Still on the Rebound or Really Ready to Move On? How to Know the Difference.

So you’re single and the threat of yet another Saturday night sitting home alone praying to find something remotely entertaining while you flip through the endless channels on your TV is becoming more of a reality as the days inch closer to the weekend.  You definitely are getting tired of these lonely nights and miss being in the company of someone else since your last relationship. So, you venture out and, much to your surprise, you actually meet someone and get along great.  The chemistry is amazing and all you can do is think about them day in and day out.   You, so your break up wasn’t that long ago, so you find yourself wondering if this is a rebound or if you really are ready to move onto another relationship so soon.

Rebounds are to fill a void that was left in the immediate aftermath of a break up.  It is normal and natural to want to experience being with an entirely different person and to have your attractiveness validated by having someone new want you.  It is exciting to get out there and get caught up in the intensity that is typical of the initial stages of a relationship, which is usually in far contrast to the upsetting and negative emotions that usually lead to as well as linger after the end of a relationship. It can be confusing to know if this is “real” or not, especially after feeling the horrible feelings that usually accompany a break up.  So, if something feels so good, how do you know if it really is just a rebound or if you are really ready to move onto another relationship after a break up?

Well, there really are a number of things to think about when trying to figure that out for yourself.  There is no one, clear-cut answer because each situation and person are different. 

However, there are some basic things to consider in order to know:

The length and type of commitment of your last relationship does matter.  Someone who broke up from a 5 year relationship where they lived with their partner typically needs a lot longer after the break up to be ready to move onto another relationship than say someone who broke up with someone after a couple of months of casually dating. There will be time needed to transition into a new “normal” in terms of a day-to-day routine, as the person you were just living with and spending every day with is no longer in your life.  Don’t underestimate how long is needed to get used to fitting in time to do such things that your partner used to do like taking out the trash or paying the cable bill or getting up a little earlier now that you’ve moved and your commute is longer. Just getting used to your “new” life, even if that is what you wanted and are relieved to be apart, does take time and is necessary in order to be really ready to move onto another relationship. 

Some might argue that if two people stayed in a relationship so long that by the time it ended, they had been emotionally, physically and basically completely disconnected for months or even years. Therefore, they are really ready for a relationship by the time they are out of it.  This may be the rare case for some. However, there does tend to be some time needed to get used to truly being alone

Another thing to consider in determining if you are ready to move on after your last breakup is being honest with yourself about how much you are talking about your ex on your dates.  If you are constantly bringing them up and/or talking about your last relationship, then chances are you really are not ready to move on and need to work on resolving your feelings about your ex and moving past your relationship before getting into another one. 

If you find yourself relating to the new person you are dating like you related to your ex, then that is also a hint that you are not ready to move on.  So, for instance, your ex was untrustworthy and cheated on you with others he/she met via social media and you now find yourself incessantly checking your new person’s social media to “check” on who they are communicating with, then you have not resolved issues from your past relationship and unfairly putting those issues onto your new partner.  This is not going to do anything but bring in unhealthy issues from your past into your current relationship.  You are not seeing your new partner for who they are, and relating to them as if they are like your past partner means you still need to heal in order to come into your next relationship with no baggage and the ability to be open and vulnerable to an entirely new person and hopefully healthier and happier relationship.