When a person starts dating someone new, their success in having found another appealing person to date can help them feel better about their romantic prospects.
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Are they calling you The One even though you just met, like, ten seconds ago?
In quiet moments, between basking in the adoration, do you feel sort of like a blank canvas they're projecting their feelings onto?
Recent research conducted by my colleague Stephanie Spielmann, myself, and our collaborators, showed that unrewarding rebound relationships can actually lead people to feel This association appears to go the other way as well—if, for some reason, a person is having a difficult time letting go of their ex, they’re not going to be able to invest in a new relationship as fully, making that relationship less rewarding.
Basically, our emotional and attachment needs are hydraulic: The more we rely on one individual to meet these needs (e.g., an ex-partner), the less we tend to rely on another individual to meet these same needs (e.g., a new partner). It really depends on whether the rebound relationship is better than the relationship that was left behind.
Nobody moves on and finds someone new that quickly.
(Of course, if he cheated on you with another woman and started dating her right after you broke up, it might be more serious than a rebound.) Other than that situation, the easy rule of thumb is that the longer he waited, the less likely it is to be a rebound relationship.But if you’re interested in a long-term romance, does it make sense?Short answer: Yes, if you’re actually a good match.Long answer: I read about a study last week done at Columbia University comparing physical pain to emotional pain.Volunteers who had previously gone through a painful break-up were shown pictures of their exes, and asked to think of a positive memory, then of a painful one.How could he be ready for something new so quickly? The common wisdom here says he’s in a “rebound relationship” – and it’s common because it’s usually correct.