Rebound relationships after a breakup are about as common as rebound pints of ice cream. (Rebound sex is way up there, too.) But as regular as these quickie connections are, they also get a bad rap: People assume rebounders are just looking for a way to either get over or get back at their exes, and that it's not a smart move.
Well, now researchers have something to say about it. Rebound relationships might not be such a silly choice after allÃ¢â‚¬”in fact, they may even have some advantages, according to recent research out of Queens College and the University of Illinois.
MORE: 6 Rules for Getting Over a Breakup the Healthy Way
In a series of two studies (the first with 77 participants and the other with 236), researchers asked people who had recently been through a breakup how they were doing, if they had moved on to someone else, and how they felt about their ex.
When the researchers analyzed the results across the two studies, they came up with some pretty interesting findings: The less time participants spent single between relationships, the higher their wellbeing, self-esteem, and confidence in their dating appeal. Rebounders tended to have more contact with and respect for their current partner, too. On the flip side, though, they were also more likely to compare their current partner with their ex.
"The findings from these studies suggest that people who rapidly begin a new rebound relationship are not necessarily any worse off than those who wait longer to get reinvolved," wrote the authors in the study. "In fact, in some domains, they appear to be better functioning."
MORE: The 3 Best Ways to Get Over a Breakup
Some things to remember here: These studies simply show a correlation, not a cause-and-effect relationship. It's possible that people who are already feeling good post-breakup are more likely to start dating quickly, rather than feeling great because they've rebounded. Either way, it seems to show that not all rebound relationships are doomed. So if you're feeling 100 percent over your ex and can't wait to hop back into the dating pool, go for itÃ¢â‚¬”just tread wisely.
MORE: What Guys Really Do to Get Over Breakups