Can rebound sex ever help you get over someone?

12 June, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by Kelle Salle

Image by @venedaacarter

Getting over a breakup isn’t easy. While everyone around you might have their own opinion on when you should be over your ex or what you need to do in order to heal, only you will know what’s best for you. We’ve all heard the quote ‘the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else’. A study by researchers in 2014 found that people who entered a rebound relationship were happier and had healthier relationships. If you don’t want to jump from one relationship to another, then you do have another option – rebound sex. Depending on how your previous relationship ended, someone else taking an interest in you so soon might be just what you need to lift your spirits, but can rebound sex ever help you get over someone?

What is a rebound?

A rebound is a sexual or non-sexual romantic attachment one forms quickly after a breakup.

Why might someone want to have rebound sex?

One reason is trying to numb the pain of a breakup and all the feelings it brings. Rebounding is nature’s way of trying to fill a void. When we experience a loss, our minds don’t like this and as a result, we will attempt to fill the void or meet the need without considering how our actions might affect us in the short or long-term. People who are more aware of their actions after a breakup are more likely to recognise when they are trying to fill a void, so they’ll be able to make better decisions that help them on their healing journey. Jumping from one relationship to another without processing the impact a previous relationship has had on your health and wellbeing can keep someone in survival mode if they aren’t careful.

When should someone not consider having rebound sex? 

If someone is rebounding, then it’s likely that they’re not over their ex. If you’re not over your ex, then rebound sex definitely isn’t a good idea. It’s important to remember that our ability to make decisions is compromised after a breakup (regardless of whether the relationship ended on good terms or not). If you are over your ex but don’t think you can handle what rebound sex entails, then it might not be for you. Most times, such encounters are short-lived. Additionally, you will need to take the other person’s needs into consideration as things could get a little complex if communication becomes an issue.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to have rebound sex?

If you want to have rebound sex, don’t make any rash decisions. Give yourself some time to figure out if this is something you want to do and always remember that you can change your mind at any point. Your choice of partner is important. While rebound sex is (and should be) all about the fun, you do want to be intimate with someone who is respectful and is happy to adhere to your terms. Depending on who you ask, a rebound might be a one time thing, but if you find that rebounding is getting the better of you, then you might want to take a step back. I would suggest speaking to a therapist or engaging in some self-reflection.

Can rebound sex ever help you get over someone?

It can. There are a number of reasons why someone might want to have rebound sex and as long as you are comfortable with your choice, that’s all that matters. Rebound sex has had a bad rap in the past because some people associate it with sleeping with several people over a short period of time. However, a rebound doesn’t need to be a one time thing. If you are lucky enough to meet someone you have a connection with, you might hook up with them more than once and that’s perfectly ok. Something else to keep in mind is that some of the feelings that come with rebound sex might be temporary. It might make you feel good in the short-term but it’s important to be mindful of any long-term effects.


IALH Editorial Team


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