A rebound is an undefined period following the breakup of a romantic relationship. The term's use dates back to at least the 1830s, when Mary Russell Mitford wrote of "nothing so easy as catching a heart on the rebound". The term may also refer to a romantic relationship that a person has during the rebound period, or to the partner in such a relationship. When a serious relationship ends badly, these partners suffer from complex emotional stresses of detachment. This in combination with the need to move forward leads previous partners to have uncommitted relations called rebounds. If a rebound were to occur, it will happen on average about six weeks after a break up.
Someone who is "on the rebound," or recently out of a serious dating relationship, is popularly believed to be psychologically incapable of making reasonable decisions regarding suitable partners due to emotional neediness, lingering feelings towards the old partner, or unresolved problems from the previous relationship. Rebound relationships are believed to be short-lived due to one partner's emotional instability and desire to distract themselves from a painful break up. Those emerging from serious relationships are often advised to avoid serious dating until their tumultuous emotions have calmed.
Shimek, Cassie; Bello, Richard (2014-01-27). "Coping with Break-Ups: Rebound Relationships and Gender Socialization". Social Sciences. 3 (1): 24–43. doi:10.3390/socsci3010024.Barber, Lindsay L.; Cooper, M. Lynne (2013-12-20). "Rebound Sex: Sexual Motives and Behaviors Following a Relationship Breakup". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 43 (2): 251–265. doi:10.1007/s10508-013-0200-3. ISSN 0004-0002.
- Rebound, n. (and adj.). Oxford English Dictionary. Third edition, July 2010; online version November 2010. Accessed 7 January 2011.