There’s big debate about whether casual sex, casual dating and/or rebound relationships are helpful while you’re recovering from a breakup.
My personal opinion is that it’s just not worth it. Heal first, learn to love yourself, be happy on your own, reestablish your own confidence and independence… and then think about new people.
But it all depends on you, how you feel, how much pain you’re in, your relationship, your views on dating and sex, your potential partners, etc. As with everything in this guide, it’s about YOU and what is best for YOU.
Here are the pros and cons I’ve observed from reading literally thousands of people's experiences with rebound relationships.
- Offers companionship, someone interested in you
- Reaffirms that you’re desirable and boosts your confidence
- Reaffirms that there are lots of potential partners and dating opportunities out there, forcing you to abandon the false negative mindset of “my ex- is the only one"
- Everyone has “needs" and it’s beneficial to not go so long without physical contact if you have a new partner(s) available who is/are good for you
- Can be a good transition between the life you had in a relationship and your new single life
- Can be a good way to get back on your “dating feet" and prepare you in all ways to get out there again eventually and find a new partner
- Can put perspective on your ex-, reinforces that your ex- is just a person with his/her good points and bad, not a mythical figure who is perfect
- Can give you a sense of freedom and being liberated from the bad things you didn’t like about your ex-
- Can help you get over the weirdness of doing couple-y things with someone other than your ex-
- Can help stop you from stalking your ex-
- Very (very!) rarely, a rebound relationship can actually turn into something real and long-term.
- Distracts you from resolving the underlying issues about your ex- and your relationship and potentially postpones your recovery and regrowth back into a stable, independent self-confident person
- Creates a cycle of dependency where your self-esteem rises and falls based on the validation you receive from others, rather than relying on internal validation and self-love
- You don’t learn to enjoy your own company, to be happy with yourself, to value yourself
- Sets you up to repeat the same mistakes as in your previous relationship, since you haven’t had time to heal, assess, learn and grow
- Can be very hurtful to the rebound partner if you’re not completely honest that it’s a rebound relationship only, about where you are in your recovery process and what limits you expect in the rebound relationship (and even then can still hurt the rebound partner, because very few people will accept the “rebound status" for long)
- If it doesn’t work out well and/or if the rebound partner treats you coldly, it can just leave you feeling stupid and even more unloved
- Rarely lasts because you’re in pain from your breakup and very vulnerable
- You’re very easy to take advantage of, both physically and emotionally, don’t recognize your limits, and are in a horrible mental state to make rational decisions about anything in your life, particularly sex and dating
- Can leave you feeling even more alone to realize that you’re intimate with someone who doesn’t particularly care for you, or who doesn’t love you as much as your ex- did
- Often ends up being a “replacement relationship" instead of rebound: you’re trying to replace the ex- and the void left behind rather than rebound and move on from it
- Surprisingly often the dumpee tries to make the rebound into a deep, long-term relationship much too quickly, in an attempt to recreate their old relationship, fill a void, cling on to someone in the midst of their pain, or reaffirm their self-worth as a desirable person, all of which leads to even more problems in their lives and greater disaster down the road
- Many cases where rebound relationships not just fail to help with your healing, but instead create additional confusion and stress
- Can lead to situations where you’re forcing yourself to do things that go against your own values and normal thinking because you believe that it’s “necessary" for the healing
- Can lead to a situation where you talk constantly to the reboundee about your ex-, ignoring all normal boundaries of good sense, which is unfair to the reboundee and can be a true betrayal of trust to your ex-