The Hallmarks and Signs of a Rebound Relationship

In a rebound relationship, the other person's flaws may come as a shock.
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After a devastating breakup, it's only natural to seek solace and reconnection, sometimes in the form of a brand new relationship. By learning the signs of rebound relationships, you can avoid pitfalls common to those who date soon after the end of a previous union. Among the trademark characteristics of a rebound are the inability to properly bond with each other and having only troubling qualities in common.

1 Reduces Your Anxiety

If anxiety you experienced concerning your previous relationship essentially vanished with the start of a new one, you may be on the rebound, according to research detailed in “On the Rebound: Focusing on Someone New Helps Anxiously Attached Individuals Let Go of Ex-Partners,” published in “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.” Stephanie Spielmann, postdoctoral psychology fellow at the University of Toronto, and fellow researchers reported that anxiety and pining for your ex might be alleviated when you focus your energy on someone new. In this case, the qualities of your new romantic interest are less important than having someone fill that void.

2 The Wrong Qualities in Common

Though the idea “opposites attract” has seen plenty of representation in media, the opposite is usually true, according to therapist Michele O'Mara in “Dating Again, After a Breakup” on her website -- and that can be problematic when you meet someone soon after a breakup. O'Mara points out that when you are still emotionally shaken up from the recent end of a relationship, you give off signs that are likely to attract someone experiencing similar emotional problems. If this is the primary glue that holds you two together, one of you healing could signal the end of the relationship.

3 Missing Attachment

If you're on the rebound, you may not be able to devote the needed attention to this new person because your attention is still wrapped around your ex, according to clinical psychologist Mary C. Lamia in her “Psychology Today” article “'Rebound' Relationships.” Even if you no longer experience positive feelings for your ex, negative ones, such as anger, can still keep you emotionally bound, making it difficult for you to bond with someone new. When you can't grow meaningfully attached to your new romantic interest, it will be difficult to achieve the level of commitment needed to make it last.

4 Too Much Pressure

When you have recently experienced a negative relationship outcome, you might go into your next relationship with an excitement that is refreshing, though perhaps misplaced. According to Robert Stone's "Psych Central" article “The Next Relationship: Rebounds and Replays,” hopes that the new relationship will provide what the old one did not may lead to the mistaken impression that your new love interest, along with your union, is perfect. Having this unrealistic expectation can lead to shock when you discover minor problems. Ask yourself whether you are able to see your new significant other's less-than-ideal characteristics along with the good.

Jae Kemp has been writing and editing professionally since 2010. In addition to reviewing novels, memoirs and psychology/self-help books for major review services, Kemp has served as a copywriter, commercial and creative editor, and staff article writer.