it’s not. They’ll sit there and say that it simply distracts a person from dealing with the necessary emotions that they need to deal with to move on from the heartbreak.
Well, recent research as early as 2014 suggests that actually getting into a rebound relationship can help your ex get over you and start to feel more confident.
This flies in the face of everything you’ve been told growing up.
Basically getting into a rebound relationship can be one of the best ways to get over a breakup.
Now, you may be sitting here and wondering,
“Why the heck are you telling me this?”
I’m telling you because love, breakups, lust, heartbreak, anger, sadness, depression… they are all nothing more than emotions created as a result of chemicals being released or regulated by your brain.
Well, that’s the scientific way of looking at it.
But I think it’s important to consider the scientific view for a moment.
If your ex is heartbroken as a result of a break up with you wouldn’t it make sense for the brain to protect itself by finding someone as soon as possible so that it can release the right chemicals to help you get over your heartbreak sooner?
Now, I don’t want to get into a philosophical discussion on fate or free will here but to me it makes sense that your ex may not even be aware of the reason they are dating a new person. They just simply feel that it’s what they have to do.
I’ve talked to a lot of men and women going through breakups and the one common thing that I hear from them when I ask them why they jumped into a relationship so quickly is,
“I don’t know…”
I used to think that they just didn’t want to tell me so they were just giving me a lame excuse.
But the more I sat on it and considered I began to believe that they probably have no reasoning for why they are wanting to go to the new person. They just know they have to do it. Well, it could be that their sense of self doesn’t know why they need to do it but their brain does.
So, like an unseen force working behind the scenes it draws them into another relationship.
So that it can give the body the chemicals it needs to get over a breakup sooner.
4. Is Your Ex Exhibiting The Grass Is Greener Syndrome
The grass is greener syndrome is one of those buzzwords that everyone always talks about but I honestly don’t think anyone understands the dynamics of it.
When you think of the grass is greener syndrome you probably start thinking about an ex who thinks they can do better than you, right?
But what if I told you that we are always looking to find a bigger better deal in our relationships.
The interdependence theory posits that we commit to each other based on costs and rewards.
In other words, we are always looking to get rid of people who cost us things and find the people who reward us the most.
Now, here is the wild part.
When researchers started trying to understand how interdependence played into relationships they learned that three huge factors come into play.
- Satisfaction: how satisfied we are with the relationship in question.
- Alternatives: Is there another person out there who can satisfy us more than the person we are with?
- Investment: how much have we invested into the relationship?
Now, I don’t know about you but “Alternatives” sounds a lot like the grass is greener syndrome to me.
One consistent theme I see with exes who move on to someone new is they have this unshakeable belief that they can do better than you.
However, a rebound really isn’t a rebound until that new relationship ends is it?
How The Honeymoon Period Plays A Role Into GIGS
Now, what do we know about new relationships?
Well, we know that every new relationship will go through this period of time where the world looks a little like this to them,
Basically, we view our relationship through rose colored glasses and believe our partner can do no wrong.
So, lets swing around to your ex and their new rebound.
When they are really determining if they made the right choice in breaking up with you (assuming they did break up with you) they are going to be comparing how they feel with the new person to how they felt with you.
And it’s obviously going to be better.
Well, the new person has an unfair advantage.
Your ex is looking and comparing based on how they feel during the honeymoon period so it makes sense that your relationship won’t compare.
But the one constant in this world is change…
And that even applies to how we feel in relationships.
So, often what I see happening is that when the honeymoon period ends your ex does this internal calculation in their head and that’s when the true grass is greener syndrome comes into play.
That’s when they’ll really sit there and ask themselves,
“Is the person I’m with really better than (insert your name?)”
5. Consider The Difference Between Stability And Excitement
A few weeks ago I was reading an article on “The Atlantic” that Esther Perel wrote.
Now, if you don’t know who Esther Perel is then you need to stop everything you are doing right now and check out her website and watch this video,
In my opinion, the woman is a savant when it comes to understanding infidelity.
