Trimble: Don’t jump for the rebound relationship

By Leah Trimble

The first date was amazing … dinner, a movie and that popcorn with extra butter. The picnic in Schenley Park for a second date made my butterflies even worse. And the third?

It really was a charm watching the Steelers game with all your friends. Bring on the fourth, fifth and sixth. Bring on the lovey, dovey text messages and phone calls, e-mails and … pictures of you and your ex kissing on Facebook!? Wait just one second!

I thought you told me it’s been “awhile” since you’ve seen him or her last. This was taken maybe a month ago, and that’s giving you the benefit of the doubt.

This is a common occurrence among new flings who think they might have a grasp on the status of their new relationship. One minute you’re in la-la land thinking that you have found “the one,” and the next minute, you realize that maybe you’re just a rebound.

Rebound relationships happen all the time for several diverse reasons. A break-up ends a serious relationship, and one or both parties find someone else to quickly latch onto. Two people contribute to this common bond:

The Rebounder

The Rebounder is the person who recently was dumped or ended a relationship. They are using their new-found love as a distraction to their broken heart, whether they realize it or not. Those who “love to be in love” tend to be the biggest culprits, for they can’t fathom living for one second without a lover.

In this quickly cultivated new romance, the rebounder can re-route their emotions and avoid pain. It’s a quick fix to a bigger problem. Who wouldn’t want to be in love instead of crying yourself to sleep every night? It’s understandable.

The problem is that several of the people who find new partners often misjudge that their opposite is filling in what their previous partner did not. They’re ecstatic that the difference in personality is what they “we’re always looking for.” Fast-forward a few weeks or months later. You start to feel empty again. Is this exactly what you want? Here come the contradictory opinions about the success of your new partnership. You can predict what happens from here.

Other issues aside, the biggest predicament is pushing your hurt feelings from the main course to the side dish, and that is something that will absolutely resurface later.

I’m sorry, but you have to just deal with it now and get over it. Break-ups happen to everyone, and you’re not special enough to be able to drag someone along on your emotional roller coaster ride.

The Reboundee

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is the defenseless individual who has no idea that he or she is a part of the above shenanigans. This person believes that the relationship might be that “special something” that most of the world yearns for. If something special is what you really desire, think twice, because you probably won’t find it in a rebound relationship.

Be careful in this situation. “Wear the pants,” and don’t give in to anything other than what you expect and deserve. If you keep having insecure thoughts about the relationship, move on. Those worries will never cease.

If you find yourself in this situation and the rebounder kicks you to the curb, you have the right to be really upset. You gave the person a chance, even though they reassured you that their old love has ended.

If you had no clue that your partner was recently attached and he or she dumps you, you have the right to be irate. Minus the few who are upfront about their situations, why can’t people just be honest about how they feel? It’s so much easier to say, “I really like you, but, I’m not going to lie, I still have some feelings for my ex.” It’s that simple. Emotional catastrophe avoided.

Be honest about your current situation and how you feel toward it. Know that rebound relationships usually don’t work out. For the few who do survive, congratulations. You’ve overcome the insecurities, lies and doubts.

And if you haven’t already, take down those darn pictures of you and your ex. They’re not helping your situation.

E-mail Leah at [email protected].