Nothing quite alleviates heartbreak than a new relationship, at least temporarily, so it’s easy to go on the rebound as soon as you find yourself alone again. But since things can get real toxic, real fast in a relationship that’s hardly the real deal, how do you protect yourself from getting too hurt?

A rebound relationship can backfire on you if you have expectations

According to Jean Chen XM, a psychotherapist at Relationship Matters, a rebound relationship can backfire on you if you’re trying to get some major things that you lacked in the previous relationship out of it.

“Let’s say you need a partner who is financially responsible and verbally expressive, and your previous boyfriend was financially responsible, but not verbally expressive. You’ll probably look for someone who is articulate in your next relationship,” she says.

“However, if your new partner is unable to control his spending, the relationship will backfire because you still don’t have both of your needs met. This may make you miss your ex and wonder if the breakup was a mistake.”

Her sentiment is backed by Cindy Leong, Chief Dating Coach at Divine Connect.

“When your new partner doesn’t match up to your previous one, you may end up missing your ex even more,” she says. She points out that you also risk driving your new partner away when you expect them to fill the emotional gap too quickly.

The rebound relationship can also backfire if, in a bid to do things differently, you deliberately go on the rebound with someone who is the complete opposite of your ex.

“Let’s say your previous boyfriend had a job that took up a lot of his time, so you intentionally choose someone who is able to spend more time with you at home as your new partner. This may not be something you actually want in the long-term and can cause friction,”adds Jean.

It can do you good if you have the right perspective

In an article for Psychology Today, clinical psychologist Dr Mary C. Lamia notes that a rebound relationship can lessen the hurt, shame and pain of a break-up.

“When a person loses a connection, it is through connecting [with a new person] that recovery can take place,” she says.

She adds that, contrary to popular belief, a new relationship doesn’t necessarily have less value than the previous one. In fact, it can prove to have far greater worth than the previous relationship if it actually meets more of your needs. .

However, she warns of possible pitfalls. For example, if you still harbour anger and resentment towards the ex, it “may interfere with the attachment to [your new partner], as well as put [him] in the uncomfortable position of competing with the ghost of what remains of the past relationship.”

And, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t matter if you start seeing someone new though you’re fresh out of a relationship.

“It’s not about the period of time between your previous relationship and your new one,” says Jean. “What’s more important is that you no longer want to be with your ex—that you know what you need from a relationship, and that you recognise that your feelings for your new partner are new and unique.

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