Now, let’s be honest.
Infidelity is a really dark topic and you may be sitting around and wondering why the heck I am talking about it when this article is about rebound relationships. Well, in my view there are a lot of similarities between someone who is having an affair and someone who is jumping into a rebound relationship.
After all, most of the rebound relationships I encounter are actually beginning while your partner is still with you.
But we are getting off topic here.
One of the most fascinating findings that Esther Perel has been championing is that one of the underlying causes of why we cheat on our partners is due to the fact that there isn’t enough excitement in their relationship.
They can love each other deeply but contrary to popular belief love doesn’t conquer all.
Within every man lies a need for excitement and stability.
Now, after working one on one with clients for half a decade I’ve come up with something to fully describe this need for excitement and stability
Stability is the opposite of excitement…
And excitement is the opposite of stability…
And yet we need both to feel fully satisfied in a relationship which will then help in preventing us looking elsewhere.
So, ideally we are always trying to bring this perfect balance of stability and excitement to our relationships but something tells me that when you look back on your time with your ex this might have been problematic.
For example, you might have been a little too stable and not exciting enough,
This isn’t good because what happens then?
Well, that’s where your ex will take a step back and start looking for an alternative that can bring more excitement into their life.
Of course, the reverse is also true if you are too exciting/unstable in a relationship,
You see, I have this really interesting hypothesis that in general people veer a little more in one direction than the other. Take me for example. I am not overly attracted to someone who always wants to go on adventures and is extremely outgoing.
However, there are times in my marriage where I want my wife to be that way.
I want her to be spontaneous and exciting.
But at my core I always value stability a little more.
So, the reality is that I think we are always trying to achieve a perfect balance of excitement and stability but the fact is that we always prefer one a little over the other.
6. Is Your Ex Showing Their Rebound Off To You?
Our Private Facebook Group has special terminology for rebound relationships.
They call them,
OW’s = Other Women
The OW did this…
The OW did that…
You get the picture.
Well, one interesting thing I notice on there is that they become so obsessed with the other woman and what she’s doing that they completely forget to look at things from a broader perspective.
Last year I was working with a client and her ex boyfriend had gotten an “OW.”
Obviously, I gave her this checklist (excluding this particular sign) to look over and determine if her exes new woman was indeed a rebound relationship. She determined that the new girl was but she ended up throwing me off my game when she asked me a question that I was not expecting,
“Chris, he is literally asking for my advice on how to handle her in different situations”
Now, I’m not going to lie to you. I have heard of this happening a lot but what threw me off my game was the fact that I had an instant lightbulb moment,
You see, before when a client would ask me this question I’d just immediately assume they were being friend zoned but what if they weren’t.
What if the ex was literally asking them questions about the new girl to not only throw it in their face but to gauge their reaction to see if they were still interested.
Well, the only way for me to find out was to actually go to the clients that I had helped successfully win their exes back who had rebounds and ask them if their exes exhibited this behavior.
It turns out that half of my clients said that their exes did this exact thing and half of them said they hadn’t.
That’s pretty significant.
Significant enough to add to the list.
So, our list of five became a list of six and we have strong evidence to suggest that if your ex is throwing their new relationship in your face it is a sign that, that relationship is a rebound!
I Want To Talk To You For A Bit
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we’ve been undergoing a lot of internal changes here at Ex Boyfriend Recovery.
What do I mean by that?
Well, I’ve determined that a lot of our old content is… well, old.
It’s outdated and my views have changed on it. So, rather than writing new content covering the same ground I am going back and updating it. Just like relationships the content on our website is a living breathing thing and it needs to change as the times change.
So, I am going to make a commitment to you.
Every year as I learn more about what works and what doesn’t work I am going to come back and update this content. In addition, I’ve made a personal commitment to do my best to respond to every comment that I get.
So, if you want to a quick take on your situation just ask me a question in the comments and I’ll try to get back to you within 24 hours!
Sometimes life gets in the way but usually I am pretty good about it.
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