Rebound relationships: don’t let them use you as a spare airport to land
I was on my way to Philadelphia when we had to make an emergency landing. We landed in a middle of nowhere (well, sort of), and although I was not that super excited about the whole thing, I was eternally grateful for having found that spare airport to land.
That spare airport… The place I would have never booked my flight to and yet, at that particular moment, it was a blessing to be there. Wasn’t it ironic? Was it a joke of life?
Perhaps it was a joke of life but this is when it hit me. I think it was a lesson for me as well. Well, for the all of us, actually. Yes, it is about rebound relationships.
Here is how I see it: we were heading from a point A to a point B, but due to mechanical problems of the plane we ended up at a TEMPORARY point C.
This is what many people on the rebound do: they leave their old relationship A, but since they are too wounded and hurt to make a new relationship B work, they choose a temporary option, aka a ‘transitional’ relationship C.
Just like that malfunctioning airplane that, due to mechanical problems, cannot make to its destination, they are in need and they are not well, and so they choose to land on a spare airport (aka YOU) to heal and to get better. But once they are all good and well they proceed to their final point – the new relationship... with someone else.
You certainly remember what it feels like to date someone who is on the rebound. Listed below are the ‘benefits’ (being sarcastic here) of dating someone like this. You can probably relate to the most of them if not all.
~ Since they are wounded and in constant pain, you feel like you have no choice but to play their dedicated nurse, an arm chair counselor, and a free psychotherapist - all in one - to make them feel better. You want to show how much you care. You want to prove that you are better than that ‘cruel, heartless, stupid b*tch’ they just broke up with.
~ They appear like they do not know what they want, like they are afraid to be alone, and they seem confused. And, since you want to make things work, you go into overdrive to cheer them up and to provide them with support when needed. In essence, it is ALL ABOUT THEM and little to nothing about YOU.
~You play the role of a giver and hope to reap the benefits later.
By being perfect and nice, understanding and loving, you hope for the happy ending to eventually come, but unfortunately, here is how it USUALLY ends:
After they complete their healing process, after they learn to trust again (thanks to you), and after they feel like they are ready, they take off of the ground of that temporary airport and disappear into the haze of the sky for good. And, along with the dreams you had, they take all your hopes, time invested, emotions and energy with them.
It will feel wrong and it will feel cruel, but that’s because you said ‘yes’ to something you did not have to.
I understand you saw potential – they WERE in a relationship before which means they were ‘relationship material’; they were hurting and they were not ready, BUT they still made an effort to get involved; they were in pain and they were not feeling right, BUT they still made an effort to communicate and to share nevertheless; they gave you hope and you felt safe to invest in them.
The one thing you should know about people on the rebound is that they are like hungry scavengers: their bruised egos are starving for validation and their broken hearts are yearning for unconditional love. They are withdrawing and they are looking for a fix. THEY ARE DESPERATE and desperate people are not that terribly selective.
Do you understand now why we are nothing more to such people than a spare, temporary airport? They're using it to fix THEIR issues. After that, they simply take off and proceed further on their journey of life.
We nurse their wounded ego and build up their self-confidence
We restore their damaged self-esteem
We make them believe that they have still ‘got it’ and that the opposite gender
still finds them attractive
We fix the ‘broken, damaged’ them and prepare fertile ground for
a future healthy relationship with someone else.
By default, them being on the rebound, means that they require more attention, more compassion, more understanding, and more love. Yes, they need all of those things, but so DO YOU… except that they are not capable of giving. They are on the rebound, they are still hurting, and they are not emotionally available.
We do not and should not get ourselves involved with someone who is not over their ex. It is a very dangerous and terribly undesirable path to travel. It could trip us over at any moment!
Think of them getting back together with their ex or moving on with someone new. Your self-esteem will take a hit and you may develop an inferiority complex: ‘How come that after all I did and after all I gave they still did not find me good enough
to stay??’, 'Why her and not me?’, ‘What is it about her that made them leave me?’, and ’I tried so hard and still failed’.
If you are looking to be a priority and be treated like ‘The One’, do not accept a relationship from someone whose heart is clearly not available. They are emotionally unavailable and they cannot give you what you need. Let them heal on their own and do not be their spear airport to land.