Dating men on the rebound
And if the rebound relationship is with a rewarding, high-quality partner, then that partner can gradually replace the ex in their lives.If, however, the new relationship is not particularly rewarding, then the rebound relationship can backfire.Recent research conducted by my colleague Stephanie Spielmann, myself, and our collaborators, showed that unrewarding rebound relationships can actually lead people to feel This association appears to go the other way as well—if, for some reason, a person is having a difficult time letting go of their ex, they’re not going to be able to invest in a new relationship as fully, making that relationship less rewarding.Basically, our emotional and attachment needs are hydraulic: The more we rely on one individual to meet these needs (e.g., an ex-partner), the less we tend to rely on another individual to meet these same needs (e.g., a new partner). It really depends on whether the rebound relationship is better than the relationship that was left behind.The answer to this question is a bit more complicated.
Under these circumstances, people sometimes do decide to give their old flame another go—assuming the ex is also willing, of course.
New rewarding dating experiences can help to lower attachment to an ex-partner, making it less likely that the person will want to get back with their ex.
On the other hand, bad dates can indeed motivate people to go back to their exes.
In the research with on-again/off-again couples, dating experiences during “off” periods was one of the more common reasons people gave for wanting to give their ex another try.
It seems that after people break up, unrewarding dating experiences can make them feel like their other dating options aren’t as good as they thought, making their exes more appealing by comparison.