Most people think that rebound relationships don’t last too long and often don’t mean much. This assumption is somewhat accurate, as most pickups do not exceed the six-month mark. However, even though these relationships are short, they still have cognitive stages that every couple goes through.
Read on to learn more about all the stages of a rebound relationship, including what they mean and how long they last.
What is a relationship rebound?
Before delving into all the stages of rebounding a relationship, it is necessary to first define this relationship.
Simply put; people enter into rekindling a relationship with a new person immediately after or shortly after breaking up with an ex. In most cases, the person entering this relationship still has lingering and unresolved feelings for their ex. Moreover, these relationships are usually a short bridge to moving on and being ready to commit again.
There are various reasons why people jump on the bandwagon. Some do it to numb the pain of a breakup, while others just can’t stand being alone and need someone to be with.
In addition, there are those who start a new relationship as revenge on the ex. This new relationship helps them show their ex how good they are after the breakup and that they are, after all, better off without them.
How long do pickups last?
As mentioned, most rebound relationships usually don’t last more than a few months. People usually end them when they realize that they really aren’t compatible with that person, or when the pain of the breakup finally subsides. At this point, they know that continuing to rebound is pointless and can only hurt them in the long run.
Of course, not all pickups end at once. In a small number of cases, these relationships can become serious and last for months or even years. However, this is not so common.
No matter how long they last, most rekindling relationships are worth it. After all, they help you gain valuable experiences that can help make your next romantic connections more meaningful.
Stages of relationship rebound
The vast majority of recovering relationships follow similar trajectories, regardless of their duration. They are usually divided into stages, and each of them has its own meaning.
1. The pre-rebound stage
As the name suggests, this particular stage begins before you actually enter into a relationship. It starts as soon as your last relationship ends and you are suddenly free after months or years of commitment.
Although it may not seem like it after the first week or two, having so much freedom is often difficult. You have a lot of free time, conflicting emotions, and you can’t deal with them. So you start looking for a new relationship as soon as possible because it seems like the only thing that will help you feel less lonely and needy.
Again, different people get into relationships for different reasons. So while some may do it out of loneliness, others may just want to have fun or get revenge on their ex.
Also, the reaction to a breakup depends on whether they ended the relationship or not. For example, a jerk often has a harder time experiencing loneliness and will grieve longer. Therefore, naturally, they may not feel ready to enter into a new relationship right away.
Dumpers, on the other hand, are often relieved that the relationship is over, which makes it easier for them to move on. Therefore, they could start the rebound earlier, since they are more prepared to do so.
Of course, these are just generalizations. Every relationship is different, and sometimes it can be hard to tell which way it’s over. Moreover, there are times when both are hurting equally, but they still start a new relationship to try to end the suffering as soon as possible.
In any case, this stage begins with a breakup and ends when a person starts a new relationship.
2. Honeymoon stage
The second stage of the rebound is called the honeymoon stage. It covers the very beginning of a new relationship and is very exciting and euphoric. Also, it is marked by falling in love.
During the honeymoon phase, you just can’t get enough of your new partner. They fill your every thought and you long for their presence. In fact, it’s like kissing them, cuddling and being intimate with them is all you can think about no matter where you are.
In addition, it can be said that this stage is marked by participants who wear rose-colored glasses all the time. Therefore, you are unable to see the other person’s flaws or perceive their whole personality. Instead, you only see their good qualities and admire them.
These emotions can often become overwhelming. You suddenly feel so much at once, and the fact that the sadness and loneliness are no longer there makes you hold on tight to the new feelings. This can in turn lead to obsessions and other toxic behaviors that are not a good foundation for a healthy relationship.
Naturally, nothing this intense can last forever. Over time, you will gradually begin to see your new partner for who he really is. The absence of rose-colored glasses will gradually lead to arguments and tension, which will lead you directly to the third stage.
3. Reality sinks in Stage
This stage is perhaps the most important in any rebound relationship. When it starts slowly, reality starts to sink in.
You suddenly realize that the relationship is not as perfect as you first convinced yourself. Also, you come to the conclusion that you and your partner may not be as compatible as you previously thought.
The main marker of this stage is to see the partner’s shortcomings. After all, no one is perfect, and everyone is bound to do something that annoys you even a little. At this stage, you start to wonder if these flaws are really something you can live with in the long run.
Naturally, these thoughts usually lead to conflicts. You point out to your partner what’s bothering you, and they do the same for you, and things get released. Most people view such arguments as personal attacks and become defensive, leaving little room for meaningful dialogue and resolution.
Arguments usually end in one of two ways: acceptance or amplification. Acceptance means that you and your partner hear each other out, accept your opinion, and try to move on. However, conflicts usually recur because you cannot change yourself so quickly and drastically.
On the other hand, amplification only makes the situation worse. Instead of finding a compromise, partners continue to argue and find only more reasons to be upset in the relationship.
In most cases, both paths lead to the fourth stage.
4. Stage of comparison and nostalgia
The fourth stage begins when you begin to compare your new partner to your ex. This comparison can go either way, usually depending on how your last relationship ended.
First, you may begin to realize that your ex and new partner share the same flaws. They may behave the same way during arguments, behave the same way towards you in general, or react the same way to what you say or do. However, it can be a lot easier and you may just notice that they look similar or have the same antics.
Conversely, you may feel nostalgic and have positive memories of the past. In such cases, you will probably remember how much better your ex treated you compared to your new partner, how much safer you felt, etc.
In any case, such intrusive thoughts will gradually begin to mix with the growing resentment you already feel towards your new partner. It goes without saying that these thoughts are a bad sign. In most cases, they lead to thinking about whether to end the relationship and get the ex back or move on to something new.
5. Baptism stage
Finally, the fourth stage leads to the final phase, which is where most pickups end: the enlightenment stage. At this point, the relationship can go one of two ways.
The first and most common of them is a gap. You just realize that you are in the relationship for the wrong reasons and that ending it is the healthy thing to do. So you talk to your partner and end things amicably or not.
However, there are times when you are willing to work on the relationship. You may come to the conclusion that you really care a lot about your partner and that you can see a future with them. As long as you’re both willing to put in the work and try to make the relationship non-toxic, you can build something meaningful and lasting.
Facts to remember about rekindling relationships
It is important to emphasize that these stages are never linear. Namely, you don’t just go through them with clear distinctions. In fact, you may not even notice that one phase has ended and another has begun for weeks or even months.
Finally, it is not possible to put a final mark on the duration of any of the rebound stages. Some may last only a week, while others may last months. Therefore, it is advisable not to generalize too much.
In the end, it’s best to just focus on your partner and your connection and try to relax. That way, you can give the relationship a chance and see where it takes you.