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Rebound Dating: Should You Or Shouldn’t You

A girl who's rebound dating smiling as a guy hits on her.

Ending a relationship is difficult—to say the least. We feel emotionally exhausted, insecure, and lonely. No wonder so many of us decide to start rebound dating shortly after. On one hand, rebound relationships are fun, definitely an ego booster, and it’s a great way to disengage from your ex, as well as have sex on the regular. On the other hand, although rebounds, by nature, aren’t supposed to be serious, we usually find ourselves becoming attached, and most times, hearts get broken again—which is what we were trying to overcome in the first place. And then there are those rare occasions when your rebound actually turns out to be your soulmate.

Deciding to be in one or not is just as confusing as rebound themselves. Good thing we laid out the pros and cons of rebound relationships. Here’s everything you to need to consider before you get involved.

PRO: It’s Fun.
Sex, enjoyable dates, as well as feeling admired and desired with few to zero strings attached—what’s not love? After the upheaval of broken relationship, nothing beats a light-hearted romp with someone who adores you, or at least thinks you’re hot.

CON: The Attraction is Temporary.
Of course you think your rebound is better than your ex—by the end of everything, you couldn’t stand the sight of them. Be honest, everyone is better than your ex at this point. And because you’re so busy having fun, it’s hard to see beyond that. However, if things with your rebound continue longer and get deeper, then you run the risk of receiving a huge reality check. Maybe your rebound isn’t that great or cute after all.

PRO: It Makes the Transition Easier.
Going from a long-term relationship, including a marriage, to singledom is, to say the least, life-altering. Which is why having someone help you navigate these strange waters is so comforting. Thanks to rebound dating, you get to discover what it’s like to finally be with someone new, emotionally and physically. You feel safe and comforted. A rebound helps you feel confident and hopeful about dating again.

CON: It’s Only a Temporary Distraction.
Until you take the time to fully process your feelings from your previous relationship, your rebound relationship is only serving as a (albeit fun) distraction from the nitty gritty stuff. After being with someone for so long, you can’t simply erase that experience from your mind. We’re not living in the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Which means it’s necessary to do the work—the healing, the therapy, the space—to fully get over what happened so you can truly move on from your ex.

PRO: It Gives You the Opportunity to Discover What You Want.
The best way to figure out what you want in a new partner and relationship is by trial and error. You know that you don’t want your ex, but that experience doesn’t fully encompass everything you need and desire from a healthy, happy relationship. By casually dating other people, you get to figure out which personality traits and characteristics you are truly compatible with, and which ones you are not. You get to choose what’s a deal breaker rather than “hanging in there,” waiting for something to change.

CON: You’re Not Over Your Ex Completely.
Oh sure, you think your ex is grade A jerk but that doesn’t mean you’re fully over him or her. Nor does that mean you have completely forgotten the good times you shared together. You might even find yourself romanticizing about “what was” and maybe even fantasizing about what still “could be”. Rebounds are quick relief from heartache, and if you haven’t been able to fully allow yourself to grieve for your past relationship and your ex, then you’re not being fair to yourself or to your rebound relationship.

Bottom line: rebounds are tricky. But what makes them easier is being on the same page as your rebound. Communicate what your needs are. Set your boundaries. Be clear about how you feel, and whether or not you’re looking to be casual or serious.

Yes, there are those rare blue moon instances in which a rebound relationship could develop into a long-term, committed relationship. But what really helps those instances, and all relationships moving forward, is doing the emotional work. That means spending the time to feel your feelings and figuring out what went wrong in your previous relationship, so you can make your new relationship better.

Of course it doesn’t hurt to have some fun along the way—as long as both parties are aware that it’s strictly play, that is.

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