I dated my ex girlfriend for two years before an awful breakup that left me down and out.
I didn’t even go out with a single person until five months later.
She, on the other hand, picked up a new boyfriend within a month. Yes, seriously.
They lasted two months. The next one lasted five months. And so on.
Here’s how to know whether your ex’s new relationship is a rebound or the real thing.
13 big signs your ex is in a rebound relationship
What does a rebound mean, anyway?
The main point is that it’s a relationship or dating that’s more of a reaction to the pain of a breakup and desire for companionship than one based on real attraction or love.
Here’s how to know the signs if your ex is in a rebound or is actually falling for someone else.
1) They lower their standards
Looking for big signs your ex is in a rebound relationship?
Pay attention to whether their new guy or girl fits their standards.
Are they dating someone who they normally wouldn’t go for? This is a classic sign of a rebound.
The reason is that a rebound is all about craving the validation, love, and companionship of someone else more than actually being into them.
Thus, if you notice your ex is dating pretty much anyone, they’re probably on a rebound stint of getting whatever love and sex they can regardless of whether they actually feel very attracted.
Sad, but true.
Paul Hudson nails it when he writes that “rebounds are about feeling loved; the real thing is about wanting to love.”
2) Their new relationships are fleeting
You can’t judge relationships purely on time or how long they last.
Nonetheless, another of the big signs your ex is in a rebound relationship is that the relationship doesn’t last long.
Nor does the next one…
Like in my experience, this means that your ex is pursuing relationships willy-nilly without any real foundation to them.
This recklessness is the telltale sign of a rebound relationship, and the result is that they don’t last long.
If you date anyone you come across it usually doesn’t take long to grow tired of them or realize that you don’t want to waste your time faking it.
3) You can ask a love coach
Another way you can know if your ex is in a rebound relationship is to consult a love coach.
What this involves is less complicated than you think.
There are online coaches you can connect with really quickly and talk over the situation.
The optimal site I’ve found for price and quality is called Relationship Hero.
They helped me out in my own situation and clarified the dating of my ex in terms of why she was dating who she was.
They also weren’t afraid to give me the good and bad news about what was going on and what it meant for me.
Connecting to a coach is really fast and they really know what they’re doing to cut through all the self-sabotage and confusion.
4) Their new relationship started very soon after you broke up
If it’s a rebound, you’re going to be able to see the bounce.
The end of your relationship and the start of their new relationship will be clearly discernible.
As opposed to a non-rebound, a rebound is clearly directly coming out of the prior breakup and happens very soon after.
I myself have been burned by a girl who was on a rebound, so I know what I’m talking about here.
I thought she was falling for me but she was actually just using me as an off-ramp from her past relationship she still wasn’t at all over.
Talk about humiliating and disappointing!
This is why if you’re watching your ex and he or she is with someone new, you should pay attention to how quickly it happened after you broke up.
If it’s only a few weeks or a month or two, your ex is likely taking that other person for a very short and shallow ride that will soon be over.
5) The new relationship seems very sex-focused
Another of the big signs your ex is in a rebound relationship is that their new link seems very sex focused.
They’re all over social media with nicely toned photos and their tongue in someone’s mouth…
They seem to be dating someone who’s more about having a hot body than a hot mind…
And so on.
This is a classic sign that the new thing is pretty shallow and is more of a rebound than a real love connection.
Now it’s of course possible they’ve met someone super physically attractive and sexy who also happens to be their emotional and mental soulmate.
But it’s not very likely. At least not right after breaking up with you.
It’s more likely they’re trying to use sex in order to heal the pain of a broken heart.
6) The new relationship is superficial
Another of the big signs your ex is in a rebound relationship is that the new relationship is superficial.
The question would be how you can know or not whether it’s superficial.
In many cases, you might not, although you should be able to have some intuition about the level at which your ex is connecting with this new person.
Do they share any of the same interests?
How did they meet?
What are their public posts like and what image are they trying to craft and present to the world?
These questions alone can point to a lot of useful insights.
7) Turn the mirror on yourself for a second…
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
I’ll be honest…
In my case, I see a guy with a lot of potentials but much of which remains untapped.
I see a guy who’s been hurt in relationships and disappointed to the point of giving up.
Watching my ex date the whole world after we broke up really threw me for a loop. It made me feel like I’d never meant that much to her. It made me feel like shit.
