4 Psychological Traps to Avoid in Rebound Relationships


Signs of a Doomed Rebound Relationship

Have you ever jumped into a new relationship right after a breakup, only to end up feeling even more emotionally drained and hurt? If so, you may have fallen into the trap of a rebound relationship.

While rebound relationships can be tempting as a distraction from the pain of a breakup, they rarely end well. Here are two signs that your rebound relationship may be doomed from the start.

1. Psychological Displacement

Have you ever found yourself comparing your current partner to your ex? While it’s natural to think about past relationships, if you find yourself frequently comparing and contrasting your ex with your current partner, it may be a sign of psychological displacement.

This occurs when you unconsciously transfer unresolved feelings from your past relationship onto a new partner. For example, if your ex was emotionally unavailable, you may find yourself seeking out a partner who is emotionally distant.

Alternatively, if your ex was controlling, you may find yourself attracted to someone who is submissive. This is a surefire way to set yourself up for disappointment and frustration in a new relationship.

2. Oversharing about the Relationship

When starting a new relationship, it’s natural to want to share every detail with your friends and family. However, if you find yourself constantly talking about how “perfect” and “wonderful” your new partner is, it could be a sign that you’re overcompensating for your own doubts and insecurities.

Additionally, oversharing can put undue pressure on a new relationship. If you’re constantly talking about your partner in glowing terms, you may be setting unrealistic expectations that they can’t possibly live up to.

This can lead to disappointment and resentment when your partner inevitably falls short of your lofty expectations.

Emotional Availability

Moving on from a breakup can be a difficult and often lengthy process. Rushing into a new relationship may seem like a good way to distract yourself from the pain of the past, but it rarely results in a healthy, long-term partnership.

Here are two signs that you may not be emotionally ready for a new relationship.

1. Post-Breakup Mourning Period

Allowing yourself time to grieve and process your emotions after a breakup is essential for healing and moving on. However, if you find yourself jumping into a new relationship before fully processing your emotions, you may be setting yourself up for an emotional rollercoaster.

Taking the time to work through your feelings, and only pursuing a new relationship once you feel emotionally stable, can help ensure that you start a new relationship from a place of emotional health and stability.

2. Shortcutting the Healing Process

Distractions like dating apps and casual flings may seem like a good way to avoid the pain of a breakup, but they only delay the healing process. It’s important to allow yourself space and time to process your emotions and come to terms with the end of your last relationship.

Rushing into a new relationship without allowing yourself the necessary time to heal can result in unresolved emotional baggage that will only rear its ugly head later down the line. By taking the time to prioritize your own emotional well-being, you increase your chances of finding a healthy and fulfilling relationship in the future.


While it’s understandable to seek comfort and distraction after a breakup, rushing into a new relationship rarely results in a healthy, long-lasting partnership. By being mindful of the signs of a rebound relationship and taking the necessary time to heal and process your emotions, you increase your chances of finding a successful and fulfilling relationship in the future.

Remember to prioritize your own emotional well-being above all else, and everything else will fall into place.

3. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

The fear of missing out, commonly referred to as FOMO, can be a powerful motivator in our decision-making, especially when it comes to rebound relationships. The fear of being alone or missing out on an opportunity for happiness may push us towards accepting a new relationship that we otherwise wouldn’t.

Here are two ways that FOMO can activate in the context of a rebound relationship.

1. Activating FOMO

The initial period after a breakup can be a lonely and confusing time, leaving us feeling like we’re missing out on something. This feeling may intensify when we see others around us in happy relationships, on social media or in real life.

This increased social pressure to be in a relationship can cause us to jump into one impulsively. Unfortunately, this behavior often results in a rebound relationship that is not built on a solid foundation and is doomed to fail.

It’s crucial to recognize and question whether the fear of missing out is driving our desire to rush into a new relationship.

2. Correcting the Reason for the Breakup

Another way fear of missing out can play a role in a rebound relationship is through our motivation and attraction. We may feel motivated to get into a new relationship quickly, in order to fill the void of the one we just ended.

This can lead us to prioritize finding someone, anyone, rather than someone who is a good match for us. In this case, it’s important to take a step back and examine our attraction to the new partner.

Are we genuinely interested in them, or are we merely seeking a quick fix to alleviate our feelings of loneliness and fear of missing out? By correcting the reasons for the breakup and prioritizing our own emotional well-being, we can ensure that we avoid getting into a rebound relationship due to FOMO.

4. The Decoy Effect

The Decoy Effect is a psychological phenomenon in which people’s choices are influenced by adding a third option that is similar to one of the original options. When we’re deciding between two options, introducing a third, often inferior option can make one of the original options more appealing in comparison.

Here are two ways this phenomenon can impact rebound relationships.

1. Comparing Similar Things

When looking for a new partner, it can be easy to get hung up on what we liked or disliked about our previous partner. This can make it difficult to evaluate the suitability of a new relationship objectively.

The Decoy Effect can come into play when considering a new partner who is similar to our ex in some way. For example, if you were previously with someone who was career-focused, you may be drawn to a new partner who shares similar traits.

However, if this new partner’s career goals are not aligned with yours, it can create issues down the line, leaving you feeling frustrated and unfulfilled. It’s crucial to evaluate a new partner on their own merits, rather than purely on how they compare to our previous romantic experiences.

2. Pulling Attention Away From the Rebound Relationship

The Decoy Effect can also be utilized to pull our attention away from a rebound relationship. For example, focusing on new changes in our life, such as a career change or traveling, can help us move on from our previous relationship and avoid getting too caught up with a new partner too quickly.

Furthermore, exploring new hobbies or friendships can help us rediscover ourselves and what we want from a relationship. This can help us break free from patterns of seeking out relationships due to FOMO or simply to fill a void.


Getting into a rebound relationship is an easy trap to fall into when we’re navigating the emotions that come with a breakup. By being aware of how the fear of missing out and the decoy effect can impact our decision-making, we can ensure that we’re making choices that are truly aligned with our emotions and desires.

Remember that taking the time to process our emotions, prioritize our well-being, and explore our options can lead to finding a fulfilling and healthy relationship in the future. In conclusion, rebound relationships can be tempting as a way to distract ourselves from the emotional turmoil of a breakup.

However, by being aware of the signs of a doomed rebound relationship, allowing ourselves time to heal and process our emotions, and prioritizing our emotional well-being, we increase our chances of finding a fulfilling and healthy relationship in the future. By understanding the psychological factors that can influence our decision-making, such as fear of missing out and the decoy effect, we can make choices that are aligned with our own desires and needs.

Remember that taking care of ourselves is the most important thing we can do during this difficult time, and with time and self-reflection, we can move through the pain of a breakup and find true happiness.

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