How to Approach a Girl Who's Rebounding From a Relationship

Carefully consider if the relationship is right for you.
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You've met a girl who seems to have it all. A great personality, an infectious laugh, and she seems to "get" you. The only catch is that she's on the rebound. Being on the rebound brings up the question of her emotional availability since her prior relationship has recently ended and she may not have had time to heal, says Mary C. Lamia, a clinical psychologist and author of "Rebound Relationships" on the "Psychology Today" website. Approach her calmly and with caution to ensure that she's ready for another relationship.

1 Weigh the Risks

Think through the situation carefully before approaching a girl who’s on the rebound. If you’re not careful, you could get hurt by getting involved with someone who’s not emotionally ready to move forward in another relationship. A girl on the rebound may be focused on finding a distraction from her pain of loss rather than seeking a loving relationship, says David S. Wilde, a psychotherapist and author of “Am I in a ‘Rebound’ Relationship?” on his website. Consider if you’re willing to take the risk of becoming involved with a girl who may not be able to be fully in your relationship.

2 Consider Her Intentions

If a girl has recently ended a relationship and wants to get involved with you, consider the reasons behind her desire for a new relationship. Perhaps she is afraid to be alone, she is trying to dull the pain, or she is looking to you for validation of her self-worth. Or perhaps she truly does want to be with you because of who you are and the connection that she feels with you. A sense of neediness in a girl might reflect the desire for a relationship based on fear, rather than a genuine interest in you, says Lamia. She may also harbor negativity, resentment and anger toward her ex, possibly making remarks about him. However, rebound relationships sometimes do grow into successful, healthy relationships, though emotional issues can often surface that need to be resolved, says Nathan Feiles, a therapist and author of “Are Rebound Relationships Doomed?” on the "Psych Central" website.

3 Give Her Space

Rather than approach a girl on the rebound immediately, you could give her some space to heal from the pain and troubles of her past relationship. Unfortunately, healing can take a long time. It can take anywhere from weeks to a year or more, depending on the circumstances of the relationship, says Wilde. Jumping into another relationship can ease the pain of her breakup, but the distraction does not allow her pain to heal, says Wilde. Therefore, stepping back and giving her time to heal may benefit your chance of a healthy, successful relationship in the future, as she likely needs time before she can fully commit to another partner. In the meantime, you can build a solid friendship with her, which is also the basis for a successful relationship. Encourage her and be supportive as she goes through the painful process of healing.

4 Move Slowly

If you decide to proceed with a girl who’s rebounding from a relationship, take the new relationship very slowly. A person needs to feel good about herself and know what she desires from a future relationship in order to be in a healthy relationship, says Lisa Thomas, a counselor and author of the article “Rebound Relationships” on the website "Online Couch." Rather than jump into a serious relationship, slowly get to know each other. For instance, go on dates that give you the opportunity to talk, such as going to a coffee shop, taking a long walk or going to the beach.

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.