So, congratulations, you’re single again. I’m no stranger to this predicament, as I’ve been known to pull a few crazy moves every so often that have merited a breakup. You now have a few options: relapse with your ex and hate-fuck him and your self-esteem simultaneously until someone better comes along, go on a slutty rampage where you sleep with everything that walks in an attempt to assuage the pain you’re feeling from your most recent heartbreak, become a recluse and talk to nobody besides your FB friends for a few weeks until your friends force you out of bed, or find a really great rebound. I personally think finding a rebound is the most effective way to forget an ex, but you have to tread this water carefully. A great rebound has a few basic components.
1. He has to be NEW
There’s no good reason to rebound with someone you have a prior history with. If you choose an ex-hookup as a rebound, you’re just setting yourself up for failure. It’s obvious things never went anywhere but horizontal in the past, so why would now be different? The only thing a random booty call does is destroy your self-esteem and make you feel used. Not to mention, if you were sort-of emotionally invested, you’ll be tempted to have emotional vent sessions with him post-coitus. Not cute and not necessary. You need to find someone completely new with no affiliation to you or your ex, because that will actually help you distract yourself from thinking about how much you’re not over your ex-boyfriend.
2. He has to be HOT
Rebounding with a guy who’s mediocre-looking and emotionally available is about as pointless as a butter knife. Nothing helps your self-esteem quite like knowing you’re hooking up with the hottest guy ever. It’s very restorative for your soul to let someone who’s absolutely gorgeous nail you. It’s also an added bonus if you happen to run into your ex while you’re with him. It will lead to feelings of regret for your ex once he realizes you’re moving up in the world.
3. He has to be COMPLETELY INCOMPATIBLE
This is the key, and often the hardest aspect of finding a good rebound. You’re in no place after a breakup to jump into another meaningful relationship, largely because you’re a fucking trainwreck who spends her nights drinking wine through a straw and listening to Alanis Morisette on repeat. You’re as emotionally unstable as they come, and it’s easy to misinterpret a guy’s lukewarm feelings for you as a sign the stars have aligned and you have found your future husband. Everyone knows a good boyfriend is the perfect combination of hot, smart, funny, and rich. If you find a rebound who is only a few of these things, but so completely wrong for you, you neither run the risk of coming off as too clingy and crazy (which would only mean your ex won), nor set yourself up for another failed relationship. Think about it. No matter how great the guy you start dating immediately after your ex is, you will always find ways to think about your ex. Once you realize that you’re not completely over your ex yet, you start to see the new relationship crumble. If you ruin what could have been a great relationship with a new guy because you couldn’t get your shit together, it’s only going to hurt you in the end, but if you ruin a potential relationship with some idiot, who cares? You were only using him to get over your ex, anyway.
Breakups suck, but if you play them right they can be a highly constructive mechanism for bettering yourself, and your love life. The rebound boyfriend is a key step in your path to full emotional recovery, and should be used as such. Rebound with caution, but definitely, definitely go for the rebound instead of the other available coping options.