Glorifying the Rebound is Only Going to Hurt You

On finding health and confidence post-breakup

Source: @mccutcheon on Pexels.

In the immediate aftermath of a break-up exists a place that nobody likes to talk about. It’s usually a dark place, riddled with uncertainties and toxic behavior we’re never too proud of. With all of this known, we enter them out of a nature within ourselves we can’t seem to control or make sense out of. We know they’re bad, yet, oftentimes, we’ll find justification in the distraction as if it’s a form of a secret healing process nobody can question.

You’re eager to render bad thoughts and strange feelings out of your mind and body. As human beings, we will look for anything to make it happen.

We distract ourselves in work, or in mindless repetition, or, sometimes, in bad habits.

In the array of those habits exists the rebound.

Here is what Elite Daily says about the value of a rebound:

A rebound has positive benefits because it boosts your confidence and replaces the void from the previous relationship.

The article then goes on to summarize that a rebound is, in essence, an upgrade from a previous relationship.

That leaves us with this fundamental question:

If a rebound is an upgrade from a previous relationship, then what does a successful relationship look like?

The backbone of this entire line of thinking exists in the premise that we require distractions and deviations from awful thoughts about ourselves through the presence and interaction of other human beings.

This is a farce.

It is a protection against dealing with the relationship you were just in. Even then, it’s very bad protection because it is deviating you from thinking about why the relationship was fundamentally broken or why you found yourself in that position to begin with.

There are many strange studies on things like confidence, maturity, and mental health. Yet there is no real quantifiable metric on which to gauge any of these things.

Here is a truth: Politifact, in 2012, fact-checked that about 50% of marriages end in divorce.

This isn’t a number that signifies to me, or anybody else, that we need to find new people to distract ourselves from a fundamental problem. It doesn’t signal to me that I or you should see rebounds as upgrades.

The fire of confidence or maturity or success of an individual’s wealth — whether that is financial, personal, or otherwise — comes from within. The problems of a relationship that cause it to end don’t require rigorous mathematical analysis or the scientific method. However, it doesn’t mean those problems get to be dismissed in place of something we call rebounds. If you always need someone new to validate your confidence or your worth to the world, you’re heading down a path where the only person who doesn’t realize your value is yourself. If you keep doing this out of habit, you further diverge yourself from that realization.

Our divorce rate and break-ups need to signal the right things. We have a flawed understanding of what and who is right for us. That goes both ways, and, oftentimes, it’s unintentional. If we aren’t understanding the overarching theme of marriage vows, it might be time to change how we look at break-ups. It might be time to change how we move forward after failed relationships. Half of the people you know in your lifetime will end up divorced.

If we qualify upgrades as rebounds, we’ve missed the point about successful relationships.

The upgrade of an unsuccessful relationship is a successful one. A rebound, by its very definition, means that it is “the recovery in value, amount, or strength after a previous decrease or decline.”

Rebounding doesn’t happen through other people. It starts with yourself. If you don’t believe you have value or confidence, strangers won’t magically give it to you.

Don’t let other people distract you from discovering what you should have known about yourself the entire time.

Recovery is within. From there, it goes outward. Dating while broken is like driving under the influence. Sometimes, you’ll get away with it. Regardless, it won’t feel too good.

Most do it knowing it’s wrong.

Written by

UC Berkeley, mathematics. Los Angeles. Long-time runner. Top writer on Quora, 100M+ total content views. New to Medium. Inquiries:

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