Howdy! I suggest you prepare a drink or two and make yourself comfy. 😊 Before we start with the main topic, How long will a narcissist rebound relationship last? let’s first define these two terms: narcissist and rebound relationship.
• A narcissist is someone who has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). This means they have an exaggerated sense of self-worth and importance. They don’t care about other people’s feelings but focus solely on themselves.
• A rebound relationship means starting a new romantic relationship without getting over the previous relationship.
So, how does a narcissist behave in a rebound relationship? How long will a narcissist rebound relationship last, and why? To these and many other questions, you’ll find the answers below!
How Long Will A Narcissist Rebound Relationship Last?
Typically, narcissist rebound relationships last for 2–4 months. In some cases, they may last for a year. Generally, a rebound relationship is bound to last much shorter than a regular relationship.
If you’re in a regular rebound relationship (that doesn’t include narcissists), you can expect it to last up to 2–3 years. And, as I already mentioned, if you’re in a rebound relationship with a narcissist, it will last only a few months; 2–4.
Now you’re probably wondering: What is the difference between a normal and a narcissist rebound relationship, and why does the latter last for a much shorter period? Below is your answer.
7 Reasons Why Narcissist Rebound Relationships Don’t Last Long
Narcissist rebound relationships don’t last long because narcissists’ egos are fragile after ending a relationship. They require too much admiration and focus solely on satisfying their narcissistic needs. Here’s why such a rebound relationship won’t last for long:
1. A narcissist requires too much care and admiration in a rebound relationship
Once a narcissist enters into a new relationship, their self-esteem is shattered, and they focus solely on boosting their self-importance.
If the narcissist was the dumper, they wouldn’t be much affected by the breakup. But if they were the dumpee, they would need much more care and attention in a rebound relationship than in the past one.
A new partner will not be able to provide that amount of care and affection for a narcissist. Not because they don’t want to but because a narcissist will appear needy and greedy at the same time, which is something no one is willing to tolerate in the long run.
2. Narcissists take criticism very seriously
They don’t understand what constructive criticism is, and they don’t even try to understand it. Narcissists see any type of criticism as a personal attack. (Now you can see the level of narcissism we’re dealing with here.)
We all know that relationships don’t function without effort and the will to improve yourself. Given that they aren’t ready to accept criticism (because they think they’re perfect), they are capable of ending a rebound relationship before it even starts.
I know it sounds absurd, but they take criticism very seriously. They don’t really care about their new partner but about how they make the narcissist feel.
So, if their new partner doesn’t treat them how they imagined, they immediately pull away and start looking for such treatment elsewhere. Needless to say that dating a narcissist is bound to be a painful experience.
3. Their insecurity multiples in a rebound relationship
Narcissists’ worlds revolve around their self-esteem and seeking validation from others. If a narcissist was dumped by their ex-partner, their insecurities would multiply in a rebound relationship.
Their ego and self-esteem are greatly reduced, and because of that, they will see everything as a red flag in their new relationship.
They will spy on their new partner, constantly ask about their whereabouts, ask too many questions about the people they hang out with, and the list goes on and on.
Now imagine being in a relationship with such a person. It’s almost impossible not to lose your sanity, right? That’s one of the reasons a narcissist rebound relationship doesn’t last long.
4. Their ego is in control
Regardless of whether they’re in a long-term relationship or a rebound relationship, narcissists’ egos are always in control. It dominates their being and their relationships with others.
Healthy relationships require compromise and sometimes leaving your personal interests aside. This is something a narcissist never does because he doesn’t know how and is not willing to.
Their ego is in full control of them, so that’s the only thing they listen to. If you try to talk to a narcissist about it, they will accuse you of overreacting.
All these things make it difficult to maintain a relationship. As long as their ego is in control, they’ll be unable to create meaningful and deep relationships with others.
5. A narcissist has more difficulty moving on from their past relationship
Did you know that a narcissist has more difficulty moving on from their past relationship than regular people? Yup, and do you know why?
Because their ego was attached to the narcissistic supply their ex-partner provided, now they have difficulty letting go of it.
When your intentions are driven by ego, you form a stronger attachment with someone (though we’re talking about an unhealthy attachment).
They were basically attached to what their ex-partner provided them and not their overall relationship. Now they no longer have their ex-partner’s narcissistic supply, and they will try to make their ex jealous by posting pics of their new partner on social media.
This will only make it even harder for them to finally move on. Sooner than you know, their rebound relationship will collapse, and they’ll move to the next one (or to their ex).
6. Their biggest priority is themselves
A narcissistic relationship is all about a narcissist being their biggest priority. They don’t really care about their family members, their current partner, or anyone else.
Their whole focus is on themselves and what they can GAIN from this rebound relationship. They never stop for a second to think, Hey, how can I make my current partner happy and content?
They’re too busy thinking of new ways to manipulate them to get what they want. Narcissistic manipulation tactics are one of the biggest destroyers of every relationship (including the rebound).
New partners often don’t even know what’s going on because they’re blinded by their narcissist’s charisma. But when they realize that they’ve been manipulated all this time, the relationship ends abruptly and for good.
7. When they’re done playing with you, they’ll find a new toy
Narcissists have this tendency to see their partners as toys. They enjoy playing with you, manipulating you, and reassuring you that it’s all in your head.
More than anything, they enjoy what you can give them: affection, unconditional love, and care. Well, sometimes they quickly get enough of their new partners and then start seeking a new toy (or, should I say, a rebound toy).
When they’re done playing with you because they’re no longer interested in what you can give them, they’ll shift to another toy that is more exciting to them at the moment.
Chances are this new toy will end up like the previous one. In their eyes, every person can give them something another person can’t. Playing with other people’s feelings is their motto, and that is how they jump from one relationship to another.
