When we’re struggling through a relationship breakup, there are two ideas that often get confused for each other. In reality there is a meaningful difference between them. ‘Rebounding’ is something we do. We do it for reasons we believe will benefit us more than they will cost us. ‘Rebounding’ is an action.
Missing someone is something we feel. But we can feel those feelings without turning them into any action, including rebounding. We can have thoughts about wanting to go back to someone and still not go back.
As bad as our past choices might appear to have been in the moments following a breakup, in general we all do an excellent job of choosing the perfect relationships for who we are at any given time in our lives. But when they or we inevitably become someone different as we grow, we can realize that it’s time for the relationship to end too.
Having the relationship end isn’t a failure. There’s a natural end to many since everyone is always growing. When we pair off there’s some chance we’ll grow closer, but there is also a chance we can grow apart. That’s no one’s fault. That’s just what happens when people grow.
If we stop beating ourselves up using our thoughts, we’re just left with a silence and everything is okay. It’s the attacks we mount on ourselves that weaken us to the point of feeling we need to lean on someone else.
Leaning on others can be a good idea at times, but we don’t want our entire life propped up by lame romantic partners that we perpetually rebound into just because we don’t want to be alone. We are stronger than that.
If we don’t like ourselves enough to be alone with ourselves for extended periods, then we won’t be looking for someone who lights our heart. Instead, we’ll look for someone possessive –someone who simply wants us nearby.
That kind of need-fulfillment is okay when we’re first dating. But as our relationships mature, we must as well. If we respect ourselves we will want to be treated in accordance with that self-respect.
We can love people from our past. Just because a relationship is unworkable today does not mean either of the two people involved did anything wrong. Sometimes we just grow together, then apart.
If we can quiet our mind and it’s constant rebounding chatter, we are free to accept our ‘alone-ness’ as a healthy, important part of our life. From there, feeling strong, with no desire to lean on anyone, the only people we’ll tend to let close to us are those who we sense will improve our lives, rather than those who just fill any holes in them.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own over-thinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.