Anyone who has ever been in a romantic relationship involving emotional and physical closeness (that has ended), has had a rebound. As I have mentioned in previous columns, Boston College’s hookup culture is filled with optimistic, fun-seeking freshmen who have just broken up with their high school sweetheart and are wanting that “college experience.” To be honest, though, there is plenty of rebound potential in every class.
Using the word “rebound” to describe someone is not a derogatory term. It is simply a phrase encompassing the meaning of a person who is the immediate “romantic” connection after your previous relationship has ended. Rebounds play different roles depending on the type of person that is in need of a rebound. There are a few types of mindsets one can have during rebound mode:
Mindset #1: The “I just got out of a serious relationship” mindset.
Mindset #2: The “I miss being in a relationship” mindset.
Mindset #3: The “I asked to get serious and got rejected” mindset.
Mindset #4: The “I can do better than them, they didn’t deserve me anyways” mindset.
Mindset #5: The “It was a mutual dumping” mindset.
The majority of the time, “the rebound” serves the purpose of consistent, emotional suppression (or removal) with the fulfillment of physical needs or ecstasies. However, sometimes you will see people jump from relationship to relationship (most of the time, this is the case with celebrities). The practice isn’t bad—it is actually pretty impressive. That said, people do this because they have had problems with trusting the wrong people, and being in a committed relationship has grown into a sort of a necessity for their ego and self-confidence. But as I said, it is impressive either way, it’s just not most people’s cup of tea.
Now, you may or may not know this, but you have been a rebound or have had a rebound in your lifetime of dating and hooking up. A question you might be asking is, “how would I not know?” I’ll tell you how… because no one will actually tell you that you’re a rebound. The objective of having a successful Friday night in college culture, is to be able to have a “connection” with someone, that ends with both of you agreeing to have future brief meetings or never seeing each other again. No person is going to walk up to another person and say, “Hey, want to be the person that I respect until I get what I need, and if I’m not feeling it, I won’t ever see again?”, because that will not result in needs being fulfilled. It’s a cold world out there for rebounds. But hey, if you want to be that escape for someone, more power to you.
If you are shocked by this information about yourself or your use of others and you’re wondering if you have ever been in this situation, let me give you two examples:
Example 1: Imagine you are a opportunity-pursuing freshman who has made it to your first Spring semester. Your Fall semester was filled with the BC weekend culture. Toward the end of November, however, you started dating someone exclusively until the month of January. The relationship ends right before Valentine’s week, but you both knew it was the right thing to accept the breakup. Now, the moment when you both agree that your academics need to take precedence in life—as good BC students stereotypically do—and part ways, YOU are now officially, in “rebound mode.”
Example 2: Let’s say someone asks you out on a proper date; ice cream, coffee, dinner, whatever tickles your peach. The date is going well, you like this person’s personality, but in the back of your mind you want to know their end game. Here is a sly question to slip into the conversation to help figure out what their end game is: “What is your ideal date?” I know, it seems too simple, but their answer can tell you a lot if you read it correctly. If they say some silly joke like, “anywhere with you,” rebound mode. If they say, “I’m not quite sure, how about you?” … rebound mode. If they start the sentence with, “well my ex loved …” REBOUND MODE. Now, if they answer genuinely, like they have actually thought about something nice, that is NOT rebound mode.
Regardless of what other people’s intentions are, make sure you know if you are in rebound mode. If someone doesn’t know they are in rebound mode, they can potentially dig their partner into a hole that they cannot get out of. Although I am not a behavioral researcher, I am a college student and I have seen plenty of rebound situations in my day. Just remember, rebounding is healthy and I encourage people to get into this mode after a committed relationship because it has a weird way of putting you back to where you need to be with yourself after heartbreak.