A new guy is the perfect cure for a broken heart. The excitement of a new relationship is an exciting distraction from pain and sadness. But what if you’ve done the rebound thing and you aren’t happy anymore? Could you be ready to be single again?
Many people talk about rebounding. Either how unhealthy it is or how we should stop judging woman and men for rebounding after the end of a bad relationship. But not a whole lot of people talk about what signs tell you you’re ready to be single again.
I actually used to judge women who would bounce from one guy to another after heartbreak. These women were, in my mind, weak and desperate and needed validation from a man. I even tried to cover up my judgement by masking it behind layers of concern and worry that they would never be able to heal properly if they didn’t take some time for themselves first.
I judged these women. That is until I went through my first heartbreaking split since my divorce. I’ve gone through breakups before but I had forgotten how debilitating they can be. I remember now how difficult it is to think clearly during a break up. And how much you just want the pain to go away, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
It was my second relationship since my divorce about 2 years ago. And in many ways this breakup was worse than my divorce.
I sacrificed a lot in that relationship. I sacrificed my time and energy. Most of all, I sacrificed my trust in myself and my trust in my gut instinct. I was so wrapped up in the passion and intensity of my feelings for this man that I completely and utterly ignored my inner voice that told me almost every day that something was wrong.
In the end, I sacrificed my sanity. I found out he had been cheating on me. And I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t believe it. This strange notion went against everything I believed about him. It went against everything I felt for him. And it went against everything I made myself believe our relationship was. I drove myself crazy trying to make myself not believe the proof that was so painfully obvious.
When I finally accepted reality and broke things off for good I fell into a dark place. That’s not quite right. I charged into that dark place.
This was the second time I had been cheated on. The first time ended my marriage. This time nearly ended my faith in love and my trust in myself. As the dust settled, my once loving and trusting relationship with myself was hanging on by a solitary fraying thread.
As I hung on for dear life to that fragile thread, I charged forward, created a Tinder profile and started dating around which is something I’ve never done before. I didn’t want to think about the fact that I had been cheated on again. I didn’t want to face the pain I knew was coming. And this time, with my trust in myself so utterly shattered, I didn’t want to do the work I knew was needed in order to rebuild that trust.
Yet, as it always happens, reality began to seep in: rebounding was not making me happy. I tried to ignore the signs but slowly, ever so slowly, I realized rebounding was making things worse. I was ready to be single again.
So, let’s say that you are in a rebound relationship with a guy right after separation, divorce or breakup. Or maybe you are on to your third or fourth (or more) rebound. It was fun while it lasted. You were able to dull the pain at least a little bit. But maybe now you are ready to be single again.
Here are 5 signs to look for:
You jump to the next guy faster and with more vengeance. For me, this was the first clue that rebounding was not working for me. The prospect of a new relationship makes feels good. And a connection on a first date gets the happy-feel-good chemicals flowing in the brain. After a while, though, these feelings wear off and you are left to choose to continue the relationship. But a relationship is not the point when you are rebounding. Only feeling better matters. So, in comes a new guy. If all you care about is that the guy makes you feel good and you are hopping to the next guy or are talking to multiple guys at once you might be ready to slow down.
You compromise your long-held beliefs about relationships. If you’ve always been the type of person to take things slowly in a relationship but now you are throwing all your rules out the window that could be a sign you are ready to be single again. Or maybe you’ve always believed that sex and emotions go hand-in-hand but now you are willing to sleep with a guy you have no feelings for. We tend to compromise our personal beliefs about relationships in an effort to make excuses for our reckless behavior. It might seem freeing (I know it felt like that for me) but being reckless with your emotions is not a good thing.
You feel drained when you think about another round of swiping through profiles and setting up dates and managing chats with multiple guys. Dating is hard no matter when you decide to try it. Endless swiping, initial chatting and setting up a first date takes time and precious energy. And then if the date doesn’t go well you are back at square one. If this process starts to feel like effort it might be time to put your dating profile on pause and refocus on yourself.
You start to imagine what it would be like being single again. I started daydreaming about spending entire days doing just what I wanted to do and not worry about when some guy is going to text me back. I started setting new goals for myself and wondering what it would be like to focus all my attention on those goals instead of focusing on getting my next boyfriend. If you are daydreaming and imagining being single again then do yourself a favor and be single :)
Your inner voice or gut is telling you it’s time to be single again. You know you better than I do. If your inner voice is telling you in its own way that you should be single then please listen to it. I have learned through a very painful experience why listening to your inner voice is so incredibly important. You might feel hurt and confused but your inner voice always knows the way.
Breakups suck. They really do. And it’s not surprising that so many of us try to cover up that pain by launching into another relationship. And that’s fine for a while. But your healing process is so important. So, if you are doing the rebound thing, keep doing it. Just check in with yourself from time to time and pay attention to these signs that you are ready to be single again.