Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Bounce Back: Are Rebounds a Good Thing Outside the Basketball Court?

         Heartbreak can be a hard time where sometimes we don’t know to put down the whole container of ice cream or stop watching the “Notebook” (2004) repeatedly until we can quote it. Everyone deals with romantic relationships ending in a different way ranging from yes, watching the romantic movies way too many times, to making ourselves busier with work or school. Sometimes we will even find ourselves or close others quickly beginning a new romantic relationship shortly after the recent termination of another romantic relationship. This is commonly called a “rebound relationship”. This type of relationship is usually defined by the short amount of time between the start of the new rebound relationship and the recent termination of another romantic relationship. We often look at these relationships with a pessimistic lens making the assumption that rebound relationships are anything but genuine. But, are rebound relationships really such a bad thing?
         A recent study by Brumbaugh and Fraley (2015) wanted to gain further understanding about rebound relationships since research on this topic is lacking. The researchers completed two studies within their paper. The first study was done over time so that individuals who recently had a breakup were questioned about the previous relationship before the relationship had ended. They were later, after the breakup, asked about how they have been doing (well-being), feelings about their ex-partner and feelings about new partner. In the second larger study, the participants who recently experienced a breakup were asked a single time about their well-being and about any new relationships.
         The findings of the first study indicated that individuals that had been single for longer were more likely to be in a new relationship than individuals who experienced a breakup more recently. Those individuals that were in a new relationship reported being more confident in their desirability, less interest in their ex-partner and less contact with their ex than individuals who were single. In addition, individuals who had jumped into relationships faster reported higher well-being, self-confidence, trust and respect for their new partner.  Lastly, faster rebound was also found to be related to higher well-being and self-confidence.
The results of the second study indicated that, again, individuals that were single for a longer period of time were more likely to be in a new relationship than individuals who experienced a breakup more recently.  Individuals in new relationships reported more confidence in their desirability, less residual feelings for their ex, less contact with their ex, higher well-being and lower anxiety than individuals that remained single. Again, individuals who jumped into relationships faster reported higher well-being and self-confidence, but reported more contact with their ex-partner.

         Thus the findings of this study suggest that rebound relationships are not reported with all negative outcomes, perhaps our common assumption that rebound’s are at a disadvantages is not always true. Of course this research is still new and many other studies will need to look into this understudied topic. But with current findings, I say we should be less hesitant about rebound relationships and not be so fast to advise our friends that we do not approve of these quickly developed new relationships.

Nicole Skikavich

Brumbaugh, C. C., & Fraley, R. C. (2015). Too fast, too soon? An empirical investigation

into rebound relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32, 99-118. doi:10.1177/0265407514525086

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