The end of a long-term relationship is always difficult and challenging, whether you are the one who ended it or the one who’s been left behind. Either way, sometimes the easiest thing to do is to simply jump right into a new relationship. Although this appears to be the most suitable way to deal with your heart being broken, a rebound relationship can bring you more negatives than you might think. Before you decide to enter into this type of relationship, you need to put your selfishness aside and think about this guy you could be leading on. The same way you don’t want to be some guy’s rebound girl, this potential boyfriend of yours doesn’t want to be just your rebound partner who you’ll use to get over your ex. But if you choose to enter into a rebound relationship anyway, here are 8 stages you can expect in it.

1. Grief

After ending a long-term relationship, the first stage is always grieving it. Different people grieve in different ways. Of course, it may be possible for you to be in denial that the break-up even happened at first but that is also a part of the grieving process. But no matter how fast you run from it, sooner or later, you’ll have to face the fact that your relationship is over. When it hits you, you may think that your life has come to an end. You see no meaning to it and all you do is wait for your ex to come back. You remember all the good things that happened between you two and all the happy memories you shared. In the beginning, you think that you could never move on with your life and that you could never forget about this man. You cry yourself to sleep, waiting for him to call you, telling you he wants you back desperately. But, with time, you see that life goes on, with or without him in your life. People keep telling you that your break-up is not such a big deal and that it’s about time to get back on your feet and slowly, you start to regain your strength. Soon, you come to the realization that this pain can’t last forever and that it’s about time you turn to the future.

2. Back on the dating market

When the initial grieving phase finally ends, you feel ready to go back out there on the dating market. Before this, you don’t think you could ever look at some other man besides your ex-boyfriend. But as time goes by, you see that this is not as true as you thought. At first, whenever you engage in harmless conversation with another man, you feel like you are betraying your ex-boyfriend and like you are cheating on him. But, with time, you start to feel flattered when there is a guy who looks at you as a woman or pays you a compliment. After a while, you get back on the dating market, feeling ready to meet new people and even to start a new relationship. You put all your efforts into finding someone, either with the help of your friends, social media or in some other way. This is a sign that you are slowly starting to embrace your single life. You want a different experience from your past and you are sure you won’t repeat the same mistakes again. Now, you know what types of guys to avoid and who the guys you feel attracted to are. But just because you got back on the dating market and you are ready to start dating someone new, it doesn’t have to mean that you’ll enter into a relationship with all of the guys you meet. Of course, you should give some men a chance to get to know you better and to present themselves in the best way possible but you should always keep your standards high.

3. New relationship

Once you get back on the dating market, you meet all types of guys. Some of them you really like and some of them you simply don’t like as much. But out of all of these guys, there will be only one who stands out. This is a guy you’ll find physically attractive but also someone whose personality you will like. Whenever you see him, you feel butterflies and you start to wonder if you are in love and before you know it, you are head over heels for this guy. You are sure you’ve forgotten all about your previous break-up and heartbreak and you are positive you are ready for a new relationship. All of a sudden, you feel like your ex-boyfriend is just a part of the past or as if he never existed. You put all your hopes into your new relationship, hoping that this guy will heal all of your emotional wounds and scars. Although you may have some doubts about if it is too soon for you to enter into a new relationship and if you’ve properly healed from your heartbreak, you choose to ignore this little voice inside of you and proceed with this new relationship. Even when you are alone with your thoughts and your ex comes to mind, you think that the best way to forget what’s left of him inside you is to try being with someone else. When you find yourself in this situation, the most important thing to do is to ask yourself whether you really want to be with this new guy you’ve met or you just want to be with anyone who comes your way, because you are dying to have a new relationship.

