Aah, love. Can’t live without it, can’t get enough of it. Every day, a lot of relationships are formed: people get married, move in together, start a long distance relationship, or an office romance. Love seems to sprout like mushrooms overnight but it seems that love can fade and go away just as fast. Break-ups, separation, divorce—whichever way you call it—can leave anybody’s heart bruised and battered. A bad break-up makes people do a lot of crazy things, like shave their heads, gulp down a bottleful of pills, or get into a rebound relationship. A rebound relationship is one where you (or your rebounding partner) are still affected by a previous relationship.

You spend a lot of time thinking of the “if-only’s” and “what-if’s”, wondering if things could have been different had you done the right thing, and secretly wishing that you could somehow turn back time. Why rebound? Maybe there are questions that you need answers to, or the pain and the feeling of rejection still haunt you. The relationship that was once your security blanket has been shattered, so there is a strong need for someone to take the place of the lost loved one. It doesn’t matter if the replacement is terrible or adequate, as long as there is someone who could give emotional support.

A friend of the opposite sex or anyone who shows even the slightest sign of concern is always a possible target for the rebound. Somebody’s friendly gestures and sympathy would often be misinterpreted as something like love. Are YOU on a rebound relationship? Knowing if you’re on this type of relationship isn’t that hard. If you: 1. constantly think of the old partner; 2. Still have raw feelings of pain, regret and anguish when you remember the “old times”, 3. Think about specific issues about the relationship over and over again, then you are more or less on the rebound.

In that case, you first have to deal with whatever unfinished business that you may have, and then get over the break-up. On the other hand, it is more difficult to identify if your partner is on the rebound. There are people who can easily mask their thoughts and feelings about the past relationship. One way to avoid getting yourself into a rebound relationship is to know how long it’s been since his/her previous one. Your partner may still be dealing with the issues of the past if the break-up is quite recent. Rebounds are pretty normal although it may not be the most sensible thing for a person to do after a break-up.

It can turn out okay if you stick with the following guidelines: A rebound is not love – at least admit it to yourself. This is just a normal human reaction to pain, and it’s nothing to be guilty of. However, there is always the danger that you might feel that the relationship you’re into is the best one you’ve ever had and you might commit too early. Take it slow, and think about it—with a clear head. Set limits to what you can and can’t do. Usually a rebound partner is less likely than normal to be your ideal partner.

You might regret getting too physical once you realize that the relationship isn’t going any further. Try not to ruin the friendship. Sure, nobody cares for you as much as your best friend, but you don’t have to be involved in a romantic relationship with him/her. The guilt that you would eventually feel for taking advantage of your friend’s concern is not worth it. It’s never impossible for your rebound partner to be the ideal one after all, though it often doesn’t work out that way. Only time-and you- can tell.

Author's Bio: 

The author of this article Ruth Purple is a Relationships Coach who has been successfully coaching and guiding clients for many years. Ruth recently decided to go public and share her knowledge and experience through her website relazine.com. You can sign up for her free newsletter and join her coaching program.