But in the process of this dark time, I also learned something that really empowered me.
It was something I discovered through the modern-day shaman Rudá Iandê.
He did nothing less than flip my entire perspective on love and relationships.
As he talks about in this revealing free video, many of us are running in circles and “looking for love in all the wrong places.”
We end up burnt out, cynical and frankly really f—king depressed.
But the solution is actually way simpler and more empowering than we think.
8) The new relationship seems kind of one-sided
What’s your ex’s new relationship like?
If it’s a guy basically running after her or her using him as a piece of arm candy, it’s definitely a rebound.
If it’s a girl who’s caring and super “nice” looking after your ex boyfriend and treating him like gold while he barely pays attention to her…
It’s a rebound.
And so on.
Divorce coach Karen Finn writes about this, saying that:
“In the rebound relationship, one person asking for more becomes a wake-up call to the other person’s true motives.
Not everyone realizes that s/he is being used by someone on the rebound. And that recognition of unrequited love can be humiliating and deeply painful.”
This is very true and very awful. Like I said, it happened to me.
When you realize you’re just someone’s rebound you feel like utter sh-t.
9) Your ex still calls or texts you to complain and talk
Do you still talk or text with your ex?
If so, what do they say to you?
If they tell you about their deep personal feelings and experiences on a level that they’re clearly not communicating with their new guy or girl, they’re obviously not truly in a new deep relationship.
They’re just in a shallow rebound which will soon end.
It also seems like they probably want you back.
10) They change who they are completely for the new person
Another indicator that the new relationship is a rebound is that your ex starts undergoing sudden and dramatic changes right when they begin dating this new person.
I’m talking: totally different spiritual or religious beliefs, a completely different subculture or clothing style, total switch-up of taste in music, and so on…
We’re all allowed to change and I think it’s great.
But when it happens in this type of way it’s usually a type of fugue.
A fugue is a fancy word for escape and also describes a type of classical music. Here it’s referring to your ex basically trying to escape the pain of your breakup and being single by remodeling him or herself completely.
If you become a new person then your pain also no longer applies to you, but only to the “old version” of you, right?
I wish it actually worked that way, don’t you? But sadly no…
11) They don’t define their new relationship
Another of the big signs your ex is in a rebound relationship is that your ex doesn’t define it.
They’re “kind of” seeing someone…
They’re “talking to” someone…
They “have a new person” and will “see how it goes.”
What it all sounds like to me is somebody who’s not too serious about the person they’re now seeing.
Moving slow is great and all, but when you notice a lot of qualifiers thrown in like that it’s probably nothing but a rebound and they know it.
12) They show off a lot about the new relationship
On the other side of the equation, if your ex is showing off a lot about the new relationship in a boastful way it can be a real sign it’s a rebound.
Why be so showy about it?
Why talk about how happy he or she is publicly all the time?
Why post ten Instagram stories per day about it with all the cute emoticons?
Shouldn’t they just be enjoying their rich and love-filled relationship instead of filming it in great detail like a David Attenborough wildlife documentary?
13) They try to make you jealous about the new relationship
Last and most disturbingly is when your ex enters into a new relationship and tries to make you jealous about it.
Regardless of how serious they are about this new person, the psychology here couldn’t be clearer.
If they still want to get back at you or emotionally hurt you, they’re not over you.
If they’re not over you, then the new relationship is – by definition – a rebound.
Should you rebound too?
If your ex is on a rebound then the question that might come up is whether you should rebound too.
My advice is not to focus on it.
Hack Spirit is all about giving you real answers you can use in your life, and the truth is that rebounds are kind of unpredictable.
You shouldn’t worry too much about whether or not your ex is rebounding or whether you should, too.
Instead, focus on your life goals and on building up the kind of inner power that will bring love to you in a lasting and meaningful way.
If you feel ready to date, do so. If you don’t, focus on other things.
If you notice that you’re dating or having sex to “fill a hole,” try to stop.
Like Rudá Iandê’s free video explains, far too often we try to find love and intimacy in completely the wrong way.
I’d hate to see you go too far down that wrong path because I’ve been there and I can tell you it involves a lot of regrets and wasted time.
Using a basketball metaphor, yes rebounds can be great for scoring.
But if you want to win the whole game and become an all-star you need to be strategic, work hard, and keep a vision of the overall score, not just each point!