4. The honeymoon phase

If you decide to give this new relationship a chance, despite everything written above, you can expect it to be almost perfect in the beginning. When we really want something to work out, it becomes almost impossible to see the reality and the bigger picture. Therefore, when you first start dating this new guy you’ve just met, he’ll appear to be everything you ever wished for. You don’t see him for what he truly is and you don’t notice any of his flaws and imperfections. The reason why this is so is that we all have on our rose-tinted glasses in the initial stages of a relationship. Besides, we all tend to present ourselves in the best way possible when we meet a new person and it’s the same with you and this guy. You both want for the other person to like you as much as possible, so it is normal that both of you will present yourselves in the best possible light. When you find yourself in this rebound relationship stage, the most important thing you need to remember is that things are probably not as perfect as they appear. You see this guy as your salvation and you see this new relationship as the end of your misery, so subconsciously you see everything better than it really is.

5. You want to move on where you left off

After the honeymoon stage passes, this is when you finally become fully aware that you are in a new relationship. But sometimes, you can’t seem to understand this completely. You had some habits in your past relationship and you want to bring them to the new one. If this is the case, it means that you just want to move on where you left off. Your ex was a part of your life for years and you’d gotten used to having a man in your life. You’d gotten used to being someone’s girlfriend and you just want to continue living your life as if nothing has happened. But what you obviously keep forgetting is that this is a new man and a new relationship with its own rules. You can’t expect for it to be as serious from the start as your past relationship was. If you want this to be more than a rebound relationship and if you want things to work out, you need to make an effort to look at this guy you’ve met as a separate individual and you need to try and make new memories with him. This is one of the hardest things for anyone in a rebound relationship to figure out but it’s something that has to be done.

6. The comparing stage

You’ve been with one man for a long time, so it is perfectly natural for you to see him in every other guy you meet. This doesn’t have to mean that you are searching for him everywhere you go, it just means that he set some standards in your life and it is normal for you to compare every other man with him. In this stage, you’ll search for clues of your ex in your new boyfriend. You’ll like the things about him that remind you of your ex-boyfriend and you’ll be annoyed by some of his negative qualities that your ex also had. If you think of this casually, there is nothing you should be worried about. But if you realize that you are in this relationship because this guy reminds you of your ex or if you catch yourself imagining this guy to be your ex, you have a problem. In this case, it is certain that you haven’t gotten over your ex and that you are definitely not ready for a new relationship. The truth is that it is quite unlikely for you to expect this relationship to become anything more than a simple rebound.

7. Questioning

When you have spent a longer period of time in your new relationship and as you learn to accept the fact that there is someone new in your life, it is possible for your old traumas to come back to you. This means that you start to remember everything bad from your previous relationship and all the pain you felt when things ended between you and your ex. Therefore, you expect all of these things to happen again in your new relationship. No matter how great this new guy is, you simply can’t believe that his intentions for you are sincere. You have major trust issues and you expect for him to cause you pain, the same way your ex did. All of this awakens in you all of your insecurities, which makes you question your new relationship. You wonder if you’ve really gotten over your ex and if this new man is the right guy for you. This rebound relationship stage might scare you but it actually means that your thoughts are going in the right direction. It means that you are aware of your new relationship and that you are questioning your decision. This is the time when you’ll figure out whether this relationship is something you need in your life or if you haven’t gotten over your heartbreak just yet.

8. The final solution

After you’ve given yourself a chance to think everything through regarding your new relationship, you can see this new guy in your life clearly for the first time. Besides, you can also see the state of the relationship realistically and if this is something you need right now. You’ve taken your rose-tinted glasses off and you see all of this guy’s flaws and imperfections, as well as his virtues. Now, you have to decide if you really like him for who he is. The honeymoon phase is now long gone and this is the time when you should decide what it is that you want from life and from this man. You need to be introspective and decide if you’ve really gotten over your ex and if you are ready to invest yourself into this new relationship. It’s time to be honest toward yourself and toward this man you are dating. Here, you need to decide whether this is just a rebound relationship or if it is something worth fighting for. If you realize that you aren’t ready to open yourself to someone new and that you aren’t over your ex yet, this is the time when you need to walk away from this new guy, without leading him on any longer.