This is the fourth and final installment in my blog series about dealing with past relationships/Exes. Rebound relationships can either be a casual fling or something deeper. They can teach us a lot about ourselves, unfortunately they also have the tendency to crash and burn.
Generally, a Rebound relationship consists of three key players:
- The Rebounder aka person whom jumps into a new relationship too soon after a breakup
- The Reboundee aka the new significant other of the Rebounder
- The Ex aka The Ghost of Relationship Past
The relationship is over. Farewell to the old psychodrama and dysfunction.
Soon after, you arrive upon a more stable relationship which seems to be the answer to your heart's prayers. Unfortunately, you are still not completely over your prior relationship. The stability of your new situation enables you to finally begin processing the prior relationship.
At first, you deduce that your Ex had many failings which contributed to the dissolution of your relationship together. More time passes, and you begin to let go of your anger towards your Ex. This is a step in the right direction, but now you have to face the part in which you played in the demise of your prior relationship.
The Reboundee has both their emotional and financial house in order. This makes you all the more aware of the things in your life which are out of sorts. As your new relationship evolves, you begin to feel very inadequate. You realize that you need more time to get your life together.
Although, you love the Reboundee, you cannot continue being in a relationship with them because you know that you are not a good bet for them at this time.
As the Rebounder, you need to be both gentle and respectful with the Reboundee's heart. Do not play the Reboundee against your Ex, make unfair comparisons between them, or pressure them to wait for you to get it together. Instead, let the Reboundee go. Give them a chance to find love with someone whom is emotionally available to love them.
You are in love with someone whom is not over the past relationship. No matter what you do or say they are still comparing you to their Ex. It is disconcerting to listen to the Rebounder's constant grumbling about their past relationship. You are unable to walk into the proverbial sunset together, because the Rebounder's unresolved feelings about the demise of the relationship has them chained to their Ex.
As the Reboundee in this relationship, you have to be cognizant that the Rebounder may not be fully over their past. Also, be prepared to step aside and let them heal...without you by their side.
In essence, your relationship cannot go forward in a healthy manner until the Rebounder gets their emotional act together.
Although, the may seem like the enemy of the Reboundee. In actuality, the Ex is really a non-entity in this situation. The true nemesis of the Rebound relationship is the unprocessed feelings of the Rebounder. There are Exes whom love stirring the pot and causing drama. However, said Exes are only successfully in doing so when the Rebounder is not completely over their prior relationship.
There is a difference between not being over a person and not being over the failure of a relationship. Whenever you are not over a person, nothing can distract you from the fact that you are no longer with this person. You are focused solely on the individual and want to be with them come what may.
Whenever you are not over the failure of a relationship it has more to do with your unprocessed feelings than your Ex. This is why reuniting with an Ex does not always work. You return to the person only to find that you do not want to be with them. You were simply chasing the old relationship dynamic which no longer exists and ain't ever coming back.
There are no hard and fast rules about when to begin dating again after the loss of a relationship. I have been guilty of getting back into the dating game a week after a break up. The euphoria of newly minted singlehood launched me into more than a few ill-advised Rebound relationships.
However, after the newness of the Rebound relationship wore off... my unprocessed feelings emerge.
All at once, I felt trapped and resentful of my new relationship. I realized too late, that I needed more time to completely heal before I began dating again. My biggest piece of advice regarding Rebound relationships is to make sure that you are truly over your prior relationship before starting a new one.