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Rebound relationships are thrilling and passionate and are increasingly seen as useful in getting over a breakup by helping to erase residual feelings for your ex, building self-confidence, and inspiring you not to make the same mistakes again. Many of them, though, ride the line between healthy and harmful. Don't get us wrong: Some rebound relationships get serious and succeed. But we've all heard those crash-and-burn horror stories...
The truth is that when we jump back in too quickly after a divorce or even a not-so-long intimate relationship—before feelings for an ex have been properly resolved—we unwittingly expose our vulnerabilities, and foment even more insecurity and confusion. And any new relationship that's built on a foundation of emotional baggage rarely ends well. To ascertain whether your rebound relationship is on the express train to Toxic Town (or if it's healthy and next-level), let these six telltale signs be your guide.
Time Has Barely Passed
Although there's no hard-and-fast rule concerning how much time you should spend as a singleton, you'll need a stint of introspection after one relationship ends and the next one begins. Unless you've allowed yourself ample time to heal from and reflect on your past relationship and reclaim your identity and independence, you're not ready to head into a new one.
Too Much, Too Soon
The intensity and hunger of new romance are wonderful feelings—and good sex can cloud anyone's judgment. But those fresh off a breakup (contentious or otherwise) may even be more inclined to go whole-hog into a new relationship because it's easier than confronting hard truths, like overwhelming feelings of heartbreak, loneliness, and rejection, for example. Impulsive decision-making when you're clouded by lust (or perceived love) isn't exactly rational—or the healthiest of behaviors—and can actually put you in a tenuous situation in which you're too easily manipulated.
Mentioning the Ex
If an ex's name always seems to creep into conversations, whether in off-hand comments or dramatic retellings of the breakup, it's a sign of unfinished business. Similarly, if the mere mention of the ex spurs a heated rant or a sniveling sob sesh, alarm bells should be ringing. Allowing issues with the past relationship to infect the new one—and casting the new partner into the unwilling role of armchair therapist—isn't fair to either party.
Rebound relationships are usually fueled by the rebounder's needs and wants, whether emotional, physical, or both. When there's very little give-and-take—if you're constantly seeking reassurance, demanding undivided attention, or talking through past hurts without allowing your new partner to do the same, for example—both parties will quickly "outgrow" the relationship, sending you right back to where you left off and forced to once again, contend with your inner demons. (Except now, you've hurt your new partner as a result.) It's a vicious cycle.
Excess Social Media Coverage
When you've only known your brand-new paramour for a couple of weeks and they let virtually no occasion slip past the prying eyes of the social media community (running errands, date nights, and weekend getaways all seem to be fair game), it's a bit full-on, to say the least. A glut of photo documentation of everything you two do together for social media purposes, and when accompanied by romantic declarations that aren't proportionate to the length of the relationship, is a thinly-veiled attempt to flaunt a new relationship as a way to make an ex jealous.
Something Seems Amiss
Maybe you feel like it's all too much, too soon. Or perhaps you have an inkling that you're not getting the whole truth from your new lover. For whatever reason, if you're feeling like something is just "off," then trust your instincts. Speak up and get out—before someone gets hurt.