In love, there’s no surefire way to do anything, but we can try to make the best decisions as we let our head guide our heart smartly. At least, that’s how I like to think about it … but trust me, I’ve let my heart take my head on plenty a detour!

One thing we all want to do while dating is avoid being the rebound. The only time in which being a rebound is a positive thing is if both parties are rebounding together and are open about it. Unfortunately, it’s not usually that easy, so use these smart moves to make sure you avoid becoming the rebound boyfriend or girlfriend.

1. Listen Closely

Is your date talking constantly about his or her ex? Do you feel like you’re this person’s therapist? Don’t go out with the person again; instead, offer to be a friend, if you can. I have had this happen a few times. It’s always a red flag when someone takes up a good portion of his or her time rehashing the past instead of getting to know you.

Really listening to what the person is saying (or not saying) can prevent you from being the rebound.

2. Ask About Dating History

Admittedly, no one likes being grilled about his or her dating history when out with a new person. However, it’s smart to ask the right questions, like:

  • When was your last relationship and when did it end?
  • How did it end?
  • How did you feel about it ending?

Most people will be willing to share, at the very least, when they broke it off with someone and how long the relationship lasted. Using those answers, do you think the person has had enough time to be ready for a new relationship?

You can never know for sure, but you can gauge based on the person’s patterns whether he or she is looking to settle down, or settle his or her emotions onto someone else while grieving a former relationship.

3. Don’t Offer An Open Door

If you meet someone you like but he or she keeps on floating in and out of your life, either out of indecision or because of a former love, don’t allow it. Keep the door closed until the person has an offer for you. By doing this, the person will either show up knocking with a commitment, or walk away and out of your life, leaving you to meet someone better.

4. Watch Out For Residual Resentment

If your date has broken up with someone quite some time ago yet still seems pretty pissed off about it, I would be concerned that you’re a rebound. That type of anger usually comes from strong feelings. If the person is still waging an internal war over an ex, buyer beware!

5. Check Their References

When you’re with this person and perhaps an argument or issue pops up, do you find your dating partner referring to an ex a lot?

Like, “Well he or she always did…”

Or, “You know, that reminds me a lot of…”

This can be a sign that the person hasn’t healed from the past relationship.

Sometimes, a person will scream “rebound dater” and other times, it’s much subtler. All I can advise is to use your head along with your heart if anything strikes you as particularly wary. Just use those smarts of yours, and you can keep your heart in check. You’ve got this!

You may also be interested in How To Handle An Unexpected Run-In With Your Ex

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