Breakups can be incredibly painful. It’s hard to imagine how you will ever live your life without your partner. You find yourself doing the most inane and embarrassing things just to cope, and once the reality hits you, you know there’s only one thing to do: move on.
In this moving-on phase, you may find yourself with someone whose role in your life at the moment is to more or less keep you off of the limbo and loneliness of your post-breakup existence. You are still quite vulnerable, nursing your wounds and hoping they’ll heal fast. You may also run the risk of not seeing things as clearly as you could have, were you not affected by your past relationship anymore.
Rebound relationship rules
Now, the questions loom: how can you move on with someone new in this rebound relationship without hurting yourself again while still opening yourself to the possibilities of love? How can you be in a rebound relationship with someone and not end up having things backfire on you?
Actually, the answer to these *and all the other questions you may have* is easy. Just follow these rules below and stop making your life more complicated than it already is.
#1 Get right back in the game. Now that you’re newly single and you want to get your mind *and heart* off of your failed relationship, there’s no better way to do it than to just hit the ground running.
Sometimes, dwelling on your mistakes will just get you all depressed, so you have to move on. Immediately accept dates with someone new and show the world, especially your ex, that the breakup didn’t even make a dent in your happy bubble *even if, deep inside, you’re really crying*. Just remember, it will pass. So for now, just enjoy the many fish in the sea—and fast. [Read: How to stop holding onto a relationship that’s over]
#2 Use your connections. If you can’t find dates yourself, then have your circle of friends set you up with fitting prospects. Not only do your friends know what your type is, but they’re also able to set you up with a hot new guy who will definitely not be like your ex. Your friends, such is their love for you, will more likely hook you up with someone they think is your match, or at least someone who already has their approval *not like you need their nod when it comes to every boy you see, but it helps to make things pan out smoothly*.
#3 Right one right away? There is no such thing. It’s perfectly understandable to want to try to get over your heartache by going straight into the arms of someone new, hoping that it’s going to be real this time. However, if you’re looking for “The One” just to rub it into your ex that you’ve moved on, you’re in for a disappointment. It’s better to enter into a rebound relationship without any delusions. Think of your rebound merely as a cup of coffee—sure, it feels hot and it makes you feel alive for a while, but then it’s bound to cool and get stale eventually. [Read: Taking it slow in a relationship – How should you do it?]
#4 Come clean. So your heart got broken and trampled upon for the world to see, but that doesn’t mean you should have a vendetta against everyone of the opposite sex like some love vigilante. Just because your pride got crushed doesn’t mean you should destroy your rebound’s ego, too. Be transparent to them about just how far you are willing to go in the relationship. If you want to keep things strictly casual, then say so upfront and outline the parameters so no one gets misled. [Read: 10 casual relationship rules to keep it just casual]
#5 Be sensitive. Don’t be an unfeeling asshole, even if you’re in a casual, no-strings-attached relationship. Make an effort to show your appreciation for your rebound. Learn to give and not just receive. Remember, it’s not all about you. Your rebound has feelings, too, so try not to hurt them if you don’t want it to bite you in the long run. [Read: 20 questions to ask to show your sensitive side]
#6 Go with the flow. Whatever feels good right now, go for it. If you’re feeling the person who’s bumping and grinding against you at the bar, then by all means, get rid of all your inhibitions and just enjoy the moment. If an officemate has been asking you out for coffee, then have coffee. It wouldn’t hurt to say yes to the romance opportunities that are knocking at your door. For once, let the universe lead you to where you need to go. Who knows, you may even like where you end up.
#7 Go against the grain. One of the biggest mistakes you might be tempted to make now that you’re on a rebound is to try to find someone who is exactly like your ex. First of all, it’s going to be disturbing *and your friends will definitely agree*. You will also have more chances of confusing your feelings you have for your rebound. Remember, you can’t get your last relationship back—not even a doppelganger can replace your ex.
#8 Keep it zipped. Keep your rebound and everyone else guessing. First, don’t give your rebound all the deets about your last relationship, especially when you’re out on your date. If they ask about how your last relationship went, a simple, “It just didn’t work out” will do. Talking about your past love can open up a can of worms and make you seem like you still haven’t gotten over your ex. [Read: An ex’ revenge: “My ex’s rumors ruined me”]
#9 Keep them guessing. If you want to look like you’re owning the breakup, keep people guessing. Why do you have to feel obligated to put a label to the relationships that you have, anyway? If you’re seeing someone and you don’t want to define what you have, then so be it. You don’t owe anyone an explanation, especially when it comes to your private relationship—and this includes everything that has to do with your rebound. So let the people talk and speculate while you just have the best time of your life.
#10 Don’t stop believing. It’s not uncommon for rebound relationships to end up as serious ones that may even lead to marriage vows. So no matter how skeptical you may have become, hold onto that thread of hope that love may just be around the corner, or behind the guy you’re just sleeping around with.
Sometimes, the best, most long-lasting relationships are those that don’t even start out normally. The best love stories are those that may even start out with so much complication and so little expectation that you end up surprising yourself. So don’t lose faith—love may come in the most unforeseen circumstances. [Read: 18 tips to fall in love slowly like a fairy tale]
#11 Stop comparing. You might be enjoying brunch with your new beau right now and find your thoughts drifting off to how you spent brunches with your ex. Stop it. While it can be very tempting to stack your rebound up against your ex just to prove to yourself that you’re better off now, it won’t be a fair assessment. [Read: How to talk about a past relationship with your partner]
#12 Rules are made to be broken. Life brings you nothing but plenty of surprises, so welcome them now that you’re not shackled by your past relationship anymore. If there’s anything the past and the present rebound relationship should teach you, it’s not to burn bridges and not to give yourself an ultimatum at life. Don’t let yourself be constricted to rules *even these rules* because you will never know the course that lies ahead.
Breaking up with a long-time, serious relationship can be seriously difficult. There’s the pain, some initial denial, and even the occasional insanity. Sometimes, all you want to do is to go out and pick up the first person you see just so you can convince yourself that you’re moving on.
This is the beauty of rebound relationships. They can help you to cope and move on so that you can eventually bounce back—better and stronger—after a fall. [Read: Break up and forget: Has your ex really moved on?]
You shouldn’t feel bad about being in a new relationship after a breakup. Nor should you stoop to using another person heartlessly for your own means. Keep these rebound relationship rules in mind to help you play *and win* the game the right way.
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