1. People & Relationships

Video:What Is a Rebound Relationship?

with Dr. Paul Hokemeyer

Divorce and break ups are difficult times that often can lead to "rebound relationships." Get tips on recognizing when you are in a rebound relationship in this psychology video from About.com.See Transcript

Transcript:What Is a Rebound Relationship?

Hi, I'm Dr. Paul Hokemeyer. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist based in New York City. I'm here for About.com to talk about rebound relationships.

What is a Rebound Relationship?

In short, a rebound relationship is one that you get into to feel better about yourself when you're experiencing a break up or have recently experienced a break up. It's essentially looking for something outside of yourself to make you feel better.

How to Know if Something is a Rebound Relationship

The main thing that I look for when I'm trying to determine whether or not a patient is in a rebound relationship is how quickly they're moving. Is it too much too soon? Are they placing a lot of expectations on that person to fix them? Do they have expectations about what that person can do for them or who that person is? Are they ignoring a lot of warning signs? Do they see that the partner that they've chosen is pretty similar to the one that they're breaking up?

What Does "Moving Too Fast" Mean?

So, if one of the defining factors of a rebound relationship is too fast, what exactly does too fast mean? Typically what I look for in my patients is somebody who doesn't give themselves the time to mourn the loss of their prior relationship, the relationship that isn't working. There's an enormous amount of good information in there to take a look at specifically what it is about the relationship that didn't work for them, what it is about the other person that didn't work for them, and to use that to their advantage in a relationship.

When people in a rebound relationship get involved again, they immediately move into a place of intimacy and this desire to feel safe and loved and secure. It's perfectly normal - it's a perfectly normal need that we have as human beings, to feel loved and secure in a relationship, but in rebound relationships, we're moving way too fast and we're ignoring a lot of the warning signs that we see along the way that tell us that we're heading for trouble.

Why Do People Get Into Rebound Relationships?

The expectations that we're looking to fulfill in a rebound relationship are that the person will solve all of our problems, that they'll make us feel better, that they'll make us feel whole, that they'll make us feel complete. It's similar to a drug that people take that sort of takes away all of their pain and give them a sense of euphoria.  What it is, it's an unrealistic expectation because no human being can fulfill all of the those things for us and we need to make sure that we're aware of our own issues that we're bringing into a relationship so that we can work through them in a healthy, constructive way.  

When we end significant romantic relationships, it's perfectly normal that we're going to have a lot of pain - what we do with that pain is important. It's important that we use that pain to learn and grow from ourselves and not engage in unhealthy behaviors or destructive relationships like rebound relationships.

For more information on rebound relationships, visit About.com.

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