Why do we need to be systematic about something as uncertain and short-lived as a rebound relationship? (Read How Long Does A rebound Relationship Last) One might ask since there is already an established consensus that rebound relationship does more harm than good but what if you are one of those rare chances when the rebound relationship might work out for you. These stages would let you ascertain your position in such a relation and help you understand your possibilities objectively.
Here are the Stages of A Rebound Relationship
We can divide rebound relations into seven stages right from its starting to end. Any long-term relationship or marriages don’t disappear into thin air. They fall apart with a deafening clamor, leaving behind a lot of emotional trauma in its wake. The seven stages in a relationship that ensues immediately after a break up are, Shock and denial followed by starting all over again, then comes the cozy or all good phase, followed by enlightening phase, then bottling up, which inevitably culminates into a boiling over period followed by an inevitable end or a beginning also in some situations.
Understanding rebound relationship stages are not as complicated as understanding the human brain. That science is called neurology and surveys tell that a Neurologists are the orcas of the ocean with respect to salary. Anyway, this is not about neurology; it is about life and life is mostly simple.
1. Shock and Denial
It is the first phase once after a breakup of a long-term relationship. It is characteristically marked by the onset of a feeling of loss and shock. Even though breakups don’t happen in a day, they leave you in a state of shock. You have lost not only your companion but also self-worth. Breakups make one question there worth and are a big blow to self-esteem. Men and women both feel aggrieved by the breakup though they express it differently. While women might go in a stage of denial and continue to pursue and look out for their exes, men happen to jump into bizarre activities like becoming workaholic or engaging in casual hookups. Whatever be the mode of expression, the sooner you accept your loss and breakup you will be able to deal with it better. The problem arises when you fight with your emotions and instead of letting yourself cool down you agitate yourself further by trying to look for a new partner. Some do it to get equal with their deceiving partners while others feel the urgent need to fill in the void. When you do not give yourself time to grieve and recover from this sudden lack of self-worth, you start looking for ways to assure yourself. You are convinced at this stage that only a new relationship can help you and you actively start looking to get involved. It leads us to phase two. Read: How Long Does A Rebound Relationship Last
2. Back to square one
While it appears that you are back to square one when you are back to the stage where you are actively looking for a companion, there is a major difference you are guided by grief, urgency and possibly malice too unlike before when you happened to look for a partner with excitement and hope. Now hope has been replaced by resentment. It is not only the break up that stays in the mind of a person but also the buildup, the clashes, the disagreements, the loud arguments, unfaithfulness, rapidly growing irritation and intolerance towards one another, and above all the ‘I am better’ syndrome. One tends to scrutinize the prospect from the lens of the past. The wound is still raw since you have not taken the time to let it heal. It makes you rely on your pain more than on the possible togetherness. In a bid to escape the same fate if you try to consciously seek someone who is the exact opposite of your previous partner, you are entering into rebound relation without a doubt. This stage can be extremely detrimental to your overall well being as well as to your relationship. Living in shadows of past, you will continue to be miserable and impose your history on your present. It will stress your partner, and he/ she may not be able to cope with the burden of your past. On the flip side if you had been into a deteriorating relation for a more extended stretch of time, then this could be the person who could make you see the bright side of the world. The absence of consistent disagreements that soured your previous relationship could prove to be soothing and healing.
3. Cozy phase or all good phase
You have struck a jackpot; the new partner is the appropriate one. Bye bye tussles, no frequent arguments, after all, she is not as imposing as your ex-was. You have a girlfriend, but she does not choose your wardrobe, nor diet, no early morning walks anymore, and she is not obsessed with neatness either. What a relief! Your strolls on the beach are not as quiet as it used to be with your ex, your new partner is engaging and a charmer. Your dinners and lunches are far more sorted out than before. What more could you ask for and you bask in all that attention and affection? What you do not realize are the rising expectations which are unrealistic and carry the burden of past. You have blocked out all the thoughts of past, but they are still very functional at a subconscious level. Most of your decisions at this age are a conscious result of those innermost musings. You are constantly comparing your partner to your ex. It is the reason why your relationship is bound to fail. Interesting Read: Why We Get Stuck in Unhappy Relationships: 6 Common Reasons
4. The enlightenment
As the cozy phase ends you start to realize that the new man or woman with you is for real and not just your figment of the imagination. The honeymoon is over, and the blinker of past no more inhibits your vision. You begin to see things that were not visible earlier. You have learned to enjoy the convenience of an organized home from your ex, how so ever tedious it was, it made it easy for you to locate your stuff. Getting ready was never this hard. Your adorable pet just chewed the leather bag of your partner or the jacket that he left unattended on the sofa. Not her fault and you had warned him/ her to be careful with leather stuff. You are unable to overlook that he/ she is always working even when around you. You remember how your previous partner devoted all her attention to you whenever you were around. That suffocated you, and this was too much of freedom. You actually want to start from where you ended to be true in your mind the relationship never ended. You still crave for the same things, and when you don’t get it, you start getting frustrated not only with your partner but also on your self. Lack of self-worth is replaced by self- criticism. It will not make your situation any better.
5. Bottling up
You start to blame yourself for all these overreactions. You still think this relationship is ideal because the person you are with is not like your ex. You reason with yourself mostly blaming yourself for your lack of empathy towards your new partner. Scared to express your displeasure and lose another relationship you begin bottling up your feelings and start to make too many compromises. It becomes the most significant negative at this stage. On the flip side, you understand life and your expectations from it better and realistically. Must Read: How to Leave a Casual Relationship
6. Boiling over and Falling Apart
Your new partner is not aware of this confusion and irritation that has started to surface slowly. Till it comes to the fore with all its viciousness, you may enjoy this temporary camaraderie. You have been steeping yourself in self-doubt and irritation. Those little things the popcorn strewed across the living room, the commode lid left raised, the incessant chatter now has started to grate on your nerves. You crave for a moment of silence when the new partner is around. You become a ticking time bomb with all those tiny little things piling one on the other, waiting for the right trigger to come along. Unfortunately, that trigger will be even more inconsequential, and your temper will boil over that too violently. Splashing your partner with all the heat and charring him/ her in the process. The problem is he/ she never knew that you were still not over your past. They did not realize that your judgment was based on the premise that the past lover. They were genuinely hoping for a good relationship. They are the one hurt this time. They did not deserve this, and you did not need this guilt. It is the primary drawback of this phase. On the contrary, you now face to face with reality you know no relationship works or breaks because of any one person. You are forced to accept that you also had a role to play in the breakup. It becomes a huge positive, as it finally enables you to embark on the journey of healing.
7. The Inevitable End/ The Possible New Beginning
Now that the truth is out in the open and you have let out your pent-up emotions. You have also come to understand your mistakes and own your faults. It is a point when you can start your life all over once again. By chance, if your new partner sees the potential in you, now that you are on you are ready to move on leaving behind your past. You have learned to face your demons; then this might be the beginning of a new and better phase of your relationship. If your partner wants to move on then, it is not the end of the world for you. It is time for you to delve deeper into yourself. Enhance yourself as a person. Learn new skills, see new places and reattach your self to your siblings and cousins. You will be surprised how cathartic it is to relive those precious moments from the childhood or adolescence.
Was the Rebound worth it?
After going through these tedious stages of a rebound relationship, it is only you who can tell if it was worth it. While the majority opinion is against it but if it could help you face your trauma and give up those escape routes, then it was undoubtedly worth your pain and effort. Sometimes rebounds can get dark but then so can ordinary relationships. In the end, it is you who will make your time worth your while. The lessons you learn will help you evolve and become a better person.