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Sex + Relationships

How To Tell If You’re Someone’s Rebound and What to Do If You Are

Whether you’re being dumped or doing the dumping, there’s nothing pleasant about ending a relationship. The recovery period looks different for everyone, but one thing is somewhat common among college students: rebounds. Some love them and others hate them, and if you haven’t heard, rebounds are usually short-lived relationships used to distract newly heartbroken singles. 

A friend of mine recently went through a pretty brutal breakup with his girlfriend of five years and he was on the hunt for a rebound shortly after. After detailing a few of his escapades the weeks following, it got me thinking: how does a girl know they’re someone’s rebound? Are there obvious signs to watch out for? Does it really matter if she is? In true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I decided to investigate. Here are six ways to tell if you’re a guy’s two-month lifeline for love:

1. Not “enough” time has passed since their last relationship. 

“Enough” is a little elusive, I’ll admit, but you can just tell. If his last relationship was four years long, he’s probably not going to be over it in a month. If it was only a few months long, however, they might be able to move on quicker. The bottom line is if he hasn’t had enough time to process the breakup, then he’s probably not over his ex.

Courtesy: Giphy

2. He’s very flirty, very bold and maybe even a little more physical with you. 

Girl, I get it: attention is nice, compliments are great, and dates are amazing. But those aren’t going to be as satisfying when he doesn’t truly mean it or is just doing those things to feel some type of love again. Authenticity in his actions is key.  

3. You’re his little secret; you haven’t met any significant friends.

If you’ve been talking to a newly single guy for a few weeks (or even a few months) and you haven’t met any of his friends, that’s a major a red flag. Guys generally want to introduce their cute AF girlfriends to their friends, and if he hasn’t yet, there’s probably a reason. Maybe he’s just not that into you, and maybe he’s still clinging on to his ex-lover. 

4. His attention is divided. 

You know what I’m talking about: he’s sitting next to you, but he’s not really there, or you’re on a date, but he’s not paying any attention to you. He’s spacey. He’s daydreamy. He might say the classic, “I’m tired,” but it is probably because his mind is still fixated on a previous girlfriend.  

5. He’s not trying to impress you and is trying to impress you at the same time. 

He fished for you quickly and, girl, did he have some moves! At first, there were grand romantic gestures and fairytale declarations of affection. But now that he’s got you on the line, he’s burping while you’re on FaceTime with your mom and leaving his laundry everywhere when you come over. After a while, he simply doesn’t care as much. 

6. You become his emotional backbone. 

You know you’ve reached the beginning of the end when you become his emotional backbone. He throws his problems at you, and maybe even brings up his previous relationships. One thing is for sure: he’s finally dealing with his old breakup and you could be caught in the crossfire. 

You may be reading this and thinking about the cute guy you met at the tailgate last Saturday, and how he’s checking all of these boxes that indicate you’re his rebound. Out of panic, you may have even texted your best friend this article and asked for her opinion on your boy situation. Completely understandable. But here’s the thing: you don’t really have to worry. If you’re enjoying yourself in a relationship, regardless of its origins or odd circumstances, it doesn’t matter if it lasts two months or two years. College is the time for you to let loose and have fun and take in experiences such as this as they come — truly, it’s all in how you look at it.   

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Tatum is a Junior Editing, Writing and Media student at Florida State University. When she's not writing for Her Campus FSU, she's probably playing with dogs, scrolling through Instagram, or drinking an iced coffee.
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