Avoiding The Rebound: How To Know If You're Moving On Too Quickly After A Breakup

Dating is often one of the riskiest things you could do because it requires trusting another person with your feelings and vulnerability. Relationships are always based on probability. It could work out, or it could end, sometimes peacefully and sometimes more of a crash-and-burn situation. The truth is that good things sometimes come to an end, and a broken relationship often leaves people forlorn and in pain.

The end of a romantic partnership is not just a crucial time for your mental health, but also for your love life trajectory. This is because how you approach your healing process can make or break you in future relationships. A lot of people break up and then opt for a rebound partner for different reasons. Sometimes it's to save face from family and friends. Other times it's borne out of a moment's weakness or ego. Rebounding can also be an option for people who lack emotional maturity. You could be asking yourself if there is an amount of time you should wait before dating again after a breakup. If you are freshly separated and have already found a new or potential partner, you might find yourself wondering if you're genuinely interested in them or if this is you moving on way too quickly. 

Did you give your heart a break?

The throes of heartbreak can be immensely difficult to bear. You've gotten so used to this person and shared so much with them, only to be left bereft the next day. It's enough to send anyone into the arms of a rebound in an effort to feel safe and secure again or repair a broken ego. If you want to avoid rebounding, you have to ask yourself, "Did I give myself a break?"

Far from being just Demi Lovato lyrics, giving your heart a break can do wonders for your mental health in the long run. True healing requires reflection and this is often accompanied by solitude. That doesn't mean you can't go to your friends or family for emotional support. It just means that initiating new romantic relationships during this time isn't the ideal thing to do. Think of it this way: You can't eat on a broken dish. You have to build it back up before it can take the weight of more food. In the same way, you can't hold up a new relationship on a broken heart. It needs time to mend. If you didn't give yourself time to heal before jumping into another relationship, that may be a sign that you moved on far too quickly without doing the necessary work.

Feel all of your feelings and accept your reality

A lot of people tend to detach from their feelings after a hard breakup. This is a normal reaction from your brain when it's experienced a traumatic situation. Yes, breakups can be traumatic, especially when you're still emotionally attached to your ex. However, you have to make a conscious decision to feel all your feelings, especially the negative ones. Accept that your relationship happened and that it is now over. Allow yourself to grieve what you had or could've had and move on from it. It might feel devastating at first, but you'll be glad you made the decision in the coming months.

When you suppress your raging emotions, they fester and burst out at a later date. It's like trying to contain a bottle of carbonated soda after it's been shaken up. You'll have to open it eventually and when you do, it will erupt. Feeling your feelings might mean different things to different people. You can cry, go for walks, write in your journal, talk to a therapist or a friend, or all of the above. Your emotional life should not consist solely of romantic partners. You need platonic love from your support system as well. Beware of false healing which is when you convince yourself that you're over your ex, only to get with someone else. Your mind cannot be tricked: If you haven't done the real work, your new relationship will suffer for it.

Self-love is key to moving on in a healthy way

If you fail to acknowledge your trauma as soon as it happens, you'll only end up carrying the baggage with you into another relationship. If you find yourself comparing your current partner to your ex, even about little things, that could be a sign that you moved on too quickly. Things like expecting your new partner to behave like your ex or dress like your ex are all tell-tale signs that you are still seeing through the eyes of your past relationship.

You have to love yourself — don't depend on a relationship to fulfill or complete you. If you do, then you will always feel the need to be romantically involved with someone when you should be healing. Give yourself the time and space to grow from this experience and re-center yourself. Don't concentrate on how long it's taking you to get over your breakup. Healing is never a linear path. You could be doing well one week and the next week you're flooded with emotion. It's painstaking and yet relieving. Go at your own pace. Only you know how much time is needed to move on after a breakup.