Update: A previous version of this article contained quotes from an expert whose credentials are now in question. We have reached out to him for confirmation of those credentials and have not heard back. You can read Gizmodo’s investigation here, and his response here. INSIDER has updated this article as of 3/1/19.
Dating someone new can be exciting, but sometimes the person you’re dating isn’t totally over their previous relationship and it can lead to a “rebound relationship.”
According to Psychology Today, a rebound relationship can occur when someone’s dating a new person without being entirely over their ex. And it could make it difficult for the individual to form strong emotional connections or genuine relationships.
“The rebound relationship, it is believed, takes up the space that was left by the previous relationship and provides both stability and distraction from loss rather than working through [it],” Mary C. Lamia Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, wrote for Psychology Today. And while it may seem like a tough situation to be in, there are instances where the individuals in the relationship aren’t aware it’s happening.
That being said, everyone heals and moves forward in different ways and along different timelines. Dating someone who was recently in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re part of a rebound relationship.
Here are 11 signs that you could be in a rebound relationship.
You can’t reach them emotionally.
Certified relationship coach and co-owner of Double Trust Dating Jonathan Bennett told INSIDER that a telltale sign of being in a rebound relationship is not being able to connect with someone emotionally.
“If you’re just a rebound, the person you’re dating has no intention of keeping you around long-term,” he said. “Consequently, he or she will make little effort to facilitate emotional bonding. If the relationship seems extremely casual or focused only on sex, it’s possible you’re just a rebound.”
They seem to care more about what their ex is doing than they do about forming a relationship with you.
Have you ever been on a date and the only thing they talk about is how their ex is behaving currently or how they’re ex is doing? This is a huge sign that they may not as into you as you think.
“If your current partner seems more interested in his or her ex than forming a real relationship with you, it’s a red flag that you’re being used to help get over the ex,” he told INSIDER. “Two signs are: your partner stalking their ex on social media and constantly complaining to you about him or her.”
Your relationship is stagnant.
Dating someone new can definitely be exciting but when it feels like you aren’t moving forward, it could be that the relationship you’re in is a rebound one.
“Most relationships reach milestones in a reasonable amount of time,” Bennett told INSIDER. “This could include meeting family and friends, being public about the relationship on social media, and saying ‘I love you’ for the first time. If the relationship doesn’t seem to be moving along in a natural and timely manner, it’s possible that your partner only sees you as a short-term option.”
They’re still upset about their previous breakup.
According to relationship coach and director of Blue Lotus Mind Coaching & Training Tiffany Toombs, if the emotions radiating from your new love interest are still a bit shaky when it comes to their ex, they may not be able to fully commit to a relationship with you.
“If the person you’re dating still has a lot of fresh anger, hurt or other negative emotions relating to their break-up, you could possibly be a rebound,” she said. “People who haven’t dealt with and healed the wounds from their previous relationships are often not in an emotionally stable or emotionally available place to commit to a new relationship wholeheartedly.”
You’ve never met the ones closest to your partner and they have no plans to introduce you to them.
Although it takes time for you to feel comfortable enough to introduce the person you’re dating to those closest to you (and vice versa), it probably shouldn’t take forever. So, if a decent amount of time has passed and your partner has expressed no interest in introducing you to those closest to them, it may be time to consider the position you actually hold in their life and that could be as a rebound.
“Someone who is truly committed to a long-term relationship will have no problem introducing their partner or the person they care about to their friends and family,” Toombs said. “Keeping you away from the rest of their life is often a red flag that this relationship won’t last.”
They won’t commit to any plans that aren’t immediate.
If you’ve tried to make advanced plans with your date and they continuously turn you down, it could mean they don’t foresee a long-term relationship with you. Telling you that they’ll let you know as the date gets closer is not always because they’re busy.
“Whether the plans are a couple weeks away or a couple months away, a partner who is reluctant to discussing the future is something to take note of,” Toombs told INSIDER. “It’s truly a sign that they aren’t convinced the relationship will go the distance.”