The Phases of a Rebound Relationship

From break up to hook up - the phases of a rebound relationship.

Love + Sex Relationship Advice Tim Slater

This article was published on April 29th, 2020

First comes the break up. It sounds so simple, but when you’ve invested your heart and soul into a relationship, it can be difficult to make a conscious decision to move on. Unless you’ve been dumped – then the decision is out of your hands and moving on to the next phase is easy.

Hooking up with a bunch of people, which is quite logical, really. After a prolonged commitment, and a clear lapse in judgement, the best way to put some time and space between yourself and your ex is to give your personal space to someone else. But don’t invest too much time. Keep it physical. Whether you’re out for revenge, or out for fun, it’s a fatal mistake to invest too heavily in a rebound. So, watch out for the warning signs and if you find yourself falling, get out of there.

The next step is to take a break. Rediscover yourself. Pursue all those hobbies that you set aside in the name of spending time with your partner. Happiness is within, and it’s empowering to realize that you’re strong and free. Break up songs are practically a genre, and there are so many pop power ballads to blast in your EarPods. If Independent Woman by Destiny’s Child doesn’t stir up your inner diva, channel RuPaul and chant – “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

When you’re ready to date, you’ll know. It might begin with something casual. A ‘friends with benefits’ scenario is a perfect way to dip your toe back in the dating pond. It’s exciting to consider your options, and to construct a scenario where maybe, just maybe, love will blossom. Until that time, your best alternative is to sleep around – play safe and enjoy yourself. Don’t think with your heart or your brain, you won’t need them.

The last thing you want is to settle down prematurely. Gay world gives rise to some strange phenomenon. You might find yourself with a boyfriend twin, or you might find yourself on a date with someone just like your ex. Don’t fall into the trap of trading in your boyfriend for a younger or sexier model. It might seem like a good idea at the time, but it’s bound to end in disaster. If you find yourself rehashing old habits, again, make for the exit. A far healthier alternative is to take the opportunity to get to know someone completely different from your ex. Open your eyes, your heart, and maybe your legs, and see what happens.

The final stage on your journey of self-discovery is to give yourself permission to fall in love. When you’re ready and you meet someone that makes your heart flutter, don’t resist it. It’s erroneous to judge a new suitor by the mistakes of your past or the sins of your ex. You can be happy for others, including the ones who break your heart, when you have the self-esteem to love yourself and move on, rather than rebound.

Photo credit: Renate Vanaga
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