3 Main Stages In A Narcissist Rebound Relationship
A narcissist rebound relationship consists of the three main stages. It starts with the honeymoon stage, things start to get complicated at the devaluing stage, and it ends up with the discarding stage. Here are the narcissist rebound relationship stages explained in detail:
1. The honeymoon stage
It all starts with the colorful, bright, and promising honeymoon stage. It’s when you feel like you’re on cloud nine 24/7. Everything seems perfect, the butterflies in your stomach are fluttering away, and you can’t see how things could go wrong.
At this stage, a narcissist uses the good old method called narcissistic love bombing. They shower you with affection, promise you the land of milk and honey, and that they’ll always be there for you no matter what.
They seem like your soulmate and “the one.” You trust their every word, and their actions don’t seem fishy at all. While you’re in this stage, asking yourself the question, How long will a narcissist rebound relationship last? you‘re convinced that it will last forever.
But will it?
The honeymoon stage is just an intro to a rebound relationship that is bound to fail after a few months. Narcissists’ partners usually don’t see this because they’re blinded by their fake promises, but things will start to slowly unfold in the next stage.
2. Devaluing stage
After the honeymoon stage, happy chemicals (endorphins, dopamine…) lose their initial intensity because reality kicks in. This happens to every single couple on earth.
You start seeing things from a more realistic point of view. You no longer idealize your partner, but you’re perfectly aware of their imperfections, quirks, and positive sides. But you still choose them because you genuinely like and love them.
However, things are quite different when it comes to narcissists at this stage. Instead of embracing the beauty of reality, they become irritated and start testing your understanding. Sooner than you know, you become the victim of narcissistic abuse.
Hoovering (emotional blackmail, which is a type of emotional abuse), gaslighting, and playing with your mental health become their main preoccupation. These are all warning signs and exactly what my narcissistic ex did, thus causing me post narcissist stress disorder.
So, at this stage, you will begin to see a narcissist’s true self, their selfish nature, and their careless behavior. And you will question their intentions, their every single word, and their actions.
3. Discarding stage
Once they get bored of their new supply and become tired of manipulating them, they’ll seek another one. Being a narcissist’s flying monkey is one of the worst things you can experience in your life.
At the discarding stage (as the name implies), a narc will leave you with no explanation whatsoever. They won’t care about how you feel one bit because, obviously, all this time, they were and are only focused on themselves.
Not only that. They will also accuse you of being a toxic person even though the only toxic partner here is them. If you’re still in love with them, heartbreak will be inevitable, but for the first time, you’ll feel free as well.
You’ll have too many questions but no answers. They’ll make you question why you were in a rebound relationship with them in the first place.
Was all this just a bad dream? Are they leaving you only to come back again with an apology? No, they’re leaving because they don’t care about you (well, they never did).
How Do Narcissists Deal With A Breakup?
They deal with it slightly differently than the rest of us regular people. Once they break up with their partner, they enter a stage of denial and anger.
They try to convince themselves that this is not happening, and they are angry because they no longer have their narcissistic supply. No, they aren’t angry because they hurt their partner but because they can’t keep satisfying their selfish purposes.
Losing a valuable supply is every narcissist’s biggest nightmare. So, instead of grieving like normal people, they convince themselves that their ex literally meant nothing to them.
By doing this, they’re preventing negative emotions from hurting their most valuable thing: their ego. So, while they’re in the process of fooling themselves and are devoid of reality, they start thinking about finding a new supply.
This new supply is also known as a rebound relationship. Their main goal becomes finding a new victim who will make them feel valuable again. Once they find that person, they become extremely demanding and require constant care and admiration.
They literally suffocate their new partner only to feel alive again. After some time, they become bored of it and decide to find a new supply with whom they’ll be more compatible.
This time, they won’t be looking for a quick shot but for something more “meaningful” that will make them forget about their recent breakup.
Can Rebound Relationships Last For Years?
Usually, rebound relationships last a few months up to a year. Sometimes, a rebound relationship can turn into a long-term relationship that lasts for years, but this greatly depends on the rebounder.
If the rebounder never succeeds in moving on from their past relationship, their rebound relationship will suffer and eventually end. However, if the rebounder finds closure in the process of a rebound relationship, their new relationship can last for longer.
To succeed, the rebounder needs to reconnect with their true self and leave their past behind. They need to acknowledge their past wounds and forgive their ex and themselves.
Yes, it’s possible to forget about your ex while being in a rebound relationship, but it takes time. If the rebounder doesn’t open themselves up to their new partner and give them a chance to connect on a deeper level, then their relationship will most likely fail.
Note that this doesn’t apply to a narcissist and unhealthy rebound relationships. The only thing they’re focused on is finding a new narcissistic supply, after which they’ll shift to another one.
Because of that, it’s impossible for a narcissist to be in a rebound relationship that lasts for years. It will only last around 2 to 4 months and, in some cases, up to a year. After that, they switch to their next victim.
How long will a narcissist rebound relationship last? It can last 2–4 months and sometimes even a year. The main reason why a narcissistic relationship lasts so short is that a narcissist is solely focused on boosting their hurt ego and finding a new narc supply.
After the honeymoon stage, reality kicks in, and along with that, a narcissist begins to show their true colors. They start feeling irritated and manipulate their victim in various ways.
At the last discarding stage, the narcissist leaves you with no explanation. On top of that, they accuse you of being a toxic partner. After this, they’re once again in pursuit of another victim who will satisfy their ego and make them feel important again.
For a narcissist, rebound relationships are just quick shots they need to function again. So, they’re not really picky about who their next victim will be. They just need someone who is willing to tolerate their manipulative nature (until they get tired of it).