A rebound relationship is a dating relationship that begins before a person has fully come to terms with the break up of a previous relationship. A person whose mind is clouded by the pain of a recent break up is on the rebound and is not the best candidate for a long term relationship. That is not news to anyone, yet couples start rebound relationships all the time. While rebound relationships may not begin in ideal circumstances, they sometimes do last the test of time.

While there are no guarantees in life and love, here are some ideas on how you can best explore the possibilities of a romantic relationship with someone on the rebound, while doing what you can to protect your heart.

Take The Relationship Very Slow

The best advice when dating someone on the rebound is to take the relationship very slow. You should be very thoughtful in how your relationship progresses. This gives the person on the rebound plenty of time to emotionally take it in and makes the relationship less about hiding from the pain of their break up. Taking things slow is really the best for both of you.

Being a friend with romantic potential is probably your best bet. Spend some light hearted time with them doing fun activities. This will slow down your emotional investment in each other, while opening their eyes to the long term potential of the relationship.

Spend a lot of time talking and getting to know each other. This will provide some depth to your relationship. Their ex was part of their life, so don't be upset if they come up from time to time.

Don't be in a hurry to hold hands or casually kiss. If you take some time to get there and make it a thoughtful decision, it will mean more to both of you when it happens. The same goes for any type of physical intimacy. The longer you wait for physical intimacy, the better your chances are of having a lasting relationship.

Give Them The Time And Space They Need

Someone on the rebound needs time and space to come to terms with the break up of their previous relationship. Don't put pressure on them to quickly move on with life. This will make them feel that you don't understand the extent of their pain. Instead, acknowledging the wound to their heart will make them feel cared for and understood. Don't take up all their available free time. While this may distract them from their pain, but gives them no time to reflect on life and their loss.

Encourage Healthy Relationships

One of the best ways to improve your chances of making a rebound relationship work is to encourage a person on the rebound to spend time with emotionally healthy friends and family. This has several advantages:

  1. This provides a person on the rebound the opportunity to emotionally unload the hurts and frustrations from the break up of their previous relationship on their friends and family, rather than you. While that might sound selfish on your part, it is really about making your relationship about the two of you rather than about the pain of their previous relationship.

  2. Friends and family will be a source of loving support and encourage a person on the rebound to make healthy choices.

  3. Taking your relationship slow demonstrates wisdom and character. If you are taking the relationship slow, their friends and family will likely support and encourage your relationship.

Be Good To Them

As with any romantic relationship, you should be good to them. Be kind, caring, thoughtful, considerate, uplifting, encouraging, compassionate, patient and understanding. The real trick is not to over do it in the beginning of the relationship.

A person on the rebound is emotionally wounded. It makes sense for you to want to be extra attentive and supportive while their heart heals. The problem is you don't want them to develop unreasonable expectations. Here are two scenarios:

  1. You decide it would be nice to come over to their place on Sunday nights and make dinner for them. That is nice, thoughtful and considerate. It is also something that could easily be carried over into a permanent relationship.

  2. You decide to come over to their place every night and make dinner for them. That is nice, thoughtful and probably way over doing it. You are going to build up an expectation in their mind that you are coming over every night and making dinner. If that level of thoughtfulness does not carry over into a permanent relationship, they may feel disappointed and feel that you lead them on.

The beginning of a new relationship is a great time to develop good habits and traditions. Be mindful of how much you give in the beginning of a relationship. Try not to stray too far from what you will be happy to continue give in the future. You are best served by giving them an accurate picture of what you will be like in a continuing long term relationship.


Making a rebound relationship work takes time and patience. Eventually, a person on the rebound will get past the hurt of the break up of their previous relationship. Once they are emotionally healthy, they will take stock of you and your relationship. If they decide they couldn’t ask for more, they will emotionally be in a place to fully embrace you and your relationship may have a very bright future.

Related page:
Dating After A